Religious Oppression and Injustices in the Irish Order of Nuns: A Critical Examination of the Film “Philomena” (Published)
This paper explores the themes and criticisms raised in the film “Philomena” regarding the Irish order of nuns and their treatment of women and children. The film sheds light on the injustices committed by the nuns, such as forced adoptions and the oppression of unmarried mothers. It highlights the role of religion in shaping societal attitudes towards sexuality and the consequences faced by those who violated these moral standards. The paper discusses the film’s portrayal of both compassionate and cruel nuns, questioning the credibility and morality of the entire Catholic order. It emphasizes the need for specificity when addressing the injustices committed by the nuns and acknowledges that not all nuns share the same behaviours or beliefs. Furthermore, the paper explores the role of journalism in uncovering these past injustices and the tension between the media and the secretive nature of the convent. Overall, “Philomena” serves as a timely reminder of the historical mistreatment and oppression endured by women and children in Catholic Ireland, calling for a re-evaluation of religious moral standards and the treatment of the vulnerable.
Charlotte Brontë holds a unique place in presenting heroines who are assertive. As the author of vivid, intensely written novels, Charlotte Brontë broke the traditional nineteenth-century fictional stereotype of a woman as beautiful, submissive, dependent, and ignorant and delineated the portrait of a ‘new woman’ who is independent and who does not simply submit herself to the norms of the patriarchal setup. Charlotte Brontë’s first novel, Jane Eyre (1847) was immediately recognized for its originality and power. Since then, Brontë has been considered by critics as one of the foremost authors of the nineteenth century, an important precursor to feminist novelists, and the creator of intelligent, independent heroines who asserted their rights as women long before those rights were recognized by society. Through Jane Eyre, Charlotte Brontë aims to project the need to fight against the oppression in the patriarchy. Penniless, lonely and starving, Jane Eyre does not remain a victim of social injustice but emerges as a brave warrior to stand against the male domination and is determined to assert her individuality without submitting to the accepted traditional norms. Both Mr. Rochester and St. John want to master Jane and in both the cases, she insists on her independent will. She wants power and the freedom to be active as she wishes to experience the world in a positive and constructive fashion. She does marry Mr. Rochester, but on her own terms and not at the cost of her independence.
Amiri Baraka’s pre-nationalist and nationalist plays such as Dutchman and Experimental Death Unit # 1 largely incorporates scenes of murder and violence. The cadaverous permeates. Baraka’s stage. There is a whole sacrificial system that determines the characters’ ultimate destinies and lives. This mechanism operates not merely to bring death to those who betray the national black liberation cause, but also to castigate those holders of the slave mentality and chastise the assimilationists who hide behind a white mask. This sacrificial mechanism functions as a generator of purification to cleanse the black community from the vestiges of black docility. In the Marxist plays, violence and murder take the form of political assassination. A play such as The Motion of History displays the dynamics of political struggle that conditions the kind of murder or acts of killings. Whereas in the nationalist plays murder is effected for purificatory goals, in the Marxist plays the intersection between political struggle and the official repression of the state determines the shape of physical elimination for political motives. The neutralization of political opponents assumes that murder is simply a means of exclusion from the political arena and restoration of political and social stability. Because agitation is detrimental to social peace and political order, systemic violence takes a bloody dimension and approximates bloodshed. This paper seeks to highlight the prevalence and, in Frantz Fanon’s phrase, the instrumentality of violence as an absolute praxis in Baraka’s dramatic works. Violence marshals then a new equation of asserted subjectivity.