I think the perspective that blew me away the most (so far anyway), was the psychoanalytical perspective, and the discussion that came along with it. Prior to the presentation in my media class we were studying Sigmund Freud, and Edward Bernay. Basically the idea is that Bernay - who was also Freud's nephew - accomplished satisfying people's inner selfishness by making them want things they didn't even need. Thus that gave birth to a million other things such as overconsumption, and this unsatisfiable race for happiness because along the way people have forgotten what it is that makes them happy. Or rather it's that others rather not even find that happiness because they always need to have something to chase after. And so Bernay became like this father of propaganda, and believed that manipulation was necessary in society. Which is really messed up, but then again we fuel the whole concept by falling for it, time and time again. There's so many things in the handout, quotes, and ideas that could bring up so much discussion. For example "Pleasure is temporary and therefore similar to mortality". Which is true, I mean, our lives are like a mist compared to the expansion of time, and if in the end we're all going to die anyway, the how could anything matter? If anyone has seen the movie The Art of Getting By with Freddie Highmore, it's a really good comparison to this in my opinion. And so people go through this journey of theirs to make the most out of life, and do everything they can to be remembered, or to leave an impression on this earth. Which I mean, I find no wrong with, but it's like "who are we supposed to be livig for?" Are we doing all that we do because we want to measure up to these standards society has created, or do we do it for ourselves. Most of the time it's a little bit of both, we all have to work (and I supposed that's controversial) in order to gain money, and be able to support ourselves. If you really think about it, life is pretty damn expensive, and I don't know if it's us that make it that way because we're so conformed to living to certain standards, or the government/corporations have made it that way. That's just the reality - which is definitely subjective - and people try to escape it by not making this routine of wake up, eat, work, and sleep more exciting; people try to make their lives worthwhile by believing that they can have fun in the midst of this routine, and make it somehow last, which I guess is where he fantasy part would kick in. But each of us is subject to movies, I just watched three today. And I love movies a lot, and all, but in a way it's a manipulation tool initself. It pretty much convinces us that these fantasies are accomplishable, that such a lifestyle can be lived, and that can get dangerous. A lot of times too I think movies are there to serve as an escape of reality; it's like you go to the movies to escape the world you're living in now to, even for a brief moment, live in a fantasy world that temporarily satisfies your inner desires. I'm subject to it myself. I'm generally attracted to movies filled with beauty, and a hint of surrealism because this world is so ugly (depending in which perspective you look at it), and so the more I watch those tupes of movies, or look at those types of photographs, the more I want to make it real. The more I want to show others - through photographs of my own - that our world has much more beauty that's overlooked. Generally reality, as well as happiness, depends on perspective.
"If you really think about it, life is pretty damn expensive, and I don't know if it's us that make it that way because we're so conformed to living to certain standards, or the government/corporations have made it that way."
I couldn't agree with this more. I said these same exact words while in Ms. Senner's ILP class when we had to do that budgeting project and list out all of the expenses for when you're away in college. How the hell is someone supposed to even go to college when it's made practically impossible to even pay for it, let alone even attend without any debt whatsoever. If it is so prized to have a college education, then why is it so hard to attain that degree? Why does it have to be so expensive? When the list was made of fixed expenses and flexible expenses you could feel the dread that was in the room when everyone started realizing life isn't free at all. It comes with a cost.
"A lot of times too I think movies are there to serve as an escape of reality; it's like you go to the movies to escape the world you're living in now to, even for a brief moment, live in a fantasy world that temporarily satisfies your inner desires."
I think that is the true magic of movies and why people like them so much. The same principle can be applied to the world of books. In books, people can live in a fantasy world that temporarily takes them away from the present. With movies transporting you to the 1800's, so can books. Aside from being mainly for entertainment, there is a reason as to why a film or a book, just words on paper, can make millions, even billions. It is because of the story they craft, both in images or writing, that resonates through the masses of the audience. This is perhaps why the elder books/stories such as Beowulf and The Canterbury Tales has been around for so long as it has. If it didn't matter to anyone, then it would have been lost through time, yet, it is still here to this day to inspire numerous spin offs, adaptations, and remixes. Everything is a remix that draws inspiration though time and example.
The idea that really blew my mind this week was that even the idea of the wife of bath being a feminist was created and written by a man. The wife of bath seemed like she was and empowered woman who questioned the stereotypes of her time, but in reality she was another victim to the male ego. Women have always been considered to be lower then men. Since Chaucer wrote the wife of bath's tale, she was being controlled by a man and wasn't truly being a strong woman. Chaucer wrote the tale so that the wife of bath actually proves the stereotype that women depend on men. The wife of bath says that a man is more reasonable than a woman and therefore should be able to deal with her tantrums. If the she wasn't being written by a man would she have said that or would she have stuck with her feminist thoughts that she displayed in the prologue? She contradicts herself by beginning her tale with a feminist argument and finishing it by becoming the stereotype that she hated. That happened because she was being controlled by a man who wanted her to that stereotype. Chaucer tried to write a feminist tale, but it ended up becoming like every othrer story from that time. The man not only won, but was rewarded for raping a woman.
only a man would write a story with that outcome.
