Silvia Plath’s The Bell Jar is the story of Esther Greenwood. She struggles to overcome the expectations of the 1950’s American society, as she explores her sexuality, breaks down taboos and questions well-established gender roles. Silviu Angelescu’s The Forgerers showcases an author that employs a humoristic, archaic language in order to present, allegedly, the 18th-century Romanian society, while hinting at the 1980s communist Romania. This paper aims to debate on the woman’s condition and self-identity issues, both in the 1950’s American society and the 18th century/late 20th century Romania, while discussing the judgmental view of patriarchal societies on women characters exploring their sexuality the way men do. Moreover, it aims to define women’s gender identity in male-controlled societies, as exemplified by different countries, cultures and historical periods.
Simina-Ioana Anton holds a B.A. and a M.A. from Ştefan cel Mare University of Suceava.