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The Housekeeper Essay

2092 words - 9 pages

Short Story Comparative Essay
Kate Wang
Student # : 602285
From the beginning of time, the role given to men has always been the breadwinner and the women as the housekeeper. These stereotypes have been broken as more women are entering the work force due frustration with their limitations in society. Women are happier being less dependent on men and more reliant on themselves, opposite to society’s beliefs. In The Wedding Gift and “The Company of Wolves, Thomas Raddall and Angela Carter show in order to achieve freedom and independence, it is necessary for women to break society’s expectations. Raddall and Carter use characters, locations and symbols to convey this message. ...view middle of the document...

The second husband beat the women for showing compassion towards her first husband. No matter what the woman does, she is always victimized by men. In order to be free from control, it is important for her to be independent and break free from the domestic role. In The Wedding Gift, the snow represents the feminine nature of Kezia. This is shown when Raddall states, “Kezia had prayed for snow, storms of snow, to bury the trail and keep anyone from crossing the cape of Bristol Creek. But now they were setting out from Harper’s farm, with Harper’s big brown horse, and all of Kezia’s prayers had gone for naught” (Raddall 1). Kezia believes if it snows, she will not have to go on her journey to marry Mr. Hathaway. But when it does snow, her journey becomes more difficult. The snow represents Kezia’s inability to make her own decisions. As well, snow is frozen water and water represents femininity. The fact that the water is frozen shows how Kezia is trapped to play the domestic role and marry Mr. Hathaway. At the end of the story, the snow stops showing the reader Kezia breaks free of the domestic role, society’s expectations and gains freedom. Next, Little Red’s Shawl is used as a symbol of her innocence and womanly self. This is evident when Carter says, “She closed the window on the wolves’ threnody and took off her scarlet shawl, the colour of poppies, the colour of sacrifices, the colour of menses. She bundled up her shawl and threw it on the blaze, which instantly consumed it” (Carter 6). Little Red is described as an innocent girl with her shawl on but by the end of the story, she removes that shawl. She breaks society’s expectations and uses sexuality as power to seduce the wolf. The wolf had played the part of the predator but Little Red is now playing the predator with her shawl off. Through that act, she saves her life, achieves freedom and ultimately changes her fate. Lastly, the tinderbox symbolizes how Kezia is forced to marry Mr. Hathaway and play the domestic role. At the end of the story, Raddall adds, “Then, swiftly, she undid her bundle and took out the thing that had lain there (and on her conscience) through the night-the tinderbox-Mr. Barclay’s Wedding Gift to Mr. Hathaway. She flung it into the woods and walked on” (Raddall 12). Kezia, after deciding not to marry Mr. Hathaway, throws away the tinderbox. This shows her freedom from Mr. Hathaway’s, her domestic role and Mr. Barclay’s commands. She is capable of being independent and making her own decisions instead of having to follow society’s expectations. Overall, the four symbols show how women are capable of breaking free from society’s expectations and being surpressed by men, in the end gaining freedom.
The next element of narrative form used in both stories is location. Both stories use location is used to emphasize how women are isolated and absent from society. To begin with, Little Red is put in a dangerous location where she is made vulnerable. The...

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