Well, I don't know. Was he rewarded for raping a women? That's debatable, because when you look at the lesson, or moral of the story, you have to look at the point the Wife of Bath was trying to make. That men need to learn that all women truly want is to have power over their husbands. The knight learned that when he gave the choice over to the women. So in the Wife of Bath's eyes he learned the lesson and should've been rewarded for it. But it is a man's interpretation of what all women want, so does it count?
I know we were in the same group and had some discussions on this and how mind boggling it is to think about how Chaucer created the Wife of Bath but he was a man so how can she be truly liberated, and that was even translated in the discussion our presentation sparked. Someone, possibly Frank, brought up the question of what it means to be a feminist and if being a man limits your ability to be a feminist. Perhaps this is why we, as readers, are so hesitant to believe that the Wife of Bath is a feminist because she can never be a truly liberated female character as for the fact that she was written by a man and sometimes even reinforced the misogynist/antifeminist views she stood against. But if a man can be a feminist and that feminist was Chaucer then why can't the Wife of Bath too be a feminist. Oh, this is so difficult, and perhaps the reason why the Wife of Bath is such a controversial character that continues to be analyzed after centuries of being released into the world of literature.
I can agree that it certainly wasn't fair at all that the knight got this beautiful young woman after he raped a woman but at the same time I feel Frank is right. Though the "punishment" did not fit the crime the knight definitely did learn a lesson. Instead of disrespecting and degrading a woman once again he actually gave the decision away to the old woman and he did it willingly and cared about her choice. In a weird way it fits with the Wife's theme of woman having all the power because in the end that old woman did hold all of the power through the reminder to the knight that he made a promise. This reminder got to the knight and he actually submitted to the old woman and gave her the power. But still as Frank said, does the submission of power and look at a woman's "true" desires really count in the end considering it is from a man's point of view in a time where woman had no strong, representative voice?
I completely agree with you when you say the wife of bathe questioned the stereotype of her. She if a feminists but is right now relying on a man, the two dont go band in hand. I think the wife of bathe is a little hypocritical , one minute she is bing I depending and be next she is Not
i do find this to be really ironic. Its really interesting though. To think that such a strong female character that represents such a feminist perspective is represented by a man. Even if it is "groundbreaking" that chaucer even included a woman in this text, i still see it as a moral issue. Even if the wife was represented as strong, its not really a woman's perspective. Its almost like how during the discussion in class about how a "man" works, no man was called upon or given the opportunity to voice his opinion. Its giving a whole group of people a label and discussing it, but not allowing them to have a say. its not right. Regardless of if you're male or female.
The conversations we had in class last week we had were incredible. The deepness of the ideas we talked about were unexpected in my mind. I really enjoyed just listening to the presentations. It was good to see how different college writers felt about The Wife of Bath just by using a specific critical lens to analyze the writing. When we were talking about he feminist theory and the difference between equal and the same came up I was really amazed at what came out of that. Physically woman are not the same as men and that makes them automatically not equal and then woman can do things that men can do so that makes them equal. A really good point was brought up and it just made me think. We should not categorize men and woman into those specific categories. People are people, and sometimes there is going to be a woman who is much stronger than a man, even though in society it is generally thought of to be visa versa. I really enjoyed doing my presentation as well on the psychoanalytic perspective. We blew the minds of the audience and then many interesting things began to form in our subconscious and the conversations just became incredible.
I feel like when we say men and women are equal that's not right. Or at least no I know that. You have to say something more along the lines of; every job in our society is important, so everyone doing those jobs, whether it be man or woman should be treated with equal respect.
Lets go back to caveman times when there were two strict jobs, Hunting and gathering, and looking after the homestead, children ext. We as a culture always have to put one job over the other, saying one is more important, but in all honesty they are both equally important for different reasons. Thats why one gender got put below the other, because the jobs that are associated with that gender were considered less important, or less respected.
You know what bothered me about the conversation we had about women not being equal to men physically? It was always mentioned that a woman's body is not equal to a man's which implies that a mans biological being is better than a woman's. Why is it always that way? Why can't it be that a man's body is not equal to a woman's? The women have more biological responsibilities then men but t is always implied that men are are the better half. I agree that all society shouldn't categorize people because that gives them the chance to decide which group of people is better, stronger, or more important. If we weren't separated into categories, then there would less opportunities to put groups of people down and tell them they are less important.
The presentations that were going on this week were really impressive! Not only was everyone prepared, but students were genuinely engaged in the conversation. Sometimes during student-lead discussions, getting someone to say something that isn't just to get participation credit is like pulling teeth. I think the discussion-based structure of the class has really made students able to engage in much more elaborate and in-depth conversation and we have developed the skills necessary to facilitate a discussion-based class. The college that I will be attending will have an average class size of 10 students, and everything is discussion based. I feel as though Ms. Bavaro's class has definitely prepared me to think on a level that ignites thought, and always bleeds into a web of related topics and disciplines. Speaking of disciplines, something else that Bavaro's class and these presentations have taught me is that everything really does have to do with everything. No single issue is completely separate or unrelated to another! I think that seeing the connection between life circumstances and other situations is not only a great skill in dealing with the uphill battle that is life, but also in successfully analyzing literature in thorough detail.
