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The Transformation of Women
The Good Woman of Statute and Cloud Nine By Tiffany-Has Has 1 The Transformation of Women: On Sheen Et and Betty’s Negotiation with Others’ Expectations In The Good Woman of Statute and Cloud Nine People do give others their expectation to make them improved or to maintain the same situation so as to keep everything as usual and organized in the way they wished to have. Nevertheless, there are people who are brave enough to change the devastating situation when they are tired of those ordering. Women are some of hem and they are smart, without doubt.
Sometimes, their Intelligence even makes men wonder or scare and then be viewed as “treacherous” as Clive had complained to Harry. No man knows what theft thinking at the moment. With another point of view, however, that intelligence can be used to create the self-protection which prevents harm and reproach by the unfriendly others and hostile outside world. Women make brilliant masks or disguises to hide their true self so as to conform with the convention and expectation. Yet, by concealing their inner consciousness, women suppress themselves bitterly and negotiate with the things around.
As the time goes by, the transformation happened on them whether in physical or mental. In The Good Woman of Statute and Cloud Nine, both of the plays discuss how others’ expectations and requirements affect an individual. Moreover, how the two female protagonists, Sheen Et and Betty deal with their situations. Yet, because they have different background and limit of giving out their things or identities, what I supposed Is that their ways of negotiation may be various and Has 2 in what way their endings tend to be opposite. Besides, the plays also show women’s intelligence can actually make a difference.
When It comes to the colonized expectation from others, the pressure on those female figures Is heavy but heavier on Sheen Et. The first I want to discuss Is Sheen Tee’s kind personality that brought her to the dilemma. She treats everyone with her whole heart but doesn’t ask for return even to her lover, Yang Sun, who acts like a beggar only craving for her money and sexual relation. Next, Sheen Tee’s vocation is the lowest level in the society, a prostitute, that there is no way for her to reject her customers as the society expected. Although she has been praised of being a good person, actually, she TLD own the real respect from others.
Another expectation comes the condition is to keep her goodness as usual because as Ronald Speers comments in The Good Woman of Statute, “she is not the embodiment of untainted virtue they had hoped for” (140). Finally, the last one is about crowds’ persecution. The place Sheen Et lives is a small village that when something happened, it will spread to all the residents at once. As a result, the news that Sheen Et had been given a fortune by Gods and opened a tobacco shop was reported to those greedy sluggards and impoverished people. Eventually, they all came to ask for her help.
Just as one of the odds spoke a crucial statement in the play, “The place is unlivable! Good intentions bring people to the brink of the abyss, and good deeds push them over the edge. ” Under those Has 3 immense anticipations, it may become too tough and hopeless for a woman to live her life, so the alternative is to change the way of living in this “be good but survive” environment. As for another female protagonist, Betty, her situation is more like the chains that men and Victorian convention imposed on women that they are supposed to be submissive and supportive to their husbands.
Thus, in Act one, Betty was reformed by a man and this means that she has no self-consciousness to form her female identity but to fit the males’ image of “women. ” For instance, women should be fragile that when those men go out for adventures, women should always stay and wait for them. Another supposed feminine quality is totally loyal to one’s husband. As Clive knew her wife have some subtle affection with Harry, he mentioned it to Betty, and she felt enormous shame at herself “I’m bad, bad, bad?” though she only kissed Harry in a very short time and Clive had far more excessive sexual relation with Mrs..
Saunders. Another males’ expectation comes from Harry when Betty ask him to take her away and then he confessed his love for Betty, “l need you, and I need you where you are… ‘ need to go up rivers and know you are sitting here thinking of me. ” The sentence clearly reveals the sense of female’s weakness and they can’t have their freedom to do what they want. There are not only men who inflict expectation to women, but the whole traditional environment that constraints female power and rights. Under the Victorian convention’s division of gender roles, women tend to accept this situation, Just like Mrs..
Maude, Betty’s mother reminds her, “The men have their duties and we have our” (“Drama” Has 4 99). I The two protagonists show their deference to the outside world but they still have their limit to be oppressed. Sheen Et creates an uncharitable male character, Shush Ta in the play for three times and each with a different reason. First, being kind is one of her criterion but by being good, she doesn’t want to disappoint anyone so she is also self-sacrifice to meet everyone’s content. When the avaricious crowds start to grab her things away and become out of control, the balance of helping others and sustain effects a woman.
