Cultural Studies Approach In The Short Story 'The Hand'

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Cultural Studies Approach The short story “The Hand” shows the emotional ride of a new bride addressing the feelings of her new life and new husband. The initial approach of a first time reader may find this story confusing, as they sit inside the mind of the bride. Further breaking down the reading through a critical reading strategy allows the story to be viewed in a specific way, thus making it easier to understand. Looking at the short story “The Hand”, the characters desires, behaviors, and emotions can be analyzed through a cultural studies lens. The desires of the wife, before she notices her husband’s hand, can reflect the culture in this time period of the story, 1924. The 1920’s were a time of social unrest for women, and “flappers” were well known as girls who defied social norms. The first World War had just ended, and culture was receiving a makeover in its wake. Women at this time…show more content…
Throughout all of time, the 1920’s included, people make bad decisions and regret them. It appears that the emotions of the woman are reversing, and she now sees her husband as something much less than the handsome man from the beginning. The hand to her now represents the “...beginning her life of duplicity, of resignation, and of a lovely, delicate diplomacy…” (Colette 284). She has lost confidence in her decision to be happy with this man, and now second guesses if her life will be good or not. Many woman at this time felt similar. They were beginning to feel a captivity in marriage, and shied away from those ideas. The woman in our story comes to realize that she has become bound to this man, and is expected to fulfill her tasks as a wife. As a 1920’s woman, it also seems that she is realizing that this lifestyle may not be for her. The high’s and low’s of her emotions, when looked at culturally, can be viewed as those of a woman trying to find where she fits in a fast changing
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