My favorite lens by far was the psychoanalytical lens. Not just for the Wife of Bath, but also for life in general. The idea of dissecting someone based on their actions and thoughts has always interested me. It's like when you sit a kid in front of two marshmallows and tell him not to eat them. Then you leave the room and if they eat the marshmallows you can predict they'll do really poorly in school and have behavior issues. I find it so interesting that the mind can be so predictable.
I wonder if Chaucer had ever analyzed the Wife of Bath. Do you think he put in just enough information to screw with everybody else. I would do that as a writer. But, if you do that as a writer, purposefully adding information to have people psychoanalyze your character, will they? Maybe it's the fact that their isn't enough information on the Wife of Bath that makes her so appealing to analyze. The harder to pull conclusions, the more appealing the character becomes. What does that say about the people who analyze the Wife of Bath? If they only analyze her because their isn't enough information, it's like they're taking on a project that they know they can't finish. Is that a bad thing, I mean someone has to analyze the Wife of Bath. Or do they?
I definitely see that as a common trend in many people's responses!
I thought the group who covered that lens did it thoroughly and in good taste. The whole class was deeply involved in the presentation conversation, which is somewhat rare in a high school english class sometimes. I wondered though, is it the lens that people are so fascinated with, or is it the fashion in which the information was presented? Just something I was thinking about...
hi babybestfriend/womb friend,
Of coarse since we are the same person we had the same favorite lens It really made me ponder about life and think to myself that i always complain about stereotypes and the way things are yet I don't do things to make it better. I feel like while reading the tale/prologue that the whole time reading we just tried to put her in some sort of category because humans can't understand when there isn't a definition for the way people act or if their behavior is peculiar. We often as a society try to find the WHY's instead of thinking that maybe that is just them being a unique individual. As you said the mind is predictable and we are predictable people always making judgements without thinking. I think there is plenty of information to analyze but i think chaucer doesn't do it on purpose because he wants her to be up for interpretation.
i love the idea you included in this about the kid and the mashmellows. My blog post is actually very similar to yours in the sense that i compared this perspective to both life and literature. Its too useful to not! I also agree with your statement about why we find the wife to be interesting. We simply do not know enough about her. More importantly, she is interesting because her experiences are not coming from a real woman. They are coming from a man writing the story.
The presentations this week really were interesting and the way everyone presented them made me gain the knowledge well. What I took away from the presentations so far was the ability to see Chaucer and The Wife of Bath through different lens. The presentation and perspective that blew me away the most so far is the psychoanalytic perspective. I’m highly interested in psychology so this perspective and discussion really interested me. In Media 2 we previously talked about Sigmund Freud and the psychoanalytic perspective so I had some knowledge on it and could relate what we talked about in Media 2 to what we were talking about in Honors English which I found really useful. The conversations we had in Honors English about the psychoanalytic perspective were extremely insightful and deep. I feel that the entire class could relate and really delve into this perspective and I find that the most interesting.
I really like what you wrote about seeing Chaucer and Bath in a different lens altogether (or perhaps you meant collectively, but I'm assuming you didn't). I think that people have trouble analyzing both Chaucer and his characters (or any writer, for that matter) under a different scope. I think that the relationship between the writer and his or her characters are much less intimate than we'd like to think sometimes, but I genuinely believe that though Chaucer spent so much time and put so much detail into the tales, I do not think certain things should be over-analyzed. I think that it's completely appropriate to look at Chaucer and his characters in a different way, because without the added perspective, what is literature? I like to separate Chaucer from his characters a little bit sometimes, just for the fun of taking in the new character, and absorbing their features on their own terms.
I agree with you and mikaela and also liked when you wrote about seeing Chaucer and the wife of bathe through different lens. I feel like this didn't go just or you but the whole class. I feel like everyone or mostly everyone would agree with you that the presentations really taught and explained a lot. Now when I look back at the wife of bathe it's not the same o me, it's like a whole new world of viewing things has just opened up to me and it's now even more interesting because I'm not just reading its a story but trying to see it how someone else might interpret it. Overall, I agree the presentations were great and helpful. I really enjoyed them
During this week's presentation, one group was talking about The Wife of Bath through the feminist perspective. The group explained how the Wife of Bath had all of the power is her relationships and how she was being treated. Chaucer wanted the Wife of Bath to be portrayed as a powerful woman because we often see men as the ones who are in charge of their wives. Chaucer also incorporated a little bit of history into his stories when he made the Wife of Bath marry more than once. Women often find happiness when they're married and the character in the story was happy not just because of the marriage, but because of what she was getting out of the marriage. Women are also portrayed as a sign of weakness to men. If they are good looking and seem like they're going to be good wives, men spoil their women. If they have a pretty face, men go above and beyond to make them happy.
I agree with the fact that men spoil their woman if their woman are good looking, and treat their men right. The woman who are beautiful and kind generally seem to have more power over men. The term "gold digger" is very commonly used these days. It baffles me that a woman can walk into a club looking extremely sexy, and sometimes she will not even have to pay for one drink. I guess that is one way woman can be far more powerful than men.
