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WRA 140 Final Flashcards


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What mother had to flee from a war-torn china and leave her two twin daughters behind? <She also is known for starting "The Joy Luck Club">
Suyuan Woo
What mother witnessed her own mothers death, thus ensuing her with the power of freedom?
An-mei Hsu
What mother was married off to an impotent husband in China as a child and outsmarted the family, only to come to America?
Lindo Jong
What slightly insane mother hails from a wealthy Chinese family, but later lived in poverty? (She was abondoned by her husband and aborted her baby, she later let her husband incorrectly translate her feelings and thoughts)
Ying-ying St. Clair
What daughter lacks ambition and is the newest member of "The Joy Luck Club?" (She is also the center of the story)
Jing-mei (June) Woo
What daughter let her husband make all the decision and was served with a divorce? (She later grew a backbone and demanded to keep their house)
Rose Hsu
What daughter was a child chess prodigy and is now wanting to marry an American?
Waverly Jong
What daughter relizes her marriage is unfair after her husband makes her split all of their costs 50/50? (Even for items she dosen't like)
Lena St. Clair
"Where I Come From Is Like This" by Paula Allen
She talks of the struggle for modern American Indian women to redefine themselves and the struggle to somehow harmonize and integrate both traditional definitions and postindustrial definitions in their own lives. She talks of the ‘oral tradition’ that was passed on to her by her mother and how it taught her so much. She also talks of the Indian taboos that are put on her people and how, in reality, they are far from the truth.
"Women's Right to Vote" by Susan B. Anthony
Anthony advocates for her decision to vote in the presidential election of 1972, that later got her arrested. She talks of individuals rights and how they are NOT gender specific. She talks of women’s dissatisfaction with the government and certain laws and how they are given no way to voice and have their opinions heard. She shows how parts of the Declaration of Independence and the Federal Constitution do not only include white male citizens. She criticizes Senator Sumner who says that he doesn’t want to change the 16th amendment because it already includes women. She denies his claim by saying “…if this were true…then how come I was arrested when I tried to exercise this right you claim I have?” Anthony pushes on how sex discrimination at the polls excludes about half of the entire mass of people who should get to vote. She also goes on to mock them by saying that if they insist on the he, his, and him defense of what is written in the constitution and laws - then they need to completely follow through and women would be exempt from tax and criminal laws. She asks the startling question of “Are Women Persons?”
"Pornography" by Margaret Atwood
Atwood talks of two different types of pornography and urges for a line to be drawn between the two. She believes that we don’t need to ban; but we do need to educate. She believes that a sensible person would know the difference between the two types of pornography; unfortunately, opinions on what constitutes a sensible person vary. She talks about the violence that can ensue from watching pornography and the harm it brings. There are references to pornography and (1) hate literature (2) alcoholism and (3) education propaganda. She talks about NOT wanting to go back to an age when even the piano legs had to be covered up, but she does want some change. Atwood urges us to make informed and responsible decisions about how to deal with pornography and to get educated soon.
"Why I Want A Wife" by Judy Brady
This piece is a satire about what it means to be wife and how everybody should want one after hearing the definition. Though Brady uses the word wife she keeps it gender neutral to show how easy it would be for a guy to pick up some of the duties that she is describing. She talks of the sacrifices that women make on a day to day basis and how there are such different standards and expectations between the sexes. She goes on and on painting a wife as a servant, nurturer, hostess, sex slave etc.
"The Story of an Hour" by Kate Chopin
Chopin talks of a young woman who is old for her age and the troubles that befall her within the course of an hour. She shows us a fictional story of reality during that period of time; a story in which a wife plays prisoner to her husband. During the first few paragraphs I thought that she was very depressed and saddened from hearing about her husbands death. Of course as soon as she whispers the words “free, free, free!” I knew that she felt happy about her husband’s death. I detect that no one else knew of these feelings of contempt for husband but herself, or she would not have kept these feelings inside of herself. Throughout the story you get the feeling from the wife that she was probably controlled by her husband and that their marriage was not a happy one at all. I think that it was very ironic for them to use the word “joy” in the last sentence of this story, because it was actual joy that she felt when she realized her husband was dead, and pain so great that killed her when she saw him walk through the door.