Because of Sheen Tee’s love for Yang Sun, when he needs the 500 dollars to get a pilot Job, she becomes Shush Ta to run the tobacco shop and tries to raise money for him in any way. Even if Sheen Et knows the fact that Yang Sun doesn’t love her, she is still desperately in love with that heartless man. Third is the natural instinct of motherhood, to protect their children from harm. After knowing that she is pregnant, Sheen Et decided to build a carefree living environment for her unborn child and then she wears the mask again to drive away those parasite creatures.
What’s about Betty’s limit? Actually, it is her female identity that she doesn’t want to lose, thus, she always follows the rules of being a woman, or wears a mask to hide her true self and gradually, this disguise becomes her identity. “Clive is my society,” this was the David: “Gender roles are clearly defined, and the women accept themselves as part of the nature things. ‘The men have their duties and we have our,’ says Maude, and Betty regards her own loneliness as a form of service not only to her husband but also to the British Empire. (“Drama” 99).
Has 5 most classic sentence said by Betty who tries so hard to fit in the men’s picture of hat a woman should be. The function of women turns out to be handling with the housework and nurture the children. It sounds unfair to the women today but for Betty, by attempting to comply with the convention can make her form the sense of belonging to females, and living as a female. Another example is that Maude keeps warning her lovely daughter to be well behaved and “entertained” to please men and if it was necessary, Betty can always come to ask for her advice.
To Betty, her mother is a desirable model of being a woman so it won’t be wrong to do as her mother said. In The Good Woman of Statute, Sheen Et is forced by others’ inordinate expectation and that nearly made her fall into poverty in Act one. Thus, the transformation starts to progress. Sheen Et changes herself intelligently and acts two characters with the same body at the same time, one is the gentle prostitute and the other is a capitalist businessman, Shush Ta, so as to fight with the money-centered and selfish people though there are some good villagers exist in the play.
Barefoot Breech seems to use these transgender characteristics, not only to show Sheen Tee’s desperation and wit but also reflect the reality because at that time in China, men have more power and much more competence than women when dealing things. Moreover, people always tend to pay more attention and regards to a man’s words or decision. That’s why in the hierarchy of Chinese rural society, men are superior to women. An apparent case is that after Mrs.. Mi Tutus asking for the rent of the tobacco shop, the Has 6 in economics: SHOJI TA. She wants six months’ rent in advance.
POLICEMAN. And you haven’t got it, eh? (SHOJI TA is silent. ) But surely you can get it, sir? A man like you? SHUSH TA. What about a woman like Sheen Et? POLICEMAN. You’re not staying, (2227) The sense of males’ superiority pervades in the policeman’s answers. However, he didn’t know that the man standing in front of him is actually Sheen Et. She is a really smart woman because she knows a man’s influence by heart and how to deal with different kinds of situations. It is only because of her compassion and kindness that she didn’t want to hurt anyone.
As a result, she asked “another person” to kick a whole family out of her shop, reduce a carpenter’s salary and even call the police to arrest people. Take the example above into consideration, we begin to admire this angel of the slums” not only how good she is but how brilliant she is. Somehow, by appearing as a man figure, Sheen Et becomes much more rational, direct and stern which are closer to masculine disposition rather than feminine quality, emotional and affectionate. Therefore, a man’s image seems to be more powerful than a woman in the expectation of society in The Good Woman of Statute (“Performing”). 2 Gay: “According to Sara Lennox: ‘Since it is Sheen Et herself who incorporate this male self-interest, Breech seems to be indicating that such sex-related differences are tied more to Has 7 In the play, Sheen Et is divided into two roles but they don’t separate from each other. Moreover, one image may affect the other. The transformation seems to be very effective to control the situation, however, Sheen Et still fell apart when Yang Sun confess to Shush Ta that he was Just using her for the money and sexual reliance. Then, she cannot suppress anymore and bitterly cried out “Eve lost my shop!
And he doesn’t love me! ” though She was wearing the mask of Shush Ta, the reason was destroyed at once. Another example is that Shush Ta hired those Jobless loafers to work in his growing factory. Although the workers complained about they were under Shush Tat’s government and was said to be “exploited” by him, he was actually giving them aids in another way, educating them that if they worked hard, they get paid and a place to live. Thus, the mild Sheen Et still exists in the harsh man’s soul. In fact, the motive of using a man’s disguise as a negotiation to the social expectation merely comes from self-defense.
However, when Shush Ta comes out, his appearance not only saves Sheen Et from losing her properties but damages her reputation in this village that the villagers start to blame her on sending her cousin here (“Barefoot”). Negotiation to others always has some disadvantages to one side of the negotiators; it is not possible for both sides to be satisfied with the outcome. The protagonist of the whole environment is against a fragile the social expectations accompanying gender than to any natural differentiation by sex in psychological characteristics. “(“Performing”)2 3 Ronald: “Even Winning’ in this society means losing.