I see your point. However, I think too many people approach relationships with this unbreakable definition of "right." If they can even convey this to their partner, it sets expectations and boundaries on the relationship. When the couple goes through changes, which we are all bound to do, these boundaries may be crossed, which makes people feel like they don't know their partner anymore. I think listening is so important in a relationship, but moreso to the things your lover doesn't say. I think to know someone is an extremely complicated thing when people are so naturally mercurial. Love is completely conditional. You love as much as you know about them, but I feel it is impossible to truly know everything there is to know about them. It just goes to show that people find comfort in "knowing" things, especially a being of their own kind. It helps them feel like they "know" themselves.
I really like how Chaucer portrayed the Wife of Bath. She was strong and powerful. Men did not allow women to be in charge back then. Women in those days were thinking about how they wanted to be powerful but no one had the guts to actually stand up for themselves. the Wife of Bath was ahead of her times. I also agree that Women are treated better by men if they are better looking, but it also goes the other way.Women will treat men better if they are better looking also. A lot of the time women look good because thy feel strong and confident when they look good. This goes back to the idea that women like to feel in control and powerful. If they look attractive to men, men will come up to thm and wait on them. Then they have the opportunity to control the man and they feel powerful and confident. This is a strategy used by many women in the current times, the Wife of Bath was just ahead of her time.
What stood out to me the most was when we started talking about the gender roles and about whether or not men can deal with the idea of a woman being superior to them in a relationship. In class I said that in most relationships men need to feel as though they are the ones in power and putting the bread on the table. I think it is this way because that was what most people see in the past. You have the lovely stay at home mom and the big macho man that supports his wife and kids, and there's nothing wrong with that if that lifestyle is for you. Since that was what the norms were back in the day that idea stuck with us. When you grow up in a household like that you expect the same for your own family and the problem is when the man of our generation realizes it isn't like that anymore, there are more opportunities in the world for women. They now can have more to their life than just what's in their homes, and that's okay until the guy realizes that she can take care of herself and he's there just for fun. However we can't just blame men for this because society made women feel as though they were insubordinate and that they need to find someone that would take care of them and buy them pretty little things. So now instead of finding an equal a woman needs to find someone that makes even more, because society deems it unattractive for a woman to support her man. What stood out to me the most was when we started talking about the gender roles and about whether or not men can deal with the idea of a woman being superior to them in a relationship. In class I said that in most relationships men need to feel as though they are the ones in power and putting the bread on the table. I think it is this way because that was what most people see in the past. You have the lovely stay at home mom and the big macho man that supports his wife and kids, and there's nothing wrong with that if that lifestyle is for you. Since that was what the norms were back in the day that idea stuck with us. When you grow up in a household like that you expect the same for your own family and the problem is when the man of our generation realizes it isn't like that anymore, there are more opportunities in the world for women. They now can have more to their life than just what's in their homes, and that's okay until the guy realizes that she can take care of herself and he's there just for fun. However we can't just blame men for this because society made women feel as though they were insubordinate and that they need to find someone that would take care of them and buy them pretty little things. So now instead of finding an equal a woman needs to find someone that makes even more, because society deems it unattractive for a woman to support her man.
I agree about the discussion about the gender roles. It was a very deep discussion about how women who are viewed as "strong" back then not acceptable. I think men back then could not accept a woman who is strong, and successful due the fact that it may hurt their ego and pride. A woman was not really able to stand on her own two feet and do things such as earn an income. But the Wife of Bath breaks that stereotype. She stands tall as she does what she wants. Earning money from her business, to travelling on her own, to re-marrying men. I mean, women today are independent. They work in field that men work in and they are able to provide for their family just as well as a man can. Then, it makes me angry because women are still looked down upon when we are just as useful as men.
My mind exploded due to the many thought provoking perspectives that were showcased. Everyone did an amazing job teaching the class how their perspectives (such as Marxism and Psychoanalytic) viewed the Wife of Bath. I don’t mean to play favorites, but the psychoanalytic perspective that Zach, Nina, and Rachael did was indeed my favorite. The presentation was phenomenal. It was kind of like inception, because along with the view’s depiction that not everything about the Wife of Bath is what it appears, it also has a few other things to consider within that issue. Honestly, I thought I had W.O.B. ( wife of bath) figured out, but the presentations made me consider reading her prologue and tale a second or third time. This week brought many good ideas, which resulted in great discussions. I feel as though the class is getting better, and maturing in our thinking of books in general.
I'm extremely flattered that you enjoyed our presentation. It's exhilirating to me to know that people's minds can be stimulated from the same things mine is. It just proves my own need to feel a connection to people. I think it's interesting how people can be capable of so much but cannot even coexist without stepping on eachother. We need eachother to define ourselves, but when we meet a definition we dislike, we take it as a threat, maybe with the thought in mind that if humans can be like this, maybe I'm like this too. I think people cover more than they reveal about themselves, even to themselves. From a destructionalist standpoint, maybe Chaucer wrote The Canterbury Tales just for shits and giggles. Maybe he included more symbolism than we realize, as I want to believe many authors do. Perhaps the Wife of Bath could have loved her scarlet dress because it allowed to cover up her self hatred. She may have loved the idea so much that she made it her profession. She may have been placed in Bath by Chaucer because a bath can literally represent vulnerability and emotional nakedness. On the other hand, she could have been "revealing" herself in her boast.
