Title

The Role of Women in Literature: From King Arthur to Margaret Atwood

Presenter Information

Matthew Eakins

Department

English and Technical Communication

Major

English and Philosophy

Research Advisor

Burgess, Olivia

Advisor's Department

English and Technical Communication

Abstract

As a civilization, one goal we've strived for is total equality. However, within the realm of literature, women have continued to be objects of ridicule and subjugation for years. Looking at the depiction of women from Middle English texts, Chaucer's The Canterbury Tales and the Chronicles of King Arthur, it is clear how they were viewed in society then. By examining those texts next to the image of women from Margaret Atwood's The Handmaid's Tale, this paper shows how the gap between sexes still exists in literature, and that the role of women now is but a culmination of earlier traits.

Biography

Matthew is a senior majoring in both English and Philosophy, with a minor in German studies. He is from Evergreen Park, IL, on the outskirts of Chicago. He plans to graduate in May 2014, and continue his education in either linguistic studies or journalism.

Research Category

Arts and Humanities

Presentation Type

Oral Presentation

Document Type

Presentation

Award

Arts and humanities oral presentation, Third place

Location

Carver Room

Presentation Date

03 Apr 2013, 1:00 pm - 1:30 pm

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Apr 3rd, 1:00 PM Apr 3rd, 1:30 PM

The Role of Women in Literature: From King Arthur to Margaret Atwood

Carver Room

As a civilization, one goal we've strived for is total equality. However, within the realm of literature, women have continued to be objects of ridicule and subjugation for years. Looking at the depiction of women from Middle English texts, Chaucer's The Canterbury Tales and the Chronicles of King Arthur, it is clear how they were viewed in society then. By examining those texts next to the image of women from Margaret Atwood's The Handmaid's Tale, this paper shows how the gap between sexes still exists in literature, and that the role of women now is but a culmination of earlier traits.