Gender representations in Across the nightingale floor

Essay by wish123High School, 11th gradeA, October 2014

download word file, 5 pages 0.0

Downloaded 5 times

Representation of Gender and Power and Rights

In the book Across the Nightingale Floor (Nihgtingale) by Lian Hearn there are several representations of gender, and commentary on the power and rights of men and women. Nightingale is set in Feudal Japan at the time being a patriarchal society where the power, rights and representation of both sexes was uniquely different. Women in the book are in the submissive position in society, with fewer rights and power than men. Women in the book are inferior, falling into typical stereotypes, used to obtain power, expected to accommodate for men, treated like slaves, and often objectified. In contrast, men are in the dominant position in society, entitling them to greater rights. Men overall are represented as superior by having strength, being capable of making decisions, being competitive and eager, driven by revenge and valuing honour. Lian Hearn has shown women as inferior and men as superior, not because that's her opinion, but mostly as a reflection of society at that period.

Few women have any power in the book asides from a few exceptions. Lady Maruyama is one of the exceptions being the leader and owner of the Maruyama Province, the only province in the three countries that is traditionally owned by women. Being a woman and holding that power in a society dominated by men is potentially dangerous, she confesses to Kaede that;

"I must hide my power among men," …."or they will not hesitate to crush me" (page 141)

Lady Maruyama even being a powerful woman must be careful as women have less security. Women are shown to have lower social standing and political power. Hearn has merely reflected back on Japan at that period where it was uncommon for women to be leaders. On the other hand men...