EXPLORING THE FEMININE : SHIFTING GENDER ROLES IN CARYL CHURCHILL’S CLOUD NINE

ARCHANA VERMA SINGH

Abstract


Gender roles have been defined in extremely rigid terms by strict patriarchal norms. Masculine and Feminine traits have been demarcated and certain prescribed behavioral patterns are ascribed to them. Caryl Churchill’s women characters in Cloud Nine attempt to question these gender specific roles. These women have been conditioned to behave in certain ways through years of conditioning. Yet, they strive to both cross and break the barriers pulling them down, in their struggle to carve out new identities for themselves. The journey in this direction is wrought with self-doubt, uncertainty and sometimes guilt. But, society had changed after the world wars and women could no longer be contained and confined. The researcher attempts to study the journey of the main female protagonists in Cloud Nine, in order to chronicle their self-development. Are these women able to be genuinely free or are they still unsure about themselves? The researcher also attempts to study the impact of these shifting gender roles on the male protagonists. Do they resist these changes or do they welcome the changing gender stereotypes.

Keywords


Gender roles, Patriarchy, Feminine, Masculine, Conditioning and Stereotypes

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References


Beauvoir, Simone de. 1949.The Second Sex.UK: Vintage.

Churchill, Caryl.1986.Plays : One, Owners, Traps, Vinegar Tom, Light Shining in Buckinghamshire, Cloud Nine.Metheun: London.

Friedan, Betty.1992. The Feminine Mystique. England : Penguin Books.

Millett, Kate. 1970.Sexual Politics. Garden City, NY:Doubleday.

Wollstonecraft, Mary. 1975. A Vindication of the Rights of a Woman. Penguin.


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