Analysis Of The Dinner Party By Mona Gardner

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A man is more likely to maintain their composure over a woman in a crisis because they are more capable and secure. Or are they? A widely held belief that is anchored to fit the oversimplified image of what a group of people or one individual person or object is- or should be- is called a stereotype. In the story The Dinner Party by Mona Gardner, a controversial conversation arose between a young girl and a highly-respected colonel in the 1940s, in India. The guests at the elegant dinner party, were comprised of many government officials and their wives. A young women states that women have grown out of the “jumping-on-a-chair-at-the-sight-of-a-mouse-era” and that they are much better in a crisis. The colonel argues that men have more self-control in a crisis than women. Mona Gardner uses the colonel, the American naturalist and Mrs. Wynnes to show that all genders can show equal self-control in a crisis. The colonel represents a living, breathing, stereotype when it comes to men and women. Gardner uses the colonel to unfold the conflict of the story to the reader. The arrogant colonel retorts to the young girl that men have more self-control in a crisis. The colonel argues that, “ A women’s unfailing reaction in any crisis, is to scream. And while a man may feel like it, he has that ounce more of nerve control than a woman has. And that last ounce is what counts” (pg.1). His argument seems convincing at the time by the way he conveys his beliefs in a forceful and
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