Femininity In Alice Munroe's The Office

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In the beginning of The Office by Alice Munroe, the narrator claims she is a writer but she seems to have no confidence when stating her occupation. She says, “it is not easy” (1) for her to say she is a writer because “that doesn’t sound right” (1). She feels it is “too presumptuous, phony, and unconvincing” (1) to call herself a writer, therefore she says she “writes or try to write” but it makes her feel worse. “Masculinity” and “femininity” seem to be one of the themes in the story. Even the ornaments in the office and clothing of poodle and bulldog are described with the word “masculine” and “feminine”. The narrator’s description of Mrs. Malley, attitudes toward Mr. Malley, and jealousy of her husband hint at why the narrator is not self-assured of herself and her job: the writer.
The narrator probably has no confidence in her profession because she does not have time or spend time to write because she has to take care of her family and no one approves her work. In 1962, when Munroe wrote story, women did not have a right to write novels, act, and work outside of house. All women had to be housewives and had no other choices. For instance, many female writers used fake male names, when they published books. Also, in the story, the writer reflects the
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She believes that “house is not the same for a woman. She is not someone who walks into the house, to make use of it, and will walk out again. She is the house; there is no separation possible” (2), which Munroe upbraids about in her story using the humor. When describing Mrs. Malley, the narrator assumes “she would have no children, the stress of her life, whatever it was, she did not allow it” (3). Some women in the 1960s and maybe the narrator also thought children as disrupters of life because they have to use their time for children, not
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