Loretta About Billy

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A gender bias is not implied clearly in the text although there are clear suggestions towards certain perceptions of the sexes. There seems to be some qualities that guide the development of characters based on whether they are female or male. The gender roles and identities reflect an image that is very typical in the Western world in the early 20th century which makes the text well suited for its time. The context of time explains the perception of Loretta as a weak and sensitive woman while the men, especially Ned Bashford, are portrayed as educated and intellectually intelligent which creates a traditional division between femininity and masculinity. Loretta is continuously described as uncertain and sensitive to emotions and affections…show more content…
The clear jealousy of Ned while speaking to Loretta about Billy is one: “”This--er—this Billy,” he began haltingly. ”He is your brother?”” This is breaking the image of a masculine power and gives him a softer side. The lack of aggression is also softening his character. It is the presence and distress of Loretta that seems to bring out this softer side for his view of women before Loretta was a disturbing and almost objectifying one: “Women were faithless and unveracious”. All these contradictions point to the conclusion that there isn’t a particularly strong gender bias but that the traditional perceptions of gender have been used to enhance the characters and the meaning of the story.
In the same way as the seemingly masculine image of Ned Bashford was broken down by details, the character of Loretta grows throughout the text and gains some contradictory qualities. Her resentment towards the idea of a marriage to Billy is probably the
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Intellectual words are mainly used when describing men’s ideas and thoughts while Loretta, as a woman, is being described to have “the grace of a slender flower - - and line of fine china.” This seems to contribute to the idea of an intentional use of gender roles to serve a purpose to the story. The personalities of the other characters in the story are quite different from each other and therefor the text does not create or bring up only one perception of women and men but make up a descriptive story that feels honest. The descriptiveness of the text further contribute to the conclusion that the gender bias is not enhanced or created in the text particularly but through the imagery of the time period there is evidence towards a more universal form of gender bias. The text uses the already existing gender bias as a way to reflect on the time and conditions of the
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