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Significance of Women in Waterland

  • Date Submitted: 09/18/2013 02:25 AM
  • Flesch-Kincaid Score: 62.1 
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Qn: Discuss the significance of women in the novel.

Graham Swift writes the book in Tom Cricks perspective. In the whole novel, Swift goes through great details of women in the novel. He explains further on the different ways they are presented and also the impacts that they leave on different men in the novel. In the novel, the most obvious significance of women would be them being looked upon as sexual objects. Not only that, they are also portrayed as having masculine qualities and unattainable objects. However, not all the women in the novel are seen under the same light.


The women are presented as sexual objects in the novel as the men compete among themselves for the affection of the lady. For “Freddie would gladly have implanted in Dick’s mind that seeds of revenge for the thwarted designs that he, Freddie had on Mary”. This portrays the fact that men compete with the other men to win the heart of a women. This also shows that Freddie is willing to do anything to get Mary for he tried to plant the idea of Mary being his. This in turn would cause the readers to sympathize with Dick for he is being taken advantage of his lack of understanding of women. Moreover, this goes to further say that women are status symbols for men; they are treated like trophies being showed off. Also, “[the land girls] were swooped up by roaming airmen from the bases”. The word “swooped” dictates the sudden motion of being attacked. In this case, the land girls are just carried away suddenly by the airmen. This further suggests that women are seen as sexual objects for they are not handled with care but rather “swooped” by men.


Women who do not fit the social expectations were not only portrayed as sexual objects, but were also portrayed to be hyper masculine and degraded form of feminist. For the “conveys of land Girls in boiler-suits and dungarees and tightly fastened head-scarves, their forearms growing muscular and sunburnt, their urban decorum evaporating in the...

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