An Analysis of the Female Ideologies in Bunner Sisters from the Perspective of “Power-Over”

Yuemeng Xu, Yongjie Liu


The idea of patriarchy makes the subordination and oppression of women by men visible and illegitimate. Starhawk labels the dominant and oppressive type of power that reinforces obedience in patriarchy power-over, an exploitative form of power that celebrates and encourages manipulation and a view of the world as mechanistic and disconnected. From the perspective of what Starhawk defines as “power-over”, this paper examines the female ideologies of the Bunner sisters – the passive victims of the patriarchal system – constructed under the influence of the patriarchal system in terms of such key elements as misplaced conception of culture and literacy, the “virtue” of self-abnegation and absolute obedience to and dependence on the authority which are deeply entrenched in the character of the two sisters.


Female Ideologies, Patriarchy, Edith Wharton, Bunner Sisters

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