Feminist criticism of The Hound of the Baskervilles

Essay by yilin0987 October 2014

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Linda Lin

Mr. Janosko

English 9-2

10th September 2014

Feminist criticism of The Hound of the Baskervilles

Virginia Sapiro once said, "In most known societies the structure has granted women lower status and value, more limited access to valuable resources, and less autonomy and opportunity to make choices over theory lives than it has granted men" (Rachman). In other words, most female characters in literature often are being treated unfairly within a patriarchal social structure. This is true because men and women do not share equal power. In The Hound of the Baskervilles, Mrs. Stapleton faces oppression from her husband Mr. Jack Stapleton physically and psychologically.

In The Hound of the Baskervilles, Mrs. Stapleton's husband treats her discriminately. The novel uses Dr. Watson's perspective to tell readers how Mr. Stapleton uses his wife as a decoy, and his brutal ill treatment upon her. In the novel when Mrs.

Stapleton speaks, is an example of how women do not share equal power. She always glances at her husband "as if seeking approbation for what she said" (Doyle 51). Mrs. Stapleton is like a puppet on a string without a soul. She has no choice but to listen to what her husband tells her to do: pretends to be his sister. She is terrified of her husband, especially his brute ill treatment. Her husband clearly has more power than her. He has ambitions, jobs, and free will. He can do whatever he wants to do. Mr. Stapleton chooses to live in a "queer spot" base on his own free will, where there is "interminable granite-flecked moor rolling unbroken to the farthest horizon"(Doyle 48). It is peculiar for an educated man and a beautiful lady to live in this bleak place, which has a grim legend. Mrs. Stapleton...