Struggles of the Oppressed Woman

Throughout history, society has constantly oppressed woman, making it harder for
her to achieve what it is that she so desires. In modern day society, a female has to work
twice as hard as a male does to reach the same desired goal. Stemming from our
ancestor’s beliefs and morals that women belong in the home, these two compositions,
written by Amy Tan and Lynn Bloom, illustrate these beliefs concerning the roles of the
women in society. In both cases, the women involved write of their struggles and the
ways in which each overcame them. Women are highly outnumbered as, professors
governmental figures, doctors and many other prestigious positions. This fact alone
exemplifies the struggles of a woman in society. Though the goals, the obstacles, and the
situations were all different, the beliefs reflected by each author are very much alike.
Amy Tan’s, The Red Candle, is the story of Amy’s upbringing, mainly
concerning her marriage. In Taiyuanese society, women do not have much freedom
concerning how they live. Having no control over the process of selecting a husband,
Tan’s future husband is chosen at the age of two. Living in the strict Taiyuanese society,
her life was carved in stone at an extremely early age. In her early years, all thoughts and
actions were directed to the development of a good wife for her future husband. A
contract was made, between the Tan’s and the Huangs, concerning the future of their
children. Tyan-yu, Tan’s future husband, would have all of the power in the marriage,
leaving Tan nothing but orders. How would a woman be able to live a life, which she has
no control over? Being oppressed by her own society, how would Tan strive to gain
control of her life? The one privilege that she desires is to have the control to gain what
she wants and likes. These simple desires are exactly what Lynn Z. Bloom strives for
Lynn Z. Bloom’s auto-biographical composition, Teaching College English As A
Woman, reflects being a female college professor and the struggles that come with the
task. Like Tan, Bloom was constantly rejected and oppressed while trying to attain what
she desired. She had many obstacles to overcome in order to reach her goal of becoming
a full time successful college professor. Knowing that she was well qualified and
deserved certain positions, she fought back and ultimately overcame these obstacles, just
as Tan.
Amy Tan and Lynn Bloom were from totally different backrounds and had totally
different goals to achieve. Though, almost every aspect of their lives was different they
both had the same types of problems to overcome. The problems that they faced were
many, but the one that they had in common was that of oppression. Being oppressed by
their peers played integral parts in both of their lives. First starting when she was a baby,
Tan experienced oppression her whole life. Never able to make her own decisions,
having her life planned, without any consent, and being treated as a slave by the Huangs,
were some of the reasons that Tan felt she had to overcome this oppression that
imprisoned her. This imprisonment denied her of the person she wanted to be. Bloom
experienced this same type of oppression, but on a much lower scale, in her quest of
becoming a college English professor. Once earning her position of Teacher Assistant
she came to realize that teaching as a woman has many disadvantages. She was often
rejected from jobs that she knew she was qualified for, and even those that she landed
had very tight restrictions. There are similarities in the restrictions that Bloom faced and
the restrictions that Tan faced. Tan was allowed certain actions while other actions were
not allowed; as is the case with Bloom, she was not allowed to voice her own opinion in
her class, partly because she was a woman. Bloom talks about “her voice” that she
always ignored. She just accepted the way things were. Tan also accepted the way
things were, never making what she knew was the right choice. Tan and Bloom were
very much alike in that they were afraid of their superiors. They both thought they had
no rights to act on their own and do as they feel. The two were also alike in the fact that
they developed, over time, a very strong personality which helped them achieve their
goals. Bloom had a demeaning, one sentence written recommendation, that she used
once but vowed never to use again.