"The Myth of the Latin Woman: I Just Met a Girl Named Maria" by Judith Ortiz Cofer
This piece dealt with the stereotypes Latin American women go through and how, in their home country, they are protected from such stereotypes. Cofer talks about various run-ins she had with different people who think that all Latin women are Maria from West Side Story or Evita. She talks about how her parents raised her, in New Jersey, with cultural values far from our own. She talks of being teased for what she wore to a Career Day at her school. Cofer also references how “…it is customs, not chromosomes, that leads us to chose scarlet over pale pink.” She talks of how different things are on the island where her family is from; how women are protected, cherished, and held in high respect. She talks of how Americans live in a “cartoon-populated” universe and how we create stereotypes based off what we see on T.V. or in the movies.
"What I've Learned from Men" by Barbara Ehrenreich
She talks about all that women can learn from men and how it is high time we come from behind their shadows and start taking the world head on. She talks about throwing “acting like a lady” out the window and how it gets us no where. Ehrenreich makes the point of showing how women are so quick to admit to our faults, but slower to accept credit from a project. She shows how women often times make excuses for their good ideas in order to make men not feel upstaged. She believes that it is time we get “tough” and learn that it is alright to act like a man, this is in fact a man’s world and that’s not going to change anytime soon. She says we need to stop acting like we aren’t capable and get mad if we feel like it. She says we don’t need to keep conversations going and scratch men’s backs every time they feel an itch coming on.
"Blame it on Feminism" by Susan Faludi
This short story focuses on the ideals of feminism. Though women for many years have fought for equal rights and have accomplished many things they still seem to be un happy. They want more!! Though they have laws of equality and many rights to defend them; in many cases, there are still things that been overseen or have been kept unfinished. She talks of how feminism is blamed for giving women identity crisis’ and how movies play into this new trend. Faludi says, “that women are so free that they are enslaved with their liberation.” She talks about how far we have come; and yet, how far we still have to go. She relates the struggle to a combat battle between the sexes. (1) Why they say it is good to be a woman (2) Why women still feel unhappy and (3) The ever waging war between the two sexes. She believes that if they make feminism look like a bad thing, then they will have women turning on each other rather than working together
"Trifles" by Susan Glaspell
In Susan Glaspell's play, Trifles, the theme of isolation is discussed. The main character (although the reader does not hear from her directly except at the beginning of the work), is Minnie Foster Wright, a lonely older woman in her forties, married but without any children. Her husband, John Wright, has been murdered and Minnie is the prime suspect. The sheriff and county attorney come to inspect the crime scene, along with the sheriff's wife Mrs. Peters, and Mr. and Mrs. Hale. Mr. Hale, a friend of John's, discovers the crime while inquiring of Minnie about the possibility of John purchasing a joint telephone. Minnie proceeds to tell Mr. Hale that John is dead. He alerts the proper authorities and shortly thereafter, the group appears at the crime scene. The women discuss whether or not Minnie hoped to quilt it or just knot it and decide she was probably going to knot it. Knotting is not only the easier of the quilting techniques, but is also the way in which John was killed. Minnie tells Mr. Hale that "he died of a rope round his neck" while he slept. Although it is never implicitly stated, it is obvious that John killed the bird and because of the "stillness," isolation and loneliness Minnie felt, she killed John. In the end the men are unable to find evidence but are going to convict Mrs. Wright anyway. However the women have found the evidence and know what happened. They conclude that Mrs. Wright was treated poorly by her husband, as many women of the time were, and she just couldn't take it any more. Mrs. Hale and Mrs. Peters feel bad because they never visited Mrs. Wright and they both knew from experience how lonely it can be for a woman who has no children. The men could never come to this conclusion because they can't see a man treating a woman poorly. The women are only property to the men, and the men treat them as such.
"The Yellow Wallpaper" by Charlotte Perkins Gilman
This is a about a new mother suffering from what we might today call 'post-partum depression,' is diagnosed with a nervous disorder. Instructed to abandon her intellectual life and avoid stimulating company, she sinks into a still-deeper depression invisible to her husband, who believes he knows what is best for her. Alone in the yellow-wallpapered nursery of a rented house, she descends into madness. She talks of how her husband talks down to her and his sister sees her as a ‘stain.’
