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The play School for wives written by Moliere is a story of a naÃ¯ve young Agnes the protagonist of the story, is seen going thru a lot of ups and downs, through thick and thin for what her heart says, while on the other hand paradise of the blind written by Doung Thu Hong is a journey of Hang exploring Vietnamese culture, society and the hidden truth of her family. Both these stories run on the theme line "women" and in both the works life of the protagonists Agnes and Hang, are influenced by the main male characters the antagonists Arnolphe and uncle Chinn. Both the stories have men who have their own mentalities and restrictions which are barred on the women of their society and make them live and orthodox life. In the novel school for wives Arnolphe plays a role of rich introvert cunning person who hates most of the women in the present society at their times and had the same opinion about the same with every women in the society being one and the same. While uncle Chinn in the paradise of the blind is active revolutionist, who never even bared his family for money and position in the society. This comparative study talks about the social status, culture and upbringing of the male characters that influence the growth of female characters of works in school for wives and paradise of the blind.
In The tale School for wives from the very first scene itself of Arnolphe talks about social status of the women in the present society which was prevailing during that times, he never gives up arguing with chrysalde regarding the women of the society, he is too much influenced by the scandals and rumors going around him for which he has been bogged down to be cautious about choosing his wife, this clearly depicts the stubbornness and a kind of hard headed nature of Arnolphe. In my opinion he is a man with least principles or morals of a society that he keeps mocking about others and is so scared of deceives going around in society that every step in his marriage is pre-planned and organized. One similarity I depicted in both the novels was the main antagonist in both the novels was played by a male character against a women protagonist who fights rightly for what she deserves to be. One can very rightly say after reading both the novels that the growth of the female character has been very much affected by the male characters mental thinking and their urge to be what they want to be. If we consider the novel paradise of the blind the almost the whole plot of the novel runs in between the characters of Hang, Que and Uncle Chinh where Hang and Que at the first stage have a lot aspirations in life but the hindrance of Uncle Chinh keeps demoralizing the spirits with which they want to rise upon. In the introductory scenes of paradise of the blind Que who was happily married to Uncle Tom was fled away by Uncle Chinh who thought her husband Tom belonged to the exploiting class of the society and was supposed to be denounced and punished, this from one aspect has surely stopped the growth of Que's life where she could have been benefited or progressed a lot more in life than what she ended up to be if she had the support of her husband Ton.
In the school for wives the story talks about how lunatic arnolphe was trying to be as the qualities in a wife he wanted are to be so dumb and foolish that she wouldn't even be able to differentiate between the rhyme "drum" and "the fife" and the only thing she ought to know is pray, love, spin and sew. He was also an over confident man who assumed that he is aware of all the deeds in the society and thinks there is no other hindrance or spite for him and his fortune. In every bit of progression of the story we find a very negative character of arnolphe who's main intentions were to make the life of agnes live according to his own terms not letting her get exposed to any kind of outer environment which would affect her mind or which would make her mental abilities and knowledge grow more and she might actually fall for the negative aspects of the society. Agnes was made so weak in her mental abilities that when she first saw Horace she did not know how to react and the weird feelings she gets once she looks at him is very much depicted in the story so as to how naÃ¯ve she was so as to not understanding even the feelings she was getting from within. In the end even after getting to know everything about Agnes's love for Horace and the urge for her to be with Horace arnolphe never tries to understand the situation or take any decisions in favor of Agnes's love for Horace and keeps continuing to stop her even from meeting her love Horace, this very clearly depicts the selfish, brutal and heartless behavior of arnolphe which stops the growth of Agnes from every aspect right from the feelings of herself until the choices a free independent girl can take. From every point the girl was blocked and locked under the cage of Arnolphe.
Paradise of the blind is such a story which is depicted from the narrators point of view about the whole series of incidents which happened in the past and the life she is been leading in the present. The story from the start itself talks about the pressure of the female characters in the story, which they go thru because of the hindrance of the antagonist of the story. The female character in this story has been adversely affecting from an aspiring life to a very misery kind of environment for her to prevail in. The ups and downs Que goes thru after Uncle ton goes away from her life is a clear evidence of what happens to Que searching for a place to find for herself wherein fact she was abandoned from her own house. Towards the later part of the story we see Uncle Chinh falling ill and not keeping well on terms of health for which Que makes a lot of sacrifices for her own self even after being in such a miserable state she extends her help letting her own self down and keeping a pause for all the things she has to do for her own self for her own growth also is a very vague indirect example of the Uncle Chinh's health condition to be one kind of hindrance for the growth of Que when she could have done a lot to herself. Here in two stages of life Uncle Chinh becomes a turning point in the life of Que where she having had a chance to progress has been affected by the grievances or a kind of omen from Uncle Chinh which adversely affects her growth.
I remember one quote which said "A Women can run the house and can also run you out of the house" - anonymous. The quote very correctly depicts the scenarios of both the works paradise of the blind and school for wives in both the stories the male characters though with a number of efforts try to push down and counter the women protagonist in the story, the women without giving up their fight pick it and ensure they have reached their victory stand with lights of glory ruining the efforts of the male protagonist leaving with empty hands and turning them down to what they were made to be living in the shield they created for the women around them and the selfish spell they have been playing on the women of the respective societies. In one story they might have been a bad intention of arnolphe or in one case there might be family pride or empathy towards their relation either one of them was very much responsible for the growth of the female which she was destined to but what out runs everything is the courage with which both the females face and turn out to be sole winners in both the novels.