I was rushed to the hospital on Friday after school because my mind blew up after I left the classroom. ha just kidding. I am not kidding though when I say that the in depth conversations that were happening really opened my eyes and mind to a lot of ideas and perspectives that other people contributed to the discussion. Rachel Saybolt never fails to amaze me with her intelligence and ideas. I really liked that she drew on the board the diagram for us to understand the "ego". I think that Chaucer was an extremely gifted individual who thought about what the women of the future would be like and made the wife of bath into her. She is like a woman of the 21st century who is able to be independent. However I don't think that we should characterize people or say well "shes a girl, that's why shes this way" or "he's a guy, that's why he is this way". Pretty sure being at rush alone I have met so many different types of people with all different types of personalities. We all swear that we don't characterize people or judge but we do it subconsciously with little comments or jabs like that. Another thing that was brought up is that men in general don't like a women superior to them. Honestly I think that goes both ways, nobody really likes somebody being superior to them. I am no relationship expert but I believe that people should be equal in a relationship, that is in a perfect world though. I believe that SOMETIMES the environment you grow up in as a child can have an affect on you and how you run your own relationships as you grow up and find your own partner. If you are used to having a father figure who is the money maker and head of the household then maybe as a wife someday you will ok with being a stay at home mom, or you can go the opposite way and see that you don't want to be like your own mom and that you want to have your own career and you want to contribute to bringing home the money. yay for individuality.
I thought all the presentations were really good and well thought out. I was interested by the conversations about the humanistic nature of people and the role that gender and gender perceptions plays on the steps of our society as a people. Personally, I like the perspective that analyzed the past as a tool in understanding literature, and the realization that the past and its period events, great personalities and individuals is very similar to the period we are in right now. Kudos!!!! to all the groups that went. You all were very straightforward in explaining the principalities of your perspective, and all the cheat sheets were awesome and complemented the power point presentation. Now i have some references to build upon during my own groups presentation, and I hope to refer to the knowledge already shared!
I totally agree about those cheat sheets! It was basically a small piece of the project and from the ones I have gotten so far have such good and fascinating information on them. They also open you up to more notes to take, to expand on the notes they gave you already!
This past week I feel as though the discussions we've been having have been very thought provoking to the point where the majority of everybody's mind has exploded at least once. With everyone's perspectives being taught, I've noticed that each of the perspectives do not have a definite answer to the essential questions they ask about the wife of bath. This is pretty much what my group, the Deconstructionism perspective is all about. Rather than pinpointing a solid reason for something that the wife of bath does, is, or represents, the deconstruction perspective plays with the various ideas of the wife of bath rather than searching for a direct answer. In class, this is pretty much what I feel that everyone's perspective is like despite everyone having different named perspectives. It's seems to be universal that nothing can be truly defined to one reason or meaning because nothing is 2 dimensional, rather it is 3 dimensional and numerous meanings.
I'm excited to hear about the Deconstruction perspective! It sounds really interesting. I have also noticed that there was no definite answer, but I feel like if there was one then the story would of never been as interesting. The Wife of Bath is not like any old tale. It makes us think different, and pushes us to research even further.
i really liked psychoanalytic criticism is really crazy but awesome and i really liked it. That's the one i had but when the other grope was presenting it just made me love that theory even more, i had so much to say but i didn't want to give away what are grope will be talking about. but now that we have done this project it has really opened my eyes to all the different theory and lens. i now find my self noteings the more and more and starting converse with john about the theory mostly the psychoanalytic theory my favorite and john just looks at me like what it the world are you talking about. hehe oh well i like being a neard
It is strange when a class can get you so passionate about a topic that you start to share it with family and friends. I can empathize when you say that as you're talking excitedly about your newfound insight, they stare at you with their eyes glazed over, completely lost as to where you even came from with this information. I always go into the conversation hoping I can blow their minds as much as mine had been when I first thought on this strange new topic and sometimes it sparks some great conversations. I think that's the really great thing about this class, and it was able to shine through this week. We love to talk, and it's not just pointless babble, it's really insightful and out of the box. It sparks debates, and branches out into things so much more than where it began, and it makes you feel passionate about an idea which hadn't dawned on you before, or perhaps it had, and finally with this class we've found an outlet for it. Anyway, this week was really great and it just blew my mind.
I completely agree with you. It's really great when you're able to connect with a topic that comes up in class. I definitely could connect with this topic and I feel like the whole class could too. I also find myself talking about this theory!
Ps. Being a nerd is cool.
The first few presentations have been extremely awesome! I have grown a deep understanding of the Wife of Bath through a feminist lens. It’s funny how many people have different views of woman. I noticed a trend through a discussion about feminism. Everyone basically agreed that a man is “assumed” to hold everything together, and in today's society its more of a mutual thing. Women now work, and men are home cooking. I really enjoyed how this article put feminism and many different perspectives which made everything contradict itself. Lani and I both had total different thoughts from what we pulled from the packet. Both of our findings were totally right though! I think getting everyone else perspective showed more to Chaucer's use of feminism. I really enjoy doing projects like this! Especially sharing out to the class and having everyone discuss. We have many different brains in our class which all think different ways! This has also cleared up many questions I've had so far through this process. The presentation on Psychoanalytic really had me thinking. I never analyzed The Wife of Bath the way Rachel was explaining it. The diagram on the board left me with a giant OOOHHHH face.