"The 'Reasonable Woman' is an Effective Standard to Establish Harrasment" by Ellen Goodman
She talks about the importance of empathy and how the two sexes see sexual harassment differently. She notes that men cannot put themselves into a situation to tell how a ‘reasonable woman’ would handle things; the two sexes see issues much differently. Women’s feelings and their sensitivity are put on display for the world to see. “We tend to see sexualized situations from our own gender’s perspective.” She goes on to say “Men can ‘get it.’ Reasonable men”
"A First Amdenment Junkie" by Susan Jacoby
This is another piece on pornography, spun from a woman who backs the first amendment up fully. She says that women need to not be hypocritical, if their voices are to be listened to, so should this industry’s voice. Jacoby feels that the 1st amendment should be followed straight though and that kiddy and rape porn should be dealt with under the pretense that they are different circumstances. She believes that parents and other individuals can censor themselves or what their children watch and that the government shouldn’t have to do it for us. She discusses how some of Ms. Magazines articles are banned from libraries because some people are offended by it in her defense to show that someone is going to be critical of everything. Jacoby feels that individuals who would censor pornography would also have the mind-set to censor other forms of speech, including many of vital importance to women (ex: rape, abortion, menstruation, contraception, etc.). She also argues who are we to decide what deserves more attention than something else (ex: the Nazi rallies in heavy Jew populated areas).
"No Name Woman" by Maxine Hong Kingston
Ironically, the first thing we read is Kingston’s mother’s warning Kingston, “You must not tell anyone . . . what I am about to tell you. In China your father had a sister who killed herself. She jumped into the family well. We say that your father has all brothers because it is as if she had never been born.” Brave Orchid’s story about Kingston’s aunt is a cautionary tale meant to discourage the young Kingston from engaging in premarital sex; hopefully, the fear of humiliation, ostracism, and death will serve sufficiently as a deterrent for sexual promiscuity. “My mother told stories that ran like this one [about No Name Woman], a story to grow up on. She tested our strength to establish realities.”
"Rape: A Bigger Danger Than Feminists Know" by Camille Paglia
She believes that feminism is hiding the truth about sex from its daughters; thus putting them in danger. She urges women to use common sense and explains that men will always dominate, so we will always have this problem of rape, but we can be smart about it. She writes about how the 60s were a time for sexual freedom and sexual exploration, but how it ended up being a double edged sword and women were later seen as mere sexual objects and not human. She urges everyone to give rape a history so that women can grasp it and understand it more fully (she claims that Feminism is trying to remake the future without giving sex a history). Paglia promotes self-awareness and self-control; she believes that a woman’s number one defense against rape is herself. She believes that “colleges must alert incoming students to the problems and dangers of adulthood.”
"Why I Hate 'Family Values'(Let Me Count the Ways)" by Katha Pollitt
This piece is written in hopes of getting society to quit being naïve and to encourage them to catch up with the present day ‘norms’ that are being stereotyped and considered negatively. She says that the married working mother is the new norm and that men don’t play an active enough roll in their children’s life. She believes that we need to look at what is best for the child and not what is politically correct in the eyes of a government that is stuck in the olden days. Pollitt believes that it’s time for our “values” to catch up. She discusses how New Jersey welfare mothers are unlikely to marry the father of their children due to laws and how increased poverty does not decrease family size. She says that the left blames the ideology of postindustrial capitalism. The center agonizes over teen sex, welfare moms, crime and divorce, etc. The right blames left-wing cultural conspiracy. All three blame feminism and she believes that when all three agree on something they “usually don‘t know what they are talking about”.
"Abortion Is Too Complicated to Feel All One Way About" by Anna Quindlen
This is a beautiful piece written by a woman who is pro-choice but doesn’t have the heart to ever have an abortion. She believes that women should always have the right because there are situations that no child should be brought into. Quindlen talks of her feelings changing about abortion from being a freshman college counselor to a mother of two. She talks of past cases she has seen that force the reader to realize that not all lives are like our own. She writes that the issue has “..almost turned my heart around, but not quite turned my head.” She talks of the contest between the living and the almost living, and how the latter, if necessary, must give way to the will of the former. She is saying no reasonable person with a heart can feel all one way about abortion and that there are special cases in both directions.
"Lullaby" by Leslie Marmon Silko
Ayah is an Indian girl who is greatly affected by Americans presence. Her childhood is a happy one and she is later infiltrated by the white man and his culture. She talks of her son who died in the war in Vietnam and her two children that were taken away when they developed tuberculosis from her mother. She explains how she comes to hate her husband, Chato, for teaching her to sign her name…this is ultimately how she lost her two youngest children. “Learning their language or any of their ways: it endangers you.” She talks of how when her children came back to visit she was unable to communicate with them because they had been Americanized and how the Indian lifestyle wasn’t good enough anymore. She talks of how Chato is betrayed by the man he works for and how “his English doesn’t end up saving him.” He ends up drinking away their welfare money and their lives slowly spin out of control. The end is them laying in the woods with a storm coming; it is to be assumed that they will die together wrapped up. She sings a song to him that her mother and grandmother sang to her, but she cannot remember if she had ever sung it to her children. Her Indian culture and way of life had kept her warm even in her darkest days as a child; now she only had an American army blanket to keep her warm and it was her memories that seemed to do a better job of it.
