FEMALE ROLES AND SACRIFICE IN POLITICAL DRA MA AND FILM: A COMPARATIVE STUDY OF ‘DEATH AND MAIDEN’ AND ‘THE FATHER’ FROM A FEMINIST PERSPECTIVE
AbstractABSTRACT The growing interest in gender issues, relationships, family constructs etc can be seen in academia and elsewhere. The power of literary texts, plays, films and dramas in the formation and perception of women’s images is immense. These perceptions change with time and ideology. Change in ideology, always mark a paradigm shift in the way we understand and interpret social, economic and political agendas. The introduction of Marxist ideology in a society is an example. The theoretical feminist framework is established in the second chapter. It covers core issues like the concept of women as the ‘other’, the underlying mechanism of patriarchy inherent in society, and radical feminism. An emphasis is further made on Marxist as well as Black/African feminist thought. These two aspects of feminism add a class and race element to the issues raised. Feminist literary criticism attempts to explain how representations in literary texts are at odds with women’s experiences. The ‘images of women’ school of thought, by analyzing and dissecting literary works explains how the actual lives and experiences of women is lacking. Gynocritcism, on the other hand suggests that women’s writing should be the central concern for critical analysis. Feminist film theory is also concerned with the contradictory representations of the actual lives of women versus what is presented in cinema. Psychological and Marxist feminist theory attempts an explanation to the how and why of this disparity. This research focuses on two genres, a film and a play to show how they are used in the portrayal of men and women within a socialist setting. The film chosen is the ‘Father’ and the play is “Death and the Maiden’. A central issue in both of them is the issue of sexual abuse and rape. The power relationship between men and women as portrayed in the two media is examined. Using feminist as well as film theories as theoretical tools an attempt is made to examine, the roles and sacrifice of men and women in societies that are going through a transition.