This paper investigates both James Joyce's and Jonathan Swift's interpretation of women in their texts. This paper enlightens and explores their fascination with women as an inferior species which is portrayed in their texts; their curiosity about the female body is explored, and female cliches are exposed. Both authors are moderately interested in feminism, however, the females in the text are treated as objects of compassion. Women have been represented as an inferior species for many decades in literature, particularly in early modern Ireland. Ireland had a misogynistic culture that manifested in many ways including sexual discrimination, violence against women and sexual objectification of women as well as general denigration. This is portrayed in a very seamless and almost invisible way in both James Joyce's Ulysses: episode thirteen 'Nausicaa' and Jonathan Swift's 'A Beautiful Young Nymph Going to Bed' where both authors explore the power and the limits of women characters. Both authors challenge and push against social norms presenting both female protagonists with a disability yet perceived in a sexual manner. It is interesting to note that James Joyce was influenced by Jonathan Swift's works, and their representation of women in their literature is similar in many ways. Firstly feminism will be discussed in the texts. Secondly, the matter of disability in both texts will be investigated. Thirdly female beautification will be explored. Furthermore, sexual desire in the texts will be portrayed. Ultimately victimisation of women within the texts will be identified.
According to the Oxford English Dictionary; Feminism is an advocacy of equality of the sexes and the establishment of the political, social and economic rights of the female sex. Modern feminist critics argue that Joyce's fictional representation of women seems to be very stereotypical and that he wrote as if he was interested in feminism.