Please give feedback and instruction if changes need to be made. The Oppression of Women: In this paper, I will be comparing Othello by Shakespeare with The House on Mango Street by Sandra Cisneros. Othello and The House on Mango Street share the same perspective that men often oppress women. However, the way that men oppress women in Shakespeare goes as far as threatening their lives and ending them in contrast to The House on Mango Street, where the women sit in their homes and do what the man says for the rest of their lives. In the book The House on Mango Street, several of the women in Esperanza’s neighborhood are oppressed. One example of this is on page 76, where Cisneros writes about a woman and her son who were brought from her country to live in America by a man that works two jobs. She wishes to go home, but her husband forbids her to. In her home, she tries to keep her culture alive by listening to her music on the radio and only speaking Spanish. Another example of a man bringing harm to a woman in The House on Mango Street is on page 92-93. Sally is one of Esperanza’s neighbors. The readers discover that Sally’s father didn’t want his daughter to run away and bring their family shame like his sisters did, so he beat her in fear so that she would be disciplined and stay. Then, on pages 101-102, Sally marries a man in attempt to get away from her abusive father, but she ends up getting married to a strict man. “She says she is in love, but I think she did it to escape. She is happy, except… he won’t let her talk on the telephone. And he doesn’t let her look out the window. And he doesn’t like her friends, so no body gets to visit her unless he is working.” (Cisneros, p.101-102) In Act 5 Scene 2 of Othello, both Emilia and Desdemona are dismissed for their truth-bearing words that Desdemona has always been faithful to Othello. On the night that Othello plans to kill Desdemona, Othello tells Desdemona his reasons as to why he is killing her, but Desdemona says that she never slept with Cassio. Iago’s lies and Othello’s inability to believe Desdemona’s words lead to her being misunderstood. Thus, Othello carries through with his plan to murder his wife. Also in Act 5 Scene 2, shortly after Desdemona is killed, Emilia shouts to the whole town that Othello murdered her mistress Desdemona. Emilia questions Iago about telling Othello that Desdemona slept with Cassio and Iago tells her to be quiet by saying, “With Cassio, mistress. Go to, charm your tongue.” Then, Emilia replies, “I will not charm my tongue. I am bound to speak. My mistress here lies murdered in her bed-“ This text shows Iago warning Emilia several times to be quiet as Emilia leaks more information about what actually happened with the handkerchief. At last, the true villain is revealed to be Iago, but as Othello is about to get Iago, Iago stabs Emilia and she dies. To conclude, the play Othello and the book The House on Mango Street share the same perspective that it’s common for men maltreat women, but the Shakespeare’s play conveys a man threatening the woman’s life, while the House on Mango Street shows that men are the master of their homes and torment women for as long as they live with them.
The ideas in your paper are good, but they could be analyzed with a bit more depth and nuance. Are the differences in the ways women are oppressed in the two works important, or are they simply different ways of making the same statement about the condition of women? Also, remember to grab your reader's attention in the introduction and use lead-ins any time you quote directly from the text.
In general, the ideas and examples you use in your paper are solid. You are correct that the extent of gender-based violence in the two texts varies. However, you may want to flesh some of your ideas out a bit more by considering some of the following questions: Why does the treatment of women vary in the texts? Is this various because of the differing time periods in which they were written? Or is the variation due to the fact that Shakespeare gives an extreme example in Othello whereas Cisneros presents a more realistic scenario in her work? How might oppression threaten a woman's life even if there is no threat of physical violence? Do the two texts give any rationale for why men oppress women?
(The entire section contains 368 words.)
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