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Comparison Of Gender Roles Essay

1481 words - 6 pages

Comparison of Gender Roles
Gender roles have always been a part of the daily life throughout the 1900’s, however up until recently this has changed. Women have always wanted to have their own opinion, views and the ability to think and act for themselves. In many of the stories read in class, we see how both men and women have gender roles, and how some want them changed. On the other hand, if they even do. In many stories we have seen the characters struggle with societies views, Janie wants to work and be able to think for herself in Their Eyes Were Watching God. In Trifles, we see that women are considered unimportant, or that they only worry about the little things that seem ...view middle of the document...

Susan Glaspell’s play, Trifles, gender roles are apparent throughout the text. Lewis Hale, a neighboring farmer claims, “Women are used to worrying over trifles” (Backpack Literature 662). This goes hand in hand with Hurston’s novel, it shows once again men are able to belittle women and have no backlash from their verbal assaults. Although the men in this story think that worrying over freezing fruit is dumb, it is what men have made women in charge of unofficially in the early 1900’s. Although there is no written law that this is the case, it is accepted between both genders that the male brings the money home and the females care for the house, and house chores. Mrs. Hale shows us her acceptance of gender roles when the county attorney moves around pots and pans in the cupboard exclaiming, “I’d hate to have men coming into my kitchen, snooping around and criticizing” (Backpack Literature 663). This excerpt shows that Mrs. Hale accepts gender roles, if she had not she would not have minded the mess and clutter after the kitchen had been rummaged through. Mrs. Hale might have even gone as far as asking the county attorney to arrange the pots and pans as they had been before he rummaged through them. However, she had not thus, allowing one to interpret that she does not mind the fact of being in the kitchen, and that she almost feels as if she belongs there. Janie may have felt differently than Mrs. Hale, Janie would have had a smart remark that would have had the attorney putting the dishes back the way they were found.
In The Chrysanthemums, the main character Elisa is introduced caring for her flowers and watching her husband make a deal on their farm. She almost seems left out, like she wasn’t invited to participate. Her husband comes over after the deal was made and admires her handy work with gardening, “you’ve got a gift with things, I wished you’d work out in the orchard and raise apples like the chrysanthemums” (Backpack Literature 230). Like Janie, Elisa is put in charge of womanly duties, caring for the garden and food. Elisa almost seems thrilled to be able to care for the apples, however her husband waves off the idea almost as if he has it covered and would like her to focus on her chores. Janie unlike Elisa would have voiced her displease with her husband until she had gotten her way and had been able to do as she had pleased, which in this case would have been caring for the apples. The man who fixes pots and pans stops at Elisa and her husband’s farm, and although he could have asked to talk to her husband he choose to ask her if she had any “pots or pans that could be mended” (Backpack Literature 232). Although one may assume the reason Elisa was asked was because she was right out front, I believe she was asked because she is the wife of the house, thus the one who cooks and would know best as to which items need fixed, mended or even replaced. Looking back to the way Janie would handle this situation would...

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