Female Identity in Exemplary Novels
The female character formation in the exemplary novels is based on disguise of virtues, but depicts all forms of vices. This idea is expressed in the synopsis of the scenes with female characters, whose identities in the society are brought out in relation to the accepted norms. This essay uses the texts given to analyze Miguel Cervantes’s views regarding female identity. Furthermore, the essay examines how the individuality of female characters is connected with different issues, such as class, religion and language.
Women are dishonoured greatly in the context of a complicated agonistic approach to love. The chastity of women lies within the jurisdictions of relevant authorities, which include men, the church and the nation. This is proved from the fact that sexuality of women is either directly or indirectly controlled by these authorities. Women do not have the personal right to decide on the eventuality of their sexuality (Anthony 41). Moreover, there are incidences when women are groomed to suit the desires of their patron. For instance, Preciosa endeavours to life in the city. On the one hand, this decision was provoked by a pure art of the old woman, who realizes the advantage that lies ahead and as the rightful parent decides to bring up the genuine lady. On the other hand, the state intervenes into the marriage between Isabella and Ricardo with the help of the Queen. These forms of manipulations show that the society does not regard the decision made by female identities in isolation. Instead, there is a form if intervention into the chastity and consequent sexuality of female characters (Anthony 46).
The female fraternity is also seen to be opportunistic in a depiction of the social vices that befall to the gender. Most of the female characters are seen to fall in love with material goods. For instance, Preciosa, being a protagonist, could not sing some parts of the hymns due to concealed moral content. However, several promises of more material wealth made her accept a script from the required page and promise to practise all the parts in the poem. Long and the short of it, the old woman who adopted Preciosa knew that the beauty is a source of wealth. This is why she chose to use the girl for extortion of material wealth without caring about the social implications. She had prior knowledge that everything in the city was saleable, prompting her endeavour of upbringing a girl for her business ventures.
The female identity is also disgusted through a perception of women as properties for exchange with material goods. For instance, Juan decides to give the best offers out of sham generosity in order to find out the qualities of Preciosa. He is determined to do away with exorbitant amounts of cash just to pay the price for possession of Preciosa. This implies that he views women as commodities for sale.
The author reveals the forces of social exchanges and uses female characters for this form of transition. This implies that the female characters represent social transitions. Love between Juan and Preciosa depicts how the ethics of amity are responsible for purification of friendly relations. It is paradoxical that a protagonist cultivates from the forces of transition and homogeneity, which is implied by self-preservation, to heterogeneity, which is akin to surrender. The force behind this transition is the quest for power and wealth. On the one hand, it shows that there is a close connection between the desires that characters like Preciosa have in relation to the class. It is a form of adoration due to class preferences (Castro 35). On the other hand, women are viewed as tools for strange forms of courtship. Life of Preciosa portrays a shift from a humble existence into compelling reality. The novels are forms of interpretation of moral decadency against forces that uphold sanity. There are different forms of deliverances from the demonic life to salvation, where one deliberates this in terms of strange courtships. Isabella finds herself in a strange land where she is groomed for courtship with the master’s son. The implications of these strange courtships lie in the preceding lifestyle. It is evident that Preciosa was married although it is not clear whether this kind of marriage was a happy one. The nature of subjecting female characters to strange marriages contravenes the religious and social norms of the society.
The stories also bring out the identity of female ignorance, judging by the fact that both protagonists get acquainted with life of patronage at a young age. These young ladies do not seek for any form of way out and consequent reunion with their parents. They end up in the hands of sadists, where they perform intended functions (Gasset 26). Preciosa willingly moves to the city with her grandmother to participate in dubious income-generating activities, which depicts ignorance on her part. Moreover, Isabella stays in slavery until she gets engrossed with new forms of life in London. Her lack of knowledge is further seen when she willingly occurs under patronage to become the anticipated wife of her master’s son. The exemplary stories describe the identity of female characters as being unique in comparison with their male counterparts. Both literary works depict society with male chauvinism, where the female sex is seen as a tool for trade. The protagonists in these stories are supposed to be moulded into tools for serving specific purposes. Finally, female fraternity is obviously opportunistic as even an elderly woman is able to bring up a girl and use her for extortion of wealth in the city (Castro 23).
The women’s fraternity is overly seen as manipulative since most of the incidences depict a sitaution in which the main characters, Isabella and Preiosa grow up without the primary parentage, thus their patrons groom them for specific purposes. Moreover, these girls live according to the expectations of their individual masters. Preciosa eagerly performs hymns to gain publicity in the city. Consequently, she gets married to a wealthy page named Juan in quest for material goods. Moreover, Isabella is seen as the representation of lingual transition, so she learns a foreign language to assist in communication. This shows that the female fraternity is also vested with talent.
Conclusively, it is obvious that female identity is presented as the form of shaping mannerisms, which is summed up as exemplary in these stories with women seen as consumable goods for sale. It means that the author displays women as weak-willed characters, who are naive and have no stable decisions with regards to the social life. It is apparently represented by the fact that the community sees the female sex as a source of pleasure in exchange of material goods (Castillo 5). Preciosa, as a child, grows up knowing that the source of her destiny lies in marriage with a wealthy man. Moreover, the old woman grooms a child knowing that she is a form of asset for several feasts in the city. She is portrayed as an opportunist, which is a possible trait that sums up Cervantes’s view on female characters. In addition, Preciosa clearly defines this feeble trait despite her modesty, but she takes no effort to resist the offer to travel to the city, even being aware of the fact that everything there is meant to be bought and sold, including her as the main object. However, it is paradoxical how this young girl acts as a protagonist by refusing to perform songs that go against her morals and manners. Such deeds also go against the religious norms, which value chastity. Nevertheless, she does this only for valuables.