“The Quest of Being a Woman” of Kerima Polotan Tuvera’s The Virgin is a perfect title that shows the same meaning of what feminist criticism is all about. Feminist approach defines the revelation of woman’s real desires and struggles in the society. It aims to expose the patriarchal premises resulting to the prejudices and discovery of the story or any kind of literary piece using character analysis. This paper would give the readers a clearer view on how does feminist criticism applies its characteristics to a well-known short story called The Virgin.
Author’s background and encapsulation of the story
Kerima Polotan Tuvera was a renowned Filipino author. Her works earned some of the highest literary recognitions in the Philippines, with her short story ‘The Virgin’ being one of her most notable literary pieces. The word “virgin” that she mentioned in her story implies somebody who is pure and unstained. As dictated by the society, in order to gain respect and dignity, a woman must be pure and virgin because it is said that a woman’s virginity is equated to her dignity. The society dictates that woman must preserve her virginity until she gets married, like what Miss Mijares did to herself. She wasn’t able to state her feelings to men because she had to protect her virginity/dignity. Hence, the story presents Miss Mijares’ struggles caused by the social dictates on her individuality that hindered her to find her own identity as a person and as a woman through the feminist type of perspective.
Discussion (application of the feminist approach)
Miss Mijares, the main character of the short story titled The Virgin, as a writer and as a woman revealed her desires through her metaphors and symbols in her writing. Despite her being a responsible daughter of her family, she also wished to be loved by others, especially, she has always been dreaming to have a man in her life. But her duties as a daughter and as a member of the society hindered her in fulfilling her dreams. The following lines show her desire to have a man:
“But neither love nor glory stood behind her, only the lurking, empty shadows, and nine years gone, nine years. In the room of her unburied dead, she held up her hands to the light, noting the thick, durable fingers, thinking in a mixture of shame and bitterness and guilt that they had never touched a man.”
There was also one scenario in the story that shows her romantic feelings when she felt angry to find out that the carpenter has a son and thought that he was married. But after the…