Women are depicted and stereotyped as a certain way all the time, along with men. Apparently in some point of history roles came in tact for men to act a certain way and for women to act a certain way. I don't understand why because there are so many different personalities out there in both genders. I think maybe because back in the 50s when my grandmom was a teen she tells me how her mother would clean the house all day and then when her dad was coming home she would get a shower, do her hair and put on a dress and pearls as if she had to prove herself that she had everything together. I picture the wife of bath as somebody like my grandmothers mother who one day realizes that it's annoying, rips off the pearls and says F this, I'm out.
What I found really interesting was a point that was posed during presentations this week; the only reason women are forced to cover their chest is because society has deemed it socially unacceptable to do otherwise. There is nothing explicitly obscene about breasts. Men have them too, some just as big as a woman's. It is a social inequality which really only seems to have come about because our culture is based off of old views of the culture of our ancestors. In older cultures infused with religion, women were not allowed to show their legs or wear pants or show their shoulders or even let their hair down out of their bonnet type head coverings. As we've grown and expanded and spread and covered the globe as a species we've yet to allow our minds the chance to catch up. We keep enforcing (even enacting laws to keep our culture in tandem with) our old antifeminist views and preventing everyone from moving forward. I know nudist cultures are considered taboo but I've had discussions with a few informed people and they said when a voluptuous woman walked by a group of young boys no parent jumped up or shouted or found it wrong, and the boys didn't give her a sideways glance. It was something that was socially acceptable even though it was a naked woman openly exposing her breasted, an act which youncan be legally prosecuted for in our nation. If that doesn't prove there is social inequality, then I don't know what does.
I agree. We have been brought up to believe that there is such a huge biological difference between men and women that men can expose themselves in way women cannot. But after being enlightened through these presentations, it has come to my attention that it is not all based on anatomy. Although men and women are on two completely different spectrums when it comes to their bodies, the aspects that are similar are usually picked apart without resistance. Like you said, if a woman shows her chest, it's so socially obscene and unacceptable, but if a man walks around with a C cup sized chest, he doesn't even get a second glance because we have been raised to believe certain things are and aren't acceptable to the point where we never even stop to think about it. What makes a man's chest less offensive than a woman's? What makes their legs less offensive? Society. And we continue to let it happen.
I'd like to start by saying great job to all those who have presented this week. So far everyone has done a great job and i hope the last few later this week will be just as great. While they were all good, I was really draw to Rachel, Zak, and Nina's presentation on the Wife of Bath through an psychoanalytic perspective. While listening to them present I was reminded of the philosopher Georg Hegel. His philosophy has nothing to do with the presentations, but whenever someone talks about psychology I think of him. His philosophy was that was basically that there is only one central conscious and everything else is created by that conscious. For example let's say my conscious is that one. This would mean that everyone (being all of you) and everything (the internet, school, paper, etc) was created by me and is all actually fake. This always makes me think about how maybe if i concentrated hard enough or something, that I could warp the very fabric of space and time right in front of me. Then I could make it that the internet was never created and we may not be doing this anymore.
Wait! Are you the reason that my internet hasn't been working. Because you concentrated on breaking it?!? I guess it worked!
Woah, that's actually really cool dude. I'm gonna look that guy up. It's crazy to think about what if this is all actually fake; if it's all just our consciousness playing tricks on us.
During the presentations I was really surprised that everyone in the class took great interest in the complex topics and lead them into discussions that were so in depth. All of the presentations so far were really good and i enjoyed learning about these topics because it can connect not just to the Canterbury Tales but to every story we read and movie we watch. Now when i read or watch something im going to look at the things i took away from it in all different lenses and perspectives. I didn't think my presentation was going to have that great of a discussion but it turned out to be a really good and lengthy one that everyone engaged in. Since psychoanalytical perspective is kind of hard to explain and understand I didn't think people would get that into it, but i thought wrong and it turned out well.
Our presentation did turn out to be a big hit. The complicity of thoughts through out the discussions really made me appreciate our class. Its also nice that we can take the way each lens is viewed and optimize our lives that way. By integrating our own knowledge with the way these critical lens' are used, we can open the windows for more complex thoughts and ideas. The presentations were awesome!
Your presentation had to be one of the best ones because all of you knew what ya'll were talking about and ya'll had the whole participate in the presentation. Instead of going off on what was on you're presentation slide, your group developed what was on the board and made it easier to understand. When I watch a movie or read a book I don't focus on all of these perspectives, only a couple. The presentations also makes me want to analyse the stories I come across more because there's so many perspectives to look through. Once again, great presentation.
Your groups presentation was fantastic. I liked how we dissected the Wife so thoroughly and tried out and tested all of these different ideas to come to this conclusion of who she is. The Wife's character is so complex and I really enjoyed that we used the text and what we knew so well to really form these great ideas of who she was and grasp a deeper understanding of the Wife. Unfortunately I don't think we will ever know what Chaucer's intentions were for the Wife but it's interesting when we all come up with these deep and thoughtful perspectives on her.
I agree with all the comments above on the Psychoanalysis Perspective on the Wife of Bath. It kind of felt like we were a bunch scholars in Rome debating and philosophizing (is that a word?) about the complexity that is the Wife of Bath. You know a discussion really makes you think about a literary character in depth through the Psychoanalytical Perspective when you get a headache after the discussion and your face is like ":O" the whole time.
