Monday, June 14, 2010

Odd Women


The book I am into lately : "ODD WOMEN" by George Gissing.


A brief summary can be found at the above link.

It is about life during the 1800s. Especially about life of married and unmarried women. Girls in those ages (just as in the present) were brought up to believe that marriage was the only goal in their lives.

It explores how a working woman often had no marriage prospects, how a woman's career was deemed marriage and how unmarried women were often regarded strange or 'ODD' as they were unpaired.

The story is about a set of sisters, how they are forced to work after the death of their father, and hence remain unmarried. The youngest - a shop girl - marries a wealthy older man, but is quickly disheartened by the authority and the restrictions a husband places on his wife.

2 progressive women (friends of the above mentioned sisters) set out to give unmarried girls a means of supporting themselves. They encourage young girls to educate themselves, and look for job opportunities previously closed to women (such as clerk, typewriters), and move away from traditional careers (such as governesses etc).

I have finished half the book. I find it an echo of modern day issues ... the cry of married women to be allowed to pursue their interests, their friends and their lives without being strangled by the burden of duty, womanhood and femininity.

There are so many conversations in the book really worth noting. Specially identifiable are the dialogues of the youngest sister (Monica) when she remarks to her husband that if she were overburdened by duty towards him or children, she'd never be happy. Her husband remarks that such a duty is not a burden but a privilege, to which she questions the lack of understanding of similarity between the nurturing of a family and the nurturing of a career.

There are also dialogues where she questions how it is alright for the man to indulge in his pleasures, but how it is wrong if the wife as much as goes to visit her friends.

To her questions, her husband gives the classic male answer : "In a marriage, the husband is ALWAYS right due to his advanced years, and it is the duty of the wife to obey him".



10 comments:

Sorcerer said...

hmmm...
that kinda hold true in some households today..ironical no? in this world of social notworking..still such 18th century rules hold true!!


*shakes head left and right

ajay said...

'The husband is always right.' What a stupid and downright idiotic and what not statement. Only God can be always right. I think times are changing but still there are remnants of ancient age.

kanagu said...

Hmmm... Seems to be a very nice book dealing with male chaunvistic issues... When this book was written?

vimmuuu said...

This is the first time I guess anyone has given a review reading half the book !! :D :D :D :D

starry said...

I would love to read this book.thanks for the review.I think a lot of what went on those days happen today also.we have progressed but not equally around the globe.women still have a long way to go.but we are making progress.

shail said...

"Her husband remarks that such a duty is not a burden but a privilege"

Isn't that what most men think in the present age too?? :(

Errr.. I wonder if women should marry younger men, then we could say that we have to be obeyed due to advanced years! ;)

sulagna ™ said...

eyii i wanan read this one...damn i wonder how they even wrote such stories!! chee chee

~*. D E E P A .* ~ said...

sORCY :
MAybe ze householders believe in
"OLD IZZZZ GOLD"

Ajay :
I think that is why they have the saying "PATI PARAMESHWAR"

Kanagu :
The book was written in the 1800 ... you can see it in the link

Vimmuuu :
Sho!
Finally I finished the book .. my opinion is the same :D

Starry :
Yeah .. do read it .. Am sure you'll like it

Shail :
Oh man ! Life is so complicated .. marrying an younger man might lead to more complications ... who knows !
Men ... they are so unsatisfiable !!

Sulagna :
Hello !
I didn't get your last sentence ... what did you mean ?

HARI NANDAKUMAR said...

Feminism (equivalent to the civil rights movement thus part of Humanism)
Wanna males to think about it.It will not work dedee!

~*. D E E P A .* ~ said...

Hari,

I didnt undertsnad your comment ... what ?