Frye's Oppression Chapter Summary

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The birdcage metaphor that Frye explains in her chapter, titled, “Oppression” relates to the entire concept of oppression amongst women in this patriarchal society. Frye utilizes the birdcage as a means for the reader to digest exactly what oppression feels like to the oppressed. She illustrates that if we focus on one wire we cannot see why the bird would not be able to move past just that wire. The wire is supposed to be one of the forms of oppression women face, the bird represents women, and the cage represents society. Frye then goes on to state that with our myopic focus or narrow focus even inspecting each wire we would not understand how the bird could not overcome them one by one. The problem is that we do not look at the bigger picture. The cage, with its multiple wires, traps the bird inside. In other words, we do not understand, as a society, the effect our patriarchy has on women. Individually, each instance or conflict of oppression seems miniscule; however, each reason for oppression fits in like a puzzle to the overall oppression of women.…show more content…
(Page 149) “I do not want to undertake to prove that all women are oppressed (or that men are not), but I want to make clear what is being said when we say it.” Frye’s reason for this essay is to define the true meaning behind the word oppression. She even goes on to say that oppression does not require suffering. Her point is to allow the reader to understand oppression because when women claim they are oppressed men will also claim they are as well, which is not a lie, but there are different forms of

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