I also wanted to add that I liked the presentation where we conversed about the gender roles between men and women. I find it interesting that men are always seen superior to women and always in control, yet in the tale of the wife of bathe, the queen had the knights life in the palm of her hands. In society, it's like men do not need a women's help to survive but women need a mans help. So I disagree that men are superior to women and we should not be seen of not having any power. Chaucer seems to throw feminism at you and non feminist views too, so I'm not sure his opinion.
This week was crazy there was a lot going on in the presentations and a lot of ideas being thrown around. However, I did notice one question that did seem to come up in every presentation no matter what the perspective lens was and the question was, "Who is really the Wife of Bath?" All of the lenses led to this big, overarching question. There was all sorts of identities being thrown around for this one character and I really like that we all really had to think about who the Wife of Bath is. Was she a proto-feminist who was interested in equality for woman or was she just in it for the money and could care less about woman in general? Is she the way she is because she was forced to marry young? These questions and more all came up throughout our discussions and I feel like we can cite the text and look at it through whatever lens we want but we will never truly know who the Wife of Bath was. Maybe that was Chaucer's intention from the beginning or maybe he didn't even know but I really like the complexity of the Wife and all of the thinking she brings to the table.
I agree with you, no one really knows who Alisoun is. I think Chaucer wanted us to think of her as all of these different things. We mainly look at her as a woman who's on top and who loves to marry for money, but there's so much more to her. It's not easy to describe her because she's not someone you can just describe in a few words. Chaucer wants us to think when it comes to her.
Yeah, I feel like maybe Chaucer did it on purpose just to mess with us. Maybe he was just like "i'm gonna put all these things into the Wife of Bath just to make them super confused, and so they could analyze my book for centuries to come". Maybe he did cause he KNEW we would all be analyzing it hundreds of years later, and he wanted to be super famous.......No i'm kidding, I don't know. But I do know that Chaucer is a genius in that sense. He puts things into people like people are in real life. Like, we never truly know why a person is the way they are. If a murderer gets caught, we try to find out why he murdered all these people, why he's like that; his whole life basically. I mean i'm not necessarily saying it's a bad thing; of course we'd want to know why a person murdered someone. But I think we can't truly know why a person is the way they are unless they tell you upfront. We can't get into a person's mind. We might not even know ourselves....DUN DUN. We still can't trust The Wife of Bath though since she's in a text and technically not a real person. So yeah.
As I had discussed with Ms. Bavaro after one class, I was fairly interested in the idea of using a psychoanalytic theory, particularly when the concept of psychoanalysis had been conceived by Sigmund Freud, whose theories have largely been discredited within the field of psychology and yet continue to be used frequently in literature and in literary analysis. As a result, I wonder if his theories are a valid way to analyze literature. This is not to criticize other students' presentations on this method; I found them to be very informative and very well-done. Rather, I wonder how examining a character in literature is much different from examining a real person. While an argument could be made that literary characters are fictional while real people are not, it is important to remember that characters are almost always grounded in real life; how they act and how they think are meant to emulate real human behaviors.
I agree with you, especially on the concept of psychoanalysis being conceived by Sigmund Freud whose theories had largely been discredited within the field of psychology and yet continue to be used frequently in literature and in literary analysis. I also wonder if his theories are a valid way to analyze literature.
One of my favorite lenses is the feminist lens. It's interesting to think about, because the female character was only spoken for by a man. (Chaucer)
It makes me confused as to how he viewed women. The Wife of Bath isn't the "ideal" woman, considering the day in age this was written. She doesn't obey a man and she isn't anyone's property. If anything, her husbands have been her property. She's very selfish and she pulls it off in a way. It makes me wonder why Chaucer wrote her this way. I would think it'd be offensive to him.
I really liked the feminist lens too. I think that the fact that it was written by a man, and not a woman. It may not be reliable as it may seem because of the fact that it was written by a man, but then again on the other hand, Chaucer could be one of those guy who support the feminist movement. The Wife Of Bath was sort of like pimp to me because no one owned her, and it did seem like she owned her husbands. I don't think she was selfish, I think she was just being herself. She doesn't seem to care for love, but I think she was happier with being successful and earning some financial benefits from her ex-husbands' deaths.
I'm positive I will be the 30th person to say this, but the psychoanalytic presentation was most interesting. I was a big fan of the deconstructiononalist perspective and i feel as thought the psychoanalytic really expanded on this idea and opened up a whole new wold of possibilities. Rachel, Zach ,and Nina's presentation sparked a wildfire of a conversation that touched on several topics that are both interesting and important to all lenses. If anything, all perspectives should include a brief prelude explanation of the psychoanalytic analysis because it makes any reader self aware. After given a basic introduction to this perspective I can now see how my own mind and experiences change the way I read and understand a text. In some instances, I need to set aside my person experiences to fully understand a text, and a reminder of this perspective helps significantly. It really sobers a readers mind and allows them to see from a less biased view, which is important when reading. It even assisted us in understanding each others opinions in the class discussion.
Posted this in the wrong spot. Oops! This is from Saturday the 26th.
