Gender Roles In A Wicked Woman

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For most people, gender is implicitly understood as a self-evident reality-a natural extension of our biology. Most of us are assigned to one of two gender categories at birth and follow the delineated and socially constructed path for that particular gender. However, in literature gender can characterize more than ones sex or future expectations. The short story ”A Wicked Woman” written by Jack London highlights the diversity of gender roles. ”A Wicked Woman” was published in 1906 emphasizes female and male roles in a relationship during the 20th century in The United States of America. Specifically, a young woman’s conflicts and choices when visiting Santa Clara, California. The short story highlights gender boundary markers, specifically:…show more content…
When approaching Loretta 's conflict from a family perspective, the readers are exposed to analyze the differences between a male’s and a female’s determination. Because women are known as the more vulnerable and emotional sex, decision making turns upside down when men choose according to their sentiment. This occasion can be seen when Edward is forced to admit his feelings towards the complex situation between Billy 's and Loretta’s slight affair. Before Edward was presented in the short story Loretta’s portrayal was weak. Specifically, the narrator highlights: ”But she was not so sure about not wanting to leave Daisy. Not that she loved Daisy less, but that she--had doubts.” Assuming Loretta was incapable making a decision between running away from an unbearable relationship with Billy and the boundless love towards her older sister Daisy. Thus, interpreting the female gender ideology regarding women’s capability to be a role model within ”A Wicked Woman”. However, the ideology works against men when analyzing men’s potential of leading only with logic in the short story. In detail, the narrator describes the sudden conclusion Edward announces: "Loretta, I (Edward) am a fool. I mean it. And I mean something more. I want you to be my wife.” The quote emphasizes Edward’s emotional side regarding the empathic situation.

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