The typical woman played a very domestic role in the time before suffrage, or when women spoke out about the rights which they were entitled to, especially the right to vote.That right was officially granted to women in 1920.Women were not thought to be, in any way, equal to men before that time.An educated woman posed a threat to the traditionally accepted way of life.It is because of these bias traditions that women were held back.Women were supposed to obey and respect their husbands, raise and cherish their children, and do all of the household work (i.e. cooking, cleaning, etc.).Women were put down and held back constantly, but that did not stop them from stepping up and taking what they saw as rightfully theirs'.
In the literature of this time, there were some examples of women who were not the people society told them they should be.Some of these characters were Daisy Miller from Henry James' Daisy Miller: A Study, Edna Pontillier from Kate Chopin's The Awakening, and Sarah Penn from Mary E. Wilkins Freeman's The Revolt of Mother.These women were considered rebels of their time.They were willing to go against the grain.
One thing tying all of these characters together was that they were all perfectly aware of what was expected of them.They knew their "place" in society.They were unwilling, however, to be viewed almost as the African American slaves were, that is, as a piece of property.Sarah Penn knew that moving all of the family's possessions into the barn would create a lot of troubles, mainly for her.However, she was willing to do whatever she deemed necessary to make her case with her husband.Edna Pontillier knew that her relationship with Robert was taboo, but she went ahead and got progressively more involved with him, and even went as far as to get involved with another man when the family moved back to the city.Dai