Analysis of the Theories of Feminism, Post-colonialism and Existentialism by Linking Literary Texts
Table of Contents
Existentialism in the Wall by Sartre
The theory of existentialism is explored from the perspective of one of the characters by the name Pablo Ibbieta who was a prisoner of the regime of the fascist during the era of the civil war in Spain (Ke, 2006). He vividly and extensively narrates the night before him, and other two prisoners who were his cellmates were going to be executed. As the story continues, a very dominant theme of dominant existentialist is exhibited which is freedom of choice. When Ibbieta came to learn of his death, which was imminent, he becomes no longer interested in life and changes his perspective to everything. This is showed when a doctor visits them in the cell to talk to them whereby he makes various comments. Ibbieta responds at first, but he finds that there is nothing exciting with this doctor and that desire that he had of talking to him goes away completely.
These kinds of realizations go on, and Ibbieta becomes detached from his environment, relationships and his thinking of the past. He at one point says that he could not be able to think clearly and straight about the death that he was facing because he saw death staring at him from everywhere (Raymond, 1991). Through this, Sartre brings out a suggestion that the state of Ibbieta may be similar to death because he considered himself as good as dead in his mind. Existentialism is brought out in the perspective that one has choices and options to choose from even if he is confined. An unexpected twist takes place where Ibbieta is reprieved temporarily, but it does not change anything since he had considered his life as not having any importance. He has reached a point where he thinks that his existence does not have any meaning.
The setting of the story of the wall brings out this theme of existentialism. The story occurs in a prison setting which is usually considered to minimize the chances of the prisoners to exist, and this is evident by the death that Ibbieta and his cellmates were facing (Raymond, 1991). It signifies the wall that prisoners were going to be placed as they were being executed and the wall separates those who have hope and those who do not. It separates life from death, separating those who have been condemned from those who are living. It also prevents people from understanding the meaning of death. For instance, Ibbieta cannot be able to distinguish between life and death because he has been absorbed psychologically by this wall and his failure to determine any significance for his existence is entirely his responsibility. According to the wall, humans continue to exist in a universe that has no god and where various random events and things keep happening to people whether they deserve them or not. Things happened to Pablo that he did not deserve. As a result, he lost hope in life and gave up when he knew that he was going to be executed. On the inside, he was dead already. Existentialism entails many aspects, but the wall revolves around the horrors of existing without any meaning, as the destiny is horrible.
Feminism in the Giant Wistaria by Charlotte P. Stetson
The story brings out feminism in that it articulates and champions for the rights of women by highlighting the challenges and the oppression that women go through in their daily lives. The story analyses and unveils how women relate to the society (Biamonte, 1988). The society is discriminatory and destructive towards the women always segregating them into functions that are sexually related. The discrimination and suppression of women take place throughout the story. A young woman gets pregnant out of wedlock, and her parents are so devastated and broken. They are concerned with what the society is going to say about the whole story. They are worried that the society is going to say that they did not bring up their child well. To them, she has disgraced them so much especially her father. Her father wishes that she had better died together with the child. This brings out the way in which the society treats women in a bad way and their perception of them. The society blames parents of children who slip and that are why her parents are furious and outraged at her, and that is why they want to punish her. The parents, therefore, punish her daughter because of bearing a child out of wedlock. The young woman begs to be given her child, but her parents refuse. All this shows how the society treats women badly and unwisely judges them for things that they at times cannot control. The girl child is not supposed to bear a child out of wedlock, and if that happens, she is treated badly and blamed for everything. The blame does not lie with the men but solely on the women.
The setting of the story brings out feminism by pointing out how women are oppressed and suppressed by the society and more specifically men. They are not given the rights of loving, and that is why the woman was denied a chance of being with her child (Knight, 2008). Later on, she is forced into marrying her cousin despite the parents knowing that the cousin is not a good person. The story is trying to point out the bad deeds done to women so that the society can change and start treating women in a good way. The other part of the story brings out the fact that women contribute substantially towards the society. This is shown by the fact that it was women that discovered the wrongs that were in the house after so many years. The main aim of this story is to help in acknowledging that women contribute greatly towards the society and they should, therefore, be treated with respect.
Post colonialism in the campfire
The story of the campfire is about friends who were campmates. The friends were sharing their various experiences of life (Mandal, 2014). This story brings out the theory of post colonialism in the sense that they were telling each other about what they have undergone in the past and how they have managed to carry on from their past lives. The story is similar to a country that is trying to move on after the colonialism era, but it has not fully established itself. The narrator tells his camp mates about his girlfriend who had passed. The girlfriend was so important to him having contributed positively towards his life. He had grown fond of her, and they were really in love. Suddenly, the girlfriend passed on, and she left a big gap in his life. He was left devastated and wounded, and the death caused a lot of pain in his life in that he would not move on with his life (Koh, 2008). The loss of the narrators caused him great pain, and this makes him live in self-denial after that about his emotions. He indeed confirms that he is affected by the loss and that he has never stopped from mourning her loss. This shows that he has not been able to move on implying that the post colonialism era has not gone down well. It was like he was in the colonial times and since he was living in self-denial, his life was not going on well.
- Biamonte, G. A. (1988). … there is a story, if we could only find it”: CHARLOTTE PERKINS GILMAN’S” THE GIANT WISTARIA. Legacy, 33-38.
- Raymond, D. B. (1991). Existentialism and the philosophical tradition. Pearson College Division.
- Ke, L. I. (2006). A Graphic Demonstration of Existentialist Philosophy: An Interpretation of The Wall by Sartre [J]. Shenzhen University Journal (Humanities & Social Sciences), 6, 016.
- Knight, D. D. (2008). New Evidence about the Origins of Gilman’s” The Giant Wistaria”. American Literary Realism, 40(2), 173-179.
- Koh, T. A. (2008). Singapore literature in English: an annotated bibliography. National Library Board Singapore and Centre for Liberal Arts and Social Sciences, Nanyang Technological University.
- Mandal, S. (2014). Cyril Wong, ed. Here and Beyond: 12 Stories. An International Journal of Asian Literatures, Cultures and Englishes, 8(2), 216-219.