The media and advertisement industries

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The media and advertisement industries play an important part in depicting women as fragile objects and sexual objects for men. Writers of all genders, it may be said, were aware of this objectification in the early 1960s. From a feminist perspective, some writers started to use writing to express their messages on women's mistreatment. When discussing gender disparities, it is impossible to avoid mentioning the legendary author Doris Lessing. The latter was struggling internally as a result of her encounters seeing her female colleagues being insulted, and she wished to make a significant contribution to resolving the need to end the mistreatment of women. Although Lessing wrote numerous novels and short stories that agitated for gender equality, the short story "A Woman on a Roof" assisted in bringing the message effectively to the audience. The paper will address the topic of feminist criticism in the short story by Doris Lessing via images, perspectives, and characterization.


The short story "A Woman on a Roof" highlights a scenario where there are three men simultaneously working on a roof and assessing a woman who is preserving her roof. I believe that the story is such a revolutionary one and a wake-up call for women to resist their image as ‘sex materials' in the presence of the opposite sex. "A Woman on a Roof" implies a critical technique referred as feminist criticism which is precisely echoed via the utilization of several formal devices comprising perspectives, imagery, and characterization. The perspective used in the short story is typically third-person wise opinions of the three men, and this male gasp stresses the author's utilization of feminist criticism. The men's scrutiny is addressed to the unidentified woman within the first paragraph, and this explanation suggests the probable events. To the best of my knowledge, every man highlights a distinct attitude towards the opposite sex. In the short story, Tom, the seventeen-year-old, is engrossed by the lady's beauty, and he visualized the initial night: "Previous night he had be thinking of woman that he didn’t recognize by the time he was sleeping, and that woman got very concerned with him” (Lessing 216).


Characterization technique helps to explain the subject of feminist criticism. In the short story, the three workmen justify the opinion that they are more superior to the opposite sex. Men believed that they possessed the authority to manipulate women and their activities and that the women would be obedient. The attitudes of the three women are demonstrated as follows: “They made jokes about getting an egg from some woman in the flats under them, to poach it for their dinner" (Eberhart 805). Judging from their expression, they felt that women are supposed to belong to kitchen being eager to prepare food. On the other hand, the man felt that he has an obligation to provide food and shelter. As explicated, the quotes from the three workmen proved their actual attitude to the women.


Lessing applies imagery technique in "A Woman on a Roof" to stress the utilization of feminist criticism. It is undisputable that the woman's body is described vividly and repetitively in the short story. The author encompasses descriptions of this woman's all body parts. These are some of the elements that entice a man to approach a woman. The addition of the descriptions of every part of the woman's body stresses feminist’s opinion. Imagery is highlighted in Tom's fantasies when he is invited to her household. He imagined that "last night she had him into her flat: it was big and had fitted white carpets and a bed with a padded white leather headboard. She wore a black filmy negligee…" (Kirszner & Stephen 454).


As expounded above, the subject of feminist criticism flows throughout the short story. Imagery, characterization, and point of view narrate the devices and techniques applied in the story. The concept that men are dominant while women are pictured to be secondary is outlined in "A Woman on a Roof." In my opinion, the woman who was on the roof was a figurative deity.

Works Cited

Eberhart, M. G. A Woman on a Roof. 1st ed., Random House, 1968.

Kirszner, Laurie G., and Stephen R. Mandell. Fiction: Reading, Reacting, Writing. Paulinas, 1993.

Lessing, Doris. "A Woman on a Roof." Selected readings in British literature (2005): 216-222.

January 25, 2023

Business Sociology

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