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Across the nightingale floor
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  Representation of Gender and Power and Rights In the book  Across the Nightingale Floor (Nihgtingale)  by Lian Hearn there are several representations of gender, and commentary on the power and rights of men and women.  Nightingale  is set in Fedal !apan at the time being a patriarchal society where the power, rights andrepresentation of both se es was ni#ely different. $omen in the book are in the sbmissive  position in society, with fewer rights and power than men. $omen in the book are inferior, falling into typical stereotypes, sed to obtain power, e pected to accommodate for men, treated like slaves, and often ob%ectified. In contrast, men are in the dominant position in society, entitling them to greater rights. &en overall are represented as sperior by having strength, being capable of making decisions, being competitive and eager, driven by revenge and valing honor. Lian Hearn has shown women as inferior and men as sperior, not becase that's her opinion, bt mostly as a reflection of society at that period. Few women have any power in the book asides from a few e ceptions. Lady &aryama is one of the e ceptions being the leader and owner of the &aryama Province, the only province in the threecontries that is traditionally owned by women. (eing a woman and holding that power in a societydominated by men is potentially dangeros, she confesses to )aede that* “I must hide my power among men,”  +. or they will not hesitate to crush me - page /0/1 Lady &aryama even being a powerfl woman mst be carefl as women have less secrity. $omen are shown to have lower social standing and political power. Hearn has merely reflected  back on !apan at that period where it was ncommon for women to be leaders. 2n the other hand men in the book are commonly seen as leaders of clans, tribes etc. 3e to this higher social standing, men are competitive and constantly craving power. 4hey do so by secring alliances,  participating in battles and hmiliating those who go astray. 4his can be seen with the main antagonist ,Lord Iida, who has secred alliances by arranging marriages between clans )aede and Lord 2tori1 has participated in battle 5amegahara1 and pnished those who did not please him hanging and killing people from the Hidden1. 4his shows that men have the freedom and power to do as they wish. Hearn has reflected on a society where everyone mst be politically catios to scceed.)aede's e periences are ideal to parallel representations of women in the book. )aede is the eldest daghter from the 6hirakawa family, that initially was a respected family p ntil the battle of 5amegahara, where the family made the wrong alliances. 7s a reslt of this )aede was taken hostage by Lord 8ogchi whom betrayed the 2tori and allied with Lord Iida. )aede is ncomfortable with her srrondings as she has no inpt to choices small to big made in her life all of which being made my men . Lian Hearn has dplicated attitdes from the real Fedal !apan where women were shown as not capable of making decisions. 4his can be frther demonstrated with Lady &aryama when 4akeo listened to servants gossip* “ Lady Maruyama who held her land in her own right the only domain handed down to daughters not sons”..... “ Lord Iida inds this oensi!e” page /91  It is shown that the decision of a woman is not valed or considered. 4he athor has reflected on these ist attitdes of Fedal !apan, which at the time was nder 6amrai rle. $omen who grew p dring this period were taght to believe they were inferior, and that they were to serve men. Hence why men are seen as the ltimate decision makers. )aede becomes frstrated with this inferior role and thinks to her self that* “ hy do women ha!e to suer this way# hy don$t we ha!e the reedom men ha!e#” page /:;14his portrays the treatment of women in the book, they have less power, rights and freedom. 3e to this they have to withstand added strggles. 4he athors motivation to show women in this inferior role was not personal, bt to convey attitdes in real Fedal !apan nder strict (ddhism and samrai rle. In contrast, men are shown to make their own rights which can make them arrogant and ob%ectify women. 4his can be seen when Iida attempted to rape )aede*  “ %he &'aede could not elie!e his & Lord Iida$s intentions - page <:=1)aede is in this case seen as an ob%ect of desire, Iida did not feel he needed to ask for permission as he is the male and natrally women are e pected to accommodate for men. 4he athor has shown women to have minimal power and rights towards making their own decision, and men to having most the power. 4his frthermore conveys the attitdes nder the 6amrai Rle in Fedal !apan.$omen in the book also comply with the term 'emphasised femininity' sed in the book   *ender and  +ower   by R.$ >onnell $omen are oppressed, bt they do not fight back, they “gi!e in and accommodate themsel!es to the interests and wishes o men” page n?a1 4his can be seen throghot the book. @specially with LordIida where women cater for all his needs both mental and physical. $omen in the book fall into the typical stereotype of women by doing chores, cooking and participating in hobbies sch as sowing. 4his can be seen with >hiyo the 2tori maid, )aede, 6hiAka and other women in the book whom are e pected to know how to make tea etc. Hearn has shown some female characters to be strong,  bt even they had the help of men in some way. Lady &aryama had Lord 2tori, 6hiAka had )en%ii, )aede realised she needed 4akeo. &en in comparison are shown to be stronger both  physically and mentally and also be driven by honor. 4he athor has set the book in !apan, where valing honor was e tremely important. (ringing dishonor on themselves and their family was seen to be worse than death. 4akeo one of the main protagonists is fiercely sbscribed to this idea and believes that*  “ Lord tori sa!ed my &-aeo$s lie and I will not lea!e him”  page =;1 7fter Lord 2tori saved him he feels that he is in debt with his life, and throghot the book this and his desire for revenge keeps him strong .4hese #alities are both respected and viscos giving men the pper hand in power and rights.4hroghot the book the representation of men and women in the book has not been e#al. &en have more power and rights in society overall, giving them a dominant role in society. &en are seenas stronger mentally and physically and more capable in making their own decisions and being independent, where as women have minimal rights and power pshing them into the sbmissive role in society. $omen are seen to have less secrity, their decisions not worthy, being ordered my men and falling into typical women stereotypes. Bltimately Lian Hearn has reflected back to real Fedal !apan in the book and paralleled the attitdes dring that period.  (ibliography Greek, A. 2011. [pdf.]all. http://lnu.diva-portal.org/smash/get/diva2:2!1 #/$%&&'()'01.pdf [A**essed: 2+ $e 201]. A*ross the ightingale $loor - ook ne  'ales of the tori. 200+.  Meet the Characters . [online] Availale at: http://otori*lan.ordpress.*om/meet-the-*hara*ters/ [A**essed: 2+ $e 201]. imersrunn.se. 2003 Book analysis- Across the Nightingale Floor . [online] Availale at: http://.mimersrunn.se/ook4anal5sis4A*ross4the4ightingale4$loor41#11.htm [A**essed: 2# $e 201]. 6e.*5*lopaedia.net. n.d.  Across the Nightingale Floor | Fundstellen im Internet | cyclopaedia.net . [online] Availale at: http://de.*5*lopaedia.net/iki/A*ross-the-ightingale-$loor [A**essed: 2# $e 201].   7iliam, 8. A. 201.  Women, i!e in Feudal apan, Medie#al and early modern societies - apan, $istory %ear &, N'W | (nline )ducation $ome 'chooling 'k*irk Australia . [online] Availale at: http://.skirk.*om/p-*4s-14u-1##4t- 1+4*-1!22/omen/ns/histor5/medieval-and-earl5-modern-so*ieties-9apan/life-in-feudal-9apan onnell, ;. 1!3#.  +ender and o*er . 8tanford %niversit5 <ress. =earn, &. 2002.   Across the nightingale oor . e >ork: ;iverhead ooks.

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Jul 23, 2017
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