Essay on Gender Roles and Marriage

Words: 2012
Pages: 9

The representation of gender roles and marriage has always been a controversial issue. However, much can be learned about unhappy marriages when examining the roles of both females and males within the marriage. The examination of gender roles and marriage are seen through the following short stories The Story of an Hour, The Necklace, and Country Lovers, along with scholarly articles based on gender role and marriage. Evaluation of these literary works shows quite clearly that social and economic class affects choice in marriage.

Gardiner’s County Lovers presents its fairly clear theme right from the beginning of the story. Yes, there is a theme of race, but if you look even deeper you can see the underlying idea of marriage and
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When Mrs. Mallard received the news about her dead husband she began to weep uncontrollably, only to figure out she was weeping out of joy not sadness. Mrs. Mallards journey thorugh her thoughts help her to realize just how unhappy she was in her marriage, and how much better off she will be living for herself, and only herself.

Although this story is mostly about Mrs. Mallard, it still gives a sense of the stereotypical gender role. An early mention of Mr. Mallard sates that Mrs. Mallard was repressed by him in their marriage life. Mrs. Mallard’s constant joy (after hearing about her husband’s death) suggests that she wanted to leave her husband but did not have the bravery to do so. Also, men are portrayed as the stronger sex as Josephine comforts her sister as she cries in her arms, while Richard stands by and watches. The female takes on the role of the nurturer and comforter as the male takes on the role of the strong, silent type.

The narrator, although a third-person point of view, does a great job of providing an in depth description of Mrs. Mallard’s feelings toward the whole situation. The action is presented through an outside view, displaying the characters thoughts and feelings toward the death of Mr. Ballard. Although most events are sensed through the eyes or the narrator, they do a great job of getting in touch with Mrs. Mallard’s feelings, so the reader can connect better with her, and how she is