In Sheen Tee’s world, the parable argues, it is not possible to live as a whole human being with both moral and material needs. ” (“Barefoot”)3 Has 8 woman, especially, when Shush Ta was accused of killing the innocent Sheen Et. The situation got worse than ever even though Sheen Et veiled her disguise to the Gods in the end. She still can’t escape from the cruelty and self-centered tendency of humanity. Another female protagonist, Betty, who is also facing the dilemma of the whole Victorian convention and transforms herself into a completely obedient wife in Act one.
Yet, the whole play seems to presents a dual transformation of a woman’s identity. At first, because of Clive and other factors that caused Betty to restrain her true self. The traditional notion had made some impact on her and it will lasts for a long time. In Act two, when Line and Betty chatted about their life without men, though Betty is living in the women enlightenment period, she seems to hold the beliefs that related to the old days prejudice “women are inferior to men” as she said “… There has never been a women composer of genius. They spoil things for themselves with their emotion…. Yet, the firm cognition started to fracture as Betty found the Job at a doctor’s reception and her minds change when she finally realized that women can spend their lives without men. For instance, she makes her own income and becomes economically independent. Besides, in the end of the play, Betty exposes her sexual awakening after Ellen asking “what happens with a man? “: BETTY. I used to think Clive was the one who liked sex. But then I found myself missed it…. And one night in bed in my flat I was so frightened I started to Has 9 touch myself…. Afterwards, I thought I’d betrayed Clive.
My mother would killed me. But I feel triumphant because I was a separate person from them…. Sometimes I do it three times in one night and it really is great fun. (316) Actually, this statement can be viewed as a rebellion to her husband, mother and the Victorian society because omen are always told to suppress their sexuality. Compare to the former Betty, this confession is so honest that makes the audience explicitly sense a free soul, “a new Betty’ is born. By her hands’ touching, she provides herself a tremendous feeling to satisfy her body need. She doesn’t need a man to make her feel thrilled.
It seems an unusual way of explore one’s self, by seeking and accepting the pleasure to discover the inner desire which is so eager to be released (“Making”). 4 However, this is the most important moment in Cloud Nine that disclose women’s awareness of freeing themselves from the antique rules. To summarize Betty’s transformation, the first result that Betty was nearly losing her female identity which means what’s she wants to do and what’s she want to be. If one lost his or her identity, how should one define one’s self or know the meaning of one’s existence?
Luckily, Betty has the opportunity to get away from that highly colonized environment then she begins 4 Katherine: “While the formative displays of sexual role switching and cross- dressing from act 1 disappear here in favor of earnest (and endless) self-exploration and self-seeking, occasional moments of history pierce the characters’ fog of self- velveteen,… The dynamic characters in Cloud Nine, most obviously Edward and Betty, travel between identities, and in that way they can be imagined to elude power. (“Making”)4 Has 10 her second transformation, learn to control her own destiny. Clive even remarks at the end of the play, Mimi are not that sort of women, Betty. I can’t believe you are. I can’t feel the same about you as I did…. ” This sentence not only shows the success of challenging the tradition but also leads women to another new chapter in history. It’s also very ingenious for Carry Churchill to use the old and new Betty embracing each there as the ending to celebrate the women’s victory.
After discussing the crucial factors and the transforming process, actually, these two female characters’ way of negotiation are quite different. General speaking, the disguises are the same because both of them wear a mask to extend their distances with others so that people won’t find out their true self. However, look deeply inside the details, Sheen Et is using two different identities to help her maintain her real consciousness, to be good and kind to others. While in Betty’s part, she wore a mask which yields to the environment and let her inner self be enveloped by her efficaciousness.
Although the repression maybe becomes more suffering than Just create another person to distract others’ attention, people won’t bother Betty so frequently because she had made everyone believe that she was conforming to their expectation. There are still some causes can explain the differences, such as, the environment they encountered. In Sheen Tee’s situation, the surrounding is too harsh for a prostitute with such gentle personality to survive. Even the Gods couldn’t rescue her because their potteries can’t Has 11 fight with the evilness in the human beings.
On the other hand, Betty is more fortunate than Sheen Et. She has a wealthy husband to count on and a family though she was confined by the Victorian systems. In addition, she escaped from that environment eventually and had the chance to embrace a new world. Another reason and main ideas of the plays. Barefoot Breech wants to use a tragedy to show people that if they don’t want to let this play happen in reality, the society economics basis has to be changed. Yet, Carry Churchill comedy-liked ending is to present the awakening of the women and the pursuit for women rights.