Thursday, August 22, 2019
Wuthering Heights and Memoirs of a Geisha analyse Essay Example for Free
Wuthering Heights and Memoirs of a Geisha analyse Essay We dont become Geisha because we want our lives to be happy; we become Geisha because we have no choice. With reference to Wuthering Heights and Memoirs of a Geisha analyse the role of women within these novels. Within the novels Memoirs of a Geisha and Wuthering heights the role of women are very different this could be because of the different time period in which the novels were written as Memoirs of a Geisha was set in 1930s where as Wuthering Heights is a much earlier book being written in 1847 but set in the 1700s. Alternatively the difference of the role of women within these novels could be because of the different countries and cultures that the women live in, one being on the outskirts of a small village in Yorkshire the other being set in a pre-war Japan. These two major differences in lifestyle and time between the novels does mean the women have different roles within their societies but it also shows many similarities in the womens way of life, how they are treated, by men especially men, and the way in which they conduct themselves throughout the novels. In both of the novels, Memoirs of a Geisha and Wuthering Heights the women are not in total control of their lives. This is shown in many different ways throughout. I will be looking at how the roles of the women within the novels are shaped by the environment and over characters around them. One theme that occurs in both novels that affect the women is entrapment. In both novels entrapment of the characters is shown in many different ways. In Memoirs of a geisha Sayuri is entrapped at the okiya after she tries to escape and run away with her sister but falls off a roof and breaks her arm; this results in the okiya being locked and Sayuri is banned from leaving without permission from mother, this is entrapment is described by Mameha We dont become geisha because we want our lives to be happy; we become geisha because we have no choice. This shows the lack of control women have over their lives in this novel and that theyre lives are decided for them by other people, in the case of a Geisha these people are the men as they decide whether a girl is to be a great geisha or whether her career is to fail. This shows that Sayuri is not in control of her life and is physically trapped, this is similar to Cathy in Wuthering Heights as Cathy lives at Thrushcroft Grange is banned from leaving the grounds surrounding it, Till she reached the age of thirteen she had not once been beyond the range of the park by herself. This shows that Cathy does what her father tells her to and that she spends a long period of her life cut off from the rest of the world by the walls that surround the grounds of Thrushcroft Grange. another similarities between Cathy and Sayuri is that they are both trapped by money. Sayuri is trapped by her building debt to mother and is not allowed to leave the okiya until she has fully paid it off, this is made difficult by Hatsumonos interference; this is similar to Cathy having to stay with Heathcliff after marrying Linton. These not only show the entrapment of the women but also how the men have the power over the women in both the books. In both the books the men play a big role in the womens lives. This is because the women are dependant on the mens money and support, but also because of love. In Memoirs of a Geisha Sayuri and the other Geisha are dependent on the money they receive from them, without this they would be forced to do proper work. The book shows the hold a man in Japan at that time had on a woman; this is shown in many ways throughout the book the first being at the start when Sayuri is at home with her mother and father. Her dad sells Sayuri and her sister to a man who in turn sells Sayuri to the Okiya and her sister to a whore house, This one maybe, the other one no. this is said by a women in the book but it still shows dominance they have over Sayuri and her sister this could be because thats the only people they do have authority over as men dominate them. This shows that the men have the control over Sayuri during the start of this book, deciding where she goes and what she is to become. Another way in which it is shown that men have the control in Memoirs of a Geisha is that all the Geisha are dependent on their customers, which are the men. This means they are the mercy of the men, also if a man was to give a geisha a bad reputation it could end her career, which again shows the power in which the men have over the women, this is shows when the baron forces Sayuri to undress for him and she is helpless to his power and strength. This again shows the dependence of men in the world of a geisha. This dependence is seen in a more indirect way in Wuthering Heights but is shown in many ways. One of the ways this is shown by Catherine near the start of the book. In front of her dad Catherine isseen as a normally playful child that knows when to stop but when hes not around she plays up all the time, and looks forward to being scolded by Nelly and Joseph, But as soon as she saw him vexed again, she kissed his hand This shows the power her dad has over her and that she wishes to please him this is similar to Memoirs of a Geisha when Sayuri leaves with Mr. Tanaka under her dads orders when my father threw, the fish back into the sea. This could describe how Her dad threw her out of the house and sent her on her way into life, this could be seen as a lack of regard for he and shows the true power of man over women within the book as he just sells her without protest from anyone including Sayuri and her sister. Many critics have the view the character of Heathcliff is female Gilbert and Gubars The Madwoman in the Attic: The Woman Writer and The Nineteenth-Century Literary Imagination (1975): argues that Heathcliff is female because he has no property, place or title. He is simply Heathcliff, never master, unlike Edgar Linton. Thus he has the female role in the society of the novel. This is shown at many points throughout the novel, But Nelly, if I knocked him down twenty times, that wouldnt make him less handsome, or me more so. I wish I had light hair and fair skin, and was dressed, and behaved as well, and had chance of being as rich as he will be! Bronte here concentrates on the physical qualities of the two rivals for Catherines affection, showing the connection between physicality and material wealth. The irony here is that despite the effeminate appearance and physical weakness of Edgar, he has the breeding, status and wealth that Heathcliff does not have. In Memoirs of a Geisha Sayuri life in the Okiya is all based round finding the Chairman again. This again shows the influence men have on her in this novel In that brief encounter with the Chairman, I had changed from a lost girl facing a lifetime of emptiness to a girl with purpose in her life. When she describes her pervious life before knowing the chairman as a lifetime of emptiness of a girl it shows that she believes that it takes a man to make a empty girl to one with purpose on one hand this could be seen that women at the time only lived to please men and that is what made there life have meaning, but on the other hand it could be seen as life is not worth living without love in it. This theory about love making life worth living is also seen in Wuthering Heights when Heathcliff falls to pieces after Catherines death I cannot live without my life! I cannot live without my soul! Heathcliff describes Catherine as his soul and keeping in mind the time period this book was set in, the soul is the most important part of a person, it was believed that without a soul a person was not human. This take on Heathcliff and Catherine against Sayuri and the Chairman show the opposites of each other. Sayuri and the Chairman show the dominance man has over women and the other showing the lack of it and how women have more power than it first appears they do. In both Novels Memoirs of a Geisha and Wuthering Heights the writers use many techniques to shows the weak role of women in society and it is clear to see that although there is a big time difference between the books being written, and that they are set in very different societies the role of women is very similar and all concentrates on the pleasing of men within their lives, this is shown using many different techniques throughout but neither books are less effective in showing the oppression of the womens role.