Gender Roles In Edgar Allan Poe

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Gender Roles in the Works of Edgar Allan Poe
"A gender-equal society would be one where the word 'gender' does not exist: where everyone can be themselves," Gloria Steinem. This quote refers to gender roles in today's society and implicitly cultivates the idea of how important these gender roles are. Steinem expresses that a world without gender roles allows for people to be themselves and stray away from whom they think they should be. In today's culture, gender is a widely discussed topic whether it be about how the genders are classified or simply how they should act. The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy defines sex or gender roles as "The behaviors, attitudes, and activities expected or common for males and females. Whereas sex roles
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In Argersinger review, she quotes David Greven's in "Gender Protest and Same-Sex Desire in Antebellum American Literature" . Greven explains how Poe's use of sexual attractions challenged social norms. Being homosexual in today's society is no longer taboo as it used to be, but in the 1800's, it was. Homosexuality became more evident in his Narrative of Arthur Gordon Pym (1838). Argersinger describes the story and that Pym went to sea for love. This situation is not as surprising at this time period, but in the 1800's, homosexuality was not as accepted thus bringing a lot of insight and provoking social constructs. Poe's queer tendencies in the Narrative of Arthur Gordon Pym represent a blurred line between friendship and homosexuality with Pym's various relationships between characters. "Gender Protest chiefly concerns itself with the "emotional" and the "aesthetic" aspects of literary representation," (Argersinger). Poe's male characters have been often not only mad, but generally sensitive and frightened. In his story "The Black Cat", the main character blames his insanity on a cat. Not many men are scared of a cat, but the character's insanity shows fear and challenges masculinity. It could be possible Poe discussed homosexuality in his work due to his anger with his feminine relationships, although strong women characters were still evident in his