To be Read at Dusk – Feminist Criticism

This story begins with a man that is listening five couriers that are sitting outside the convent on the summit of the Great St. Bernard Pass in Switzerland. The couriers are telling ghost stories that they had lived. The story has two parts. We are only going to focus on the first part. The first part is ‘The story of the English bride’. This is about a newly bride that dreams with a man with a dark face and grey moustache. She and her husband are going to go to another house but she is scared because thinks that in the house there could be a painting with the face of this man. They arrive at the house but an image wasn’t found. A few days later the husband meets Signor Dellombra and invites to come to his house. The girl is scared of the man because is exactly man she saw in her dream. The husband wants to establish friendship in an attempt to cure his wife of her fear. Finally Signor Dellombra kidnaps her and she is never seen again.

Here we see that the opinion of the man is valued more than the woman’s because despite her constantly insisting her fear towards Signor Dellombra, his husband instead attempt to cure her wife of her fear that eventually lead to her kidnapping. Throughout fantasy, we often see damsels in distress being saved by the hero, a man, but we must look into the source of their distress in the first place. Snow White’s father and Cinderella’s Father remarried, leading their lives into slavery to their stepmothers. It was Belle’s father who offended the beast leading to her exchanging herself. It was Aurora’s father’s ambition that lead him to anger Malificient, cutting and taking her wings.

More often than not, it is often the men who lead these women into their misfortune. If only her husband didn’t let Signor Dellombra near her or they vacated the place and stayed on the house they previously stayed in, there would never be a problem and the bride wouldn’t be stressed out. It was because of her husband’s pride that he could fix it and somehow make the situation work, led to the doom of the poor English bride.

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