Traditional Gender Roles In Hawthorne's Young Goodman Brown

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What are traditional gender roles? Gender roles are based on standards set and created by society. In the US, masculine roles are usually associated with strength, aggression, providing, and dominance (Boundless). Feminine roles are linked to passivity, nurturing, and subservience. These stereotypes begin at birth and are influenced by family, education, friends, and media. Gender roles are regarded as a social construct. This means that they do not exist naturally, but is instead a concept that is created by cultural and societal norms. Many traditional gender roles began as early as the eighteenth century. Ideas about gender difference were derived from classical thought, Christian ideology, and contemporary science and medicine (Oldbaileyonline). People believed that men and women were physically made different so they could maintain different qualities. Men were considered to be courageous and determined while women were expected to be modest, compassionate, and obedient. Men were the ones who earned the money for the family and women were the ones who cared for the family, with no exceptions. Women were lusted after and were often seen as just pleasure objects to their husbands. There were few opportunities to step outside of the …show more content…
Violation of this separation is present in the story, as Faith leaves her husband with a kiss on the doorstep, but then reemerges at the gathering (Gradesaver). The story begins with a young naïve man, Young Goodman Brown, saying goodbye to his wife to go on a journey. His wife, Faith, begs his not to leave, however he says he cannot stay. This shows how traditional gender roles require that women be dependent on their husbands. It shows that women cannot survive without the protection and care from another