Defining and Defying Female Stereotypes: A Comparison of Charlotte Temple and Katniss Everdeen College
In today’s society, women are frequently thought of as helpless “damsels in distress,” or that they must rely on a man to rescue them from difficult tasks. This stereotype is furthered by television, literature, and Hollywood. An article by Salma Yaqoob speaks of such stereotyping among Muslim women. She says, “The perception of Muslim women in the west is invariably as… victims,” (Yaqoob). Most feel that these women are “in need of rescue.” In the same way, women are often treated as inferior to men, and in need of their guidance. The famous 18th century work, Charlotte Temple, is an early example of the stereotypical view of the helpless woman; while Suzanne Collins’, The Hunger Games, goes against the grain and attempts to abolish the gender roles put in place by our society, featuring a strong female protagonist.
The character of Charlotte in Charlotte Temple is portrayed as an innocent and helpless fifteen year old girl. This character is not merely a fictitious girl imagined in Rowson’s mind, but is representative of women during that time period. Charlotte is symbolic of a proper young lady of her time and in her expected role. American and European women were not educated and, “Casualties of a patriarchal society…” many...
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