"Erotica and Pornography" by Gloria Steinem
Views the topic of pornography and urges women to take hold of their own sexuality. She believes that pornography is used to broadly and ends up covering abortion literature. She draws a fine line between erotica (good, passionate, positive choice, free will, etc.) and pornography (not mutual love, female captives, domination, violence, etc.) by using their root words. She says that it is easy to tell making love from having sex when seeing it in a photo or on the big screen. Steinem talks of how we usually get sex and violence all caught up and confused and how we need to teach everyone the various definitions or “…there will be little murderers in our beds- and very little love.” She discusses how courts have great difficulty applying anti-pornography laws, because sometimes the difference is not so clear.
"Sex, Lies, and Conversation" by Deborah Tannen
Talks of how men want to not be considered the listener in a conversation because it makes them feel belittled and how conversation matters so very much to women. Girls talk at great length about one topic; while boys jump around from topic to topic. Men give more silent attention and women find this to mean they aren’t paying attention. Men tend to play devil’s advocate; women tend to want agreement with what they are saying. For women, talk creates intimacy. For men, talk creates independence and status. Tannen urges couples to understand each of the opposite sexes point of views on conversation. She believes that once the problem is understood, improvement can come naturally (do NOT force it). We have to realize that the sexual differences are cross-cultural rather than right or wrong; we will then independently altar our behavior. She believes that cross-cultural communication and understanding starts in the home.
"In Search Of Our Mothers' Gardens" by Alice Walker
Alice speaks of the seeds of creative spirit passed on from great-grandmother, to grandmother and so on until it was picked up by a woman able to express it. And how, after many years, she noticed the artist inside her mother she somehow had missed and yet remembered. It was in her garden that Alice’s mother became radiant with purpose. Alice retells this epiphany so lovingly, noting that even memories of poverty are seen through a screen of blooms. And then tells us, plainly, poignantly, that it was in search of her mother’s garden that she found her own.
Walker redefines art in this piece. She argues that for slave women and the generations of unprivileged women who came after them, the only form of artistic expression available to them was their daily life. In the ordinary tasks of cooking, sewing, and growing food -- tasks on which their survival depended -- these women found a way to express the yearnings of the soul for hope and beauty, as well as the desire to be remembered. Unable to read and to write their own stories, these generations of mothers and grandmothers, their own lives became their greatest work of art.
"The Rites of Sisterhood" by Naomi Wolf
She is speaking at her alma matter and she is talking about how far it has come in respect to women graduates. She talks how women cannot be silent and how silence is our own worst enemy. The guillotine joke she tells in the beginning is to show how women want to be revolutionary, but it can lead to their downfall if they speak out. She talks of how far women have come, but how new problems are filling up the spaces where the old problems lay. Wolf talks of a backlash that women are facing against the advancements they have made. She discusses how the commencement speaker at her graduation told a joke about some girls nude photographs (taken to measure their posture) that were taken and didn’t sell in the red-light district. He told the joke, the author is sure, because whenever women get too close to masculine power, someone has to draw critical attention to our bodies. This man made them feel as if their graduation wasn’t about maturation or their achievements, but about their ability to “pass” through all four years. I love how she tells women to expect to be interrupted and be yelled at, to go beyond that and make sure that our voices are heard in the long run. Not everyone will like what we have to say, but we have the right to say it.
"Professions for Women" by Virgina Woolf
She tells the story of a girl in her bedroom with a pen in her hand; she is a literary critic. As a woman she is expected to write nice things and only have positive feedback to the authors she is reviewing. Woolf writes of “The Angel of the House” or a woman’s conscious that is constantly telling her to act like a lady. She says that the Angel claims se must “never let anybody guess that you have a mind of your won. Above all, be pure.” To this, Woolf claims we must all kill this Angel in order to find our true voices and opinions on things. She talks of many prejudices that women have to overcome and how it is still hard for her to right a non-fiction piece on what it is like to be a woman. There is a certain consciousness of women who tell the truth that lead men to look down on them. She believes that women have won rooms in their own houses (start thinking for themselves) and should take the professional world by storm.
"My Body Is My Own Business" by Naheed Mustufa
This is a piece to show how women from different ethnicities view freedom and how we might mistake it as being anything but. Mustafa writes of wanting to wear a hijab because it forces men to look past physical appearance and takes that pressure off the woman to constantly be trying to fit in. She says that “…true equality will be had only when women don’t need to display themselves to get attention…” I believe this is true because you don’t see men bending over backwards or being judged on their appearances. She sheds a negative light on the “Western World” and says that we put too much emphasis on our looks. Mustafa also talks about the negative response she has gotten to wearing the hijab.
