Imbalance of Power between Men and Women

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Updated: Apr 24, 2021
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Social imbalance can be termed as the presence of inequality opportunities as well as rewards for different gender statuses and social function within the society. The act of imbalance can be attributed to various important dimensions that involve cultures, employment opportunities as well as earnings. Furthermore, an aspect of inequality much revolves around power which is primarily discussed in this paper. The power imbalance between men and women in areas such as religion not only occur in western and British countries, but also other countries experience its effects. Women who associate themselves with Christianity and believe in androcentrism accepts that men have more power as compared to women. Despite several attempts and increase in participation of women in the areas of work and an increase in girl child education, there is still an existence of social imbalance of women which in most cases are attributed by sexuality. In education matters, salary scales, the imbalance is evident. All these have further been assigned to the likelihood of the established tasks as well as the responsibilities of men and women within the society with falls with the family unit. Regardless of sexuality, women have been believed to depend more on men, more so, when they are in marriage. They expect men to provide everything for them. This essay focuses on the social and cultural customs that lead to the imbalance of power between men and women. This will explore the critical area of reference of Othello and Chronicle of a Death Foretold, by Garcia.

Othello is a victim of gender imbalance circumstance. Desdemona, who is a Venetian wife, falls prey to Iago’s exploitation when he convinces Othello that he has been an unfaithful woman. In this circumstance, Iago tries to have Othello trust in Desdemona’s week and poor character when he explains she has betrayed her father. Desdemona is separated by an aspect of gender when Iogo discuss with Othello. However, Iogo informs Othello that Desdemona should be given an inch of trust because she is a Venetian woman. This aspect indicates that women deserve no time to be listened to as well as have nothing that a man can trust from them. Power is something that has to be felt by people. Women with power can never be believed in whatever circumstance despite the little tasks they are given. In Chronicle of a Death Foretold, Garcia states that men have to be treated with respect and deserve honor. Similarly, men are anticipated to maintain the reputation of the family by any possible means. Through this idea in consideration, Garcia created the Vicario twin brother to represent the motif. This double-sided mind deals with the fact that they have two ways of thinking which are determined by the cultural norms “She was certain that the Vicario brothers were not as eager to respond to the sentence as to find a person who would do them the favor of stopping them” (Márquez, 57). Also, Angela in the story is a character that demonstrates the expectations of the women in the community. Her name which means “Angel” is a fact that is ironic to the light of the situation. It is a contradiction of her real self-life which also reflects on the expectations of people around her. Moreover, Prudencia Cotes; her name is used to mean cautious; this is a character or quality which can be viable in her situation. Prudencia Cotes puts it open that she would never have gotten married to that man if he had not have done what he did “I would never have married him if he had not done what a man is expected to do” (Márquez, 62). Prudencia Cotes is believed to have wise decisions as well as good judgment. The act more highlights the society’s mix-up value of keeping honor. It shows the expectations of men to uphold honor. Clotilde Armenta is the final woman character who demonstrates cultural gender powers. She shares the possession of a milk store with her partner. After all, milk is the major goods sold in the shop. In this case, Garcia also makes use of milk to represent female development.

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The issue of gender imbalance is acted upon in the same way as the problem of racism. Iogo and Brabantio are classified according to their status. Iogo is after promotion over Cassion and that, however, leads him to carry out anything to gain that status in order to be in power “And what was she? Forsooth, a great arithmetician, One Michael Cassio, a Florentine, a fellow almost damned in a fair wife.” (Shakespeare, 7). Similarly, Iogo’s speech is full of jealousy and fear of being denied the power or position. The jealousy and imbalance of status is Iogo’s motive in his trial to sabotage Othello due to his promotion.

Power and status also works against Brabantio who figures out Othello’s marriage to his daughter Desdemona. However, in this case, he lacks the power to do anything because of Othello’s high power. However, in every culture, different gender positions have prejudiced the lives of individuals starting from their youth. Garcia illustrated culture exemplifies traditional gender power such as roles of cooking, cleaning, and raising of children. Similarly, the role of women is to become a wife to a man, women are reared to become married, and these are some of the powers women have. Also, the narrator speaks regarding such roles when uttering to Angela and her sisters.

Desdemona’s death is also proof that substantiates the power of women’s sexuality has over men. Male characters in Othello continually argue that a woman is their tenure. This aspect is the key element to the novel and depicts the basis for the play’s denouncement. To have the revenge, Iogo creates the doubt of the blameless woman through spreading of rumor only. It is through such behavior that leads to devastation of Desdemona’s marriage and later, murder. Similarly to the novel, Chronicle of a Death Foretold, Garcia employs different characters to put into practice the power of men over the women. One of the dominating people in the narrative is Santiago Nasar. He is the central character of the novel. Though it is not clear to the audience or viewer if or if not Santiago is culpable of deflowering Angela, his status does not help much to assist his case. Santiago is well-known for his assertive outshine at the young female on the society with females such as Divina Flor. Divina Flor is a symbolic name due to her purity, which can as well be distinguished sharply with Santiago’s aggressiveness to sexuality. Indeed, Santiago’s sexual advance towards the female indicates the ordinariness of men using women as objects in society.

Also, when Desdemona speaks to the Duke and the senators that were convened in the chamber, Othello stands by his wife who indicated support for her. “Let her have your voice. Vouch with me, heaven, I, therefore, beg it not to please the palate of my appetite, nor to comply with heat the young affects” (Shakespeare, 47). The two portrays a loving mood but shows a turning point to which women are equality treated at the end. It implies that women are used as the object. Othello goes ahead to ask himself why he got married, “ Why did I marry? This honest creature doubtless sees and knows more, much more, than he unfolds. She is gone I am abused, and my relief must be to loathe her. O curse of marriage.” (Shakespeare, 135). In contrast, in Chronicle of a Death Foretold, Garcia shows how Bayardo San Roman practically uses a forced tactic to get married to Angela when the two barely knows each other. Bayardo buys her love with expensive things but fails to take time to show an appreciation to her. In his mind, he thinks that his wealth or money, as well as good looks, will be enough. Such kind of planning portrays the need for women. Wealth was the reason for getting married. It also shows women’s expectations of marriage. In other words, men with material possession have the power to control women even in hard situations.

Although all women are corresponded to differently according to their background setting, they share a similar fate. Perhaps in Othello, Shakespeare is trying to speak regardless of woman, the moment she starts uttering, all the powers will be removed from her and as a result, she will be driven to ruin. The condition has no matter the direction women takes to use to apply their characteristics; they turn out to be victims of the misplaced male ego. Shakespeare expresses the society view of the women and men status in a way that is still applicable today. Men are taking power. Despite the fight and hardship, women go through; they will even be considered as secondary to the men. Similar to Garcia in Chronicle of a Death Foretold, power is driven away from women, and the role of women stated. Men have been granted more powers. Their position is extended to offering protection to the entire family while women’s power is reduced to marry and keep the household.

In conclusion, Garcia in Chronicle of a Death Foretold makes use of the characterization of the male and female characters to convey a message regarding the status of culture and their results on the lives of other people in the society. The life is depicted relating to their state or power which defines their roles in a family. In Othello, Shakespeare has also expressed heroism in men. Men are portrayed as the power and women become their second subject. Men are superior as compared to women. Women are given minor roles as compared to men. Both Chronicle of a Death Foretold and Othello novels portrays men as the head of the family and society at large.

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Imbalance of Power Between Men and Women. (2021, Apr 24). Retrieved from