Feminists’ Rights

Freshman (College 1st year) ・English ・MLA ・1 Sources

Women today face an undermining approach from men who see them have little or no voice, “The Chaser” explains the tale of a man Alan Austen, who is deeply in love with a lady, and Diana but Diana in return doesn't like him. Indeed, she seems to look down on him, and this is the key motivation for Alan’s hunt for a man famous for his abilities on doing magic love potions that he later finds. This story portrays ways in which men have undermined women and seeing them as people who should submit to their desires with no voice and considerations on their wishes and desires (Collier, 1940).

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Feminist Critical Perspectives “The Chaser” by John Collier

“The Chaser” is gendered towards a sexist society. Alan evidently loves Diana, but because he is willing to use magical ways to win her love, he portrays a selfish approach founded on a sexist perspective that women have no tone of voice regarding their feelings. Illusion and obsession are part of Alan’s life too. Is obsession over Diana and misled with the idea of a love potion.

“The Chaser” shows feminism undermining from both Alan’s and the old man's interests where both don't care about Diana’s emotions or feelings, they both think that she, being a woman, must submit to a man’s demands and this is attitude is shown by Alan’s character when he says that Diana is already in love with him, but she doesn’t care about it yet. This makes Alan self-centered and so sure of the potion’s capacity of turning Diana into his lover that he already believes she’ll love him, that what she’ll feel and do after drinking the potion will be love.

In the story, the traditional view of gender is not so approached, but the idea of man controlling women is clear in the whole story. Alan wants to control Diana’s feelings and her attitudes, and this is the evidence that Alan and the old salesman are both sexist, egocentric and sure of their position as men in a patriarchal society. At the end, when Alan will have to buy another potion to erase some happenings after some time of Diana’s supposedly love, this is according to the old man who has no interest besides his gains on his selling( Collier, 1940 ).

The feminism choice in the short story is also an evidence of the patriarchal and sexist society; it can be noticed in this passage of the text below:

“Yes, said the old man. How carefully she will look after you. She will never allow you to tire, sit in a draught or to neglect your food. If you are an hour late, she will be terrified. She will think you are killed or that some siren has caught you” (Collier, 1940).

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When the old man says that Diana won’t neglect Alan and will be so jealous when he’s late, he’s saying that she’ll live only for Alan’s purpose and whims, that’s a clear evidence of a sexist position and a patriarchal ideology which considers man as superior to women. In this case, the patriarchal ideology is evident when the old man says that if Alan cheats on Diana; nothing will happen, he won’t need to worry about Diana’s opinion, once she forgives him. All these sexist opinions from Alan and the old man are considered when we think that Diana would take the option, but of course, in the real world, such a thing does not exist, so this position of them clearly shows their real opinions about women( Collier, 1940 ).

The obsession and illusion of Alan being obsessed with Diana and willing to do anything to gain her love, at the same time being obsessed about the potion the man is trying to sell to him. There is no love in this story, only a self-love of Alan and the selfishness of the old man. Alan doesn't fight for love; he believes that women should love him without choice. Diana is objectified in Alan’s view, but not consciously. He’s following his beliefs, wrong ones, but still, believes Diana is not a person to him and is just another woman he’s trying to conquer, once the man says he’ll come back to purchase another potion to clear some mistakes, it's because he believes that in some time Alan is going to date another woman, besides Diana.

“The Chaser,” is not a short story about love. Instead, is a short story about a selfish love, a self-love and one that undermines and neglects women right to make choices as by their wishes. Once Alan doesn’t try to conquer Diana, he decides to give her a love potion. Alan truly believes that Diana is already in love with him, but she only denies this, or maybe she doesn't care enough to give attention. He’s so sure of his position as a powerful man in that kind of society and sees Diana as a person who should totally submit to him without question that he doesn’t mind of using wrong methods to achieve his goals. He’s sexist and doesn’t deny that, and so is the old man that at any moment tries to make Alan changes his mind. This should change as women voices should be respected and heard in anything that involves them.

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Works cited

Collier, John. The chaser. New Yorker Magazine, 1940.

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