"Freedom Denied" by Samanatha Nutt
Nutt sheds light on how far women in Afghanistan have to go before they reach freedom; a huge wake up call to the many of us that thought their problems were over now that the Taliban was dismantled. “Women can never be free without first feeling secure,” Nutt writes. She talks about how women fear great poverty and political persecution in there homeland so they remain in desolation. They are too scared by past atrocities to believe suggestions that they would be safe in their war-shattered country. Women are not allowed to leave their home, so how can they speak out about the new Constitution or help make things better for women? Women in the government receive death threats and portrayed negatively. War lords, Al-Qaeda and their militia create rules for women outside of Kabul; making it hard for women to feel secure (kidnappings, rapes, beating, and forced marriages are widespread). Only democracy will bring rights for women, but without security for women this is unlikely to ever happen.
"Hate Radio" by Patricia Williams
Williams describes an unattractive aspect of the post-modern environment, the rise of radio programming that uses extremist views involving racism and sexism as “entertainment.” The segment of talk radio she is talking about addressed Clarence Thomas being appointed to the Supreme Court and how racist some of the remarks made about the subject were. She talks of how naive she was to believe that everyone would be outraged by the conversation. She says, on the contrary, she has found this type of conversation commonplace, popularly expr4essed, and louder in volume. Williams talks of how young, white males are made to feel that they are the minority race and then given a supportive platform to try to “win back” their alpha male position in society. She talks of a “verbal stoning of anything different” that is now taking place on the airwaves. She says that they are feeding and breeding hate with fantasy NOT fact (some do this by making the dominate group feel endangered). Williams talks of how media remains the principal source of most American’s knowledge of each other, “Media can provoke violence or induce passivity.” She doesn’t ask for censorship, but for people to become educated and not support this type of bigotry. The theme was not merely the specific intolerance on hot topics as race and gender, but a much more general contempt for the world
"The Lesson" by Toni Bambara
This is a story from yesterday, when Harlem children didn't have good education or the money to spring for it. Bambara's tale tells about a little girl who doesn't really know how to take it when a good teacher finally does come along. This girl's whole life is within the poverty stricken area and she doesn't see why she must try hard. The teacher, Miss Moore, shows them what it is all about by taking them to a rich toy store, one in which a single toy costs more than year's supply of food. We immediately learn that Miss Moore is not the average Harlem teacher. She is educated herself, along with being very opinionated. The children explain that she has nappy hair and no makeup, probably signifying that she was a part of the African American movement. Miss Moore was more than arithmetic and spelling. She attempted to teach the children about life and politics as well. In the end they feel like fighting for more than they have. One thing that pulls the reader deeply into the story is the narration. It is told through the eye's of a little Harlem girl. She thinks she is tough and mean but the reader sees she is not by reading between the lines. The best part of the narration is the voice. The lines that are read are in the dialect of the girl. This gives the voice a poetic rhythm that keeps the story flowing. With out slang the story would lose a lot of it's heart.
"How it Feels to Be Colored Me" by Zora Neale Hurston
Hurston claims that she does not always feel "colored." She feels it most often when she is set against an all-white background, as she was when she attended Barnard College as the only black student. And she feels it when a white person is set against her own all-black background, as on one occasion when a white friend accompanied her to a cabaret. Her response to the jazz music there was African--primitive, heathen, and wild. She literally felt the music in her being. Her so white friend hardly responded to it at all, a lack she nearly disdains. At times, she asserts, she does not feel her color at all, but simply preens and parades her femaleness, like every female of all times.
She doesn't separate her color and her American-ness. She is an American. She muses that she is just "a brown bag of miscellany propped against a wall" (369). In fact, she suggests that that's what all of us are, and that the bags of our lives are filled with some valuable things and some worthless things. We are all alike in the contents, just different in the colors of the bags. She concludes that perhaps it was God's intention to make us all that way.
"I Stand Here Ironing" by Tillie Olsen
In Olsen's "I Stand Here Ironing," an unnamed narrator reflects on her somewhat distant relationship with her eldest daughter. It is a story about the search—by both mother and daughter—for individual identity despite the limitations imposed by a history of poverty and other social constraints. While it examines the difficulties a mother and daughter have in finding identities separate from one another and independent from social expectations about women, it raises questions about the nature of intimacy itself. She explains that Emily is a productive of her environment and that is no one’s fault.

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