During our presentation, the aspect that stuck out to me the most was the conversation and debate upon sterotypes when it comes to gender roles. A point that was made during our presentation on the Wife of Bath's Prologue and Tale from a feminist perspective was the fact that even though the Wife is said to be a strong, dominant female figure, both in society and in individual relationships, it is difficult to go deeper than the surface of that because her perspective isn't even a woman's perspective at all. Such a strong, building-block figure for women was written by a man, so at first it made me question "How can it truly be from a feminist point of view if it was written by a man? A man could never know the full story of power in accordinance to women." However, my shallow and narrow perspective soon shifted as I began to hear comments and input from fellow classmates. It was inquired that feminism and power might not be based strictly on gender. Gender is much more broad than we think. As a society, we stick such a brand on feminism that we don't allow ourselves to break those barriers. Yes, The Wife of Bath's Tale was written by Geoffrey Chaucer, who wrote other prodominently manly characters throughout the Canterbury Tales, but who says he can't be a feminist? Who says he can't be more of a feminist than any woman? To me, I think that Chaucer was the feminist, not the character he formulated. His views reflect through his work describing the Wife's power, whereas she somewhat degraded herself while talking about herself. As stated in the article, "However ironically, she thereby endorses the misogynist view that women are naturally irrational." Therefore, these presentations taught me that feminism can not simply be viewed through a glass as thin as gender.
This past week’s presentations were all very interesting in their own way even though there were topics that were presented twice. First, I would like to talk about the first group that talked about feminism. I thought it was really interesting how they related to how the Wife of Bath beared money instead of children and how she produces wealth instead of children. People believe that every woman wants to be a housewife who bear children and raise them but the Wife of Bath broke that stereotype by doing her own thing. Next, I would like to talk about Rachel’s group. I have the same topic, but as an individual in my group, I didn’t focus on what a woman really wants in order her to be happy and how a man is not needed in order for a woman to be happy. I like how we also got into a deep discussion about it too.
The presentation that exploded my mind the most was the Psychoanalytic Theory (like every one has said already), with Rachel, Zach, and Nina. I'm trying to remember what we were talking about, but I remember the discussion we had was really, really good. I see the Psychoanalytic theory similar to the one that my group had, which is Deconstruction. Deconstructionists believe that there are endless possibilities to everything, and anaylize everything (including the text) based on people's interpretations. If you're looking through a text through the Psychoanalytic lens, it's almost like the same thing because you're basing how the text is looked at by people's experiences. I also really love Freud. I mean, I don't agree with everything he has to say (especially since his theory was thought up of so long ago; I think we've evolved since then) but a lot of his stuff makes sense, and his theory is interesting. I seriously enjoy talking about this dude.
I am very inspired by The Deconstructionalist Perspective. I feel as though I have always tried to pick apart situations and reveal the ugly truths in seemingly happy scenarios and discern the optimism in tragedy. It's probably because I feel as though my parents are content with knowing the bare minimum. I used to be extremely optimistic, focusing on the goodness in the world until I grew out of that fantasy and yearned to know "the truth." I think everybody wants to feel secure in their view of the world. Nobody wants to wake up and feel like everything they know to be is a lie, let alone themselves. I believe art in any form is love in concrete definition. It's proof of your feelings. It may allow you to understand yourself or even try on a new perspective. I think the important thing to remember about literature is that it's somebody's art. I'm only an ameteur, but when I write I create a mixture of my own desires, questions, observations, and even those of another person I could pretend to be. In art, nobody has to know why like in real life. Nobody has to come out and say "that art happened for a reason" because it doesn't matter. It just happened. You can allow it to affect you or not. You can change your opinions and allow yourself to be without definition. I don't believe that things happen for an undeniable reason. People can analyze a situation, feel unsure or uncomfortable about it (and often themselves), and compromise themselves in conclusions drawn much like the 3rd sentence of this blog. People want to feel like things happen for a reason because if they don't, then they don't have a specific reason to live. People want to feel like the end is always peaceful and the good guy always wins, when it's literally more like someone else is rolling the die for you. I believe that you must want what you have, not have what you want. Nobody really knows what they want anyway because we are all constantly fed the temptations society has to offer and realize we could use a little extra boost of happy at all times. I think deconstructing a text is similar to psychoanalyzing a person in the sense that the goal is to simply make something of each occurance. Though you may ponder many great ideas and ideals, you will never reach a distinguishable "truth."
We have had very good discussions about the wife of bath through these presentations. People keep bringing up points that I didn’t even think about, which is awesome! When we were talking about the theory that rachel, zach and nina did it was one of the most interesting i think. I never thought about the human brain in superego and ego. Then there was sub-conscious and conscious mixed into it. They took it different directions, and I guess kinda that what happens when you look at it through that lens. I did find the point interesting that a female character was created by a man. So this ties into both psychoanalytic and feminist theories. When looking at the psychoanalytic the question is are you picking a part his brain of the characters brain. When you look at th Wife of Bath’s brain i think you would see men money diamonds and men. But if you were to try and see what Chaucer was thinking, you would see something else. When you look at this point through a feminist theory, you would ask “Whos the feminist here?” Chaucer for making a women weak, though the Wife of Bath comes off as a strong women to some readers. Or does the Wife of Bath seem like a viticum and Chaucer has the mind set that men are better than women.
This all has been going through my mind and now in a blog post.
Keep calm and blog.