Gender Stereotypes In A Rose For Emily And Hills Like White

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From the beginning of time, there have always been roles that people have thought that the different genders were supposed to follow. Gender stereotypes have been enforced by literature and how different characters are portrayed in stories. The stereotypes seen in almost all cultures, unfortunately, help maintain and sometimes even strengthen the patriarchal society. Oftentimes, women’s opinions on certain topics do not hold as much weight as men’s opinions on the same topics. Even the way men and women speak and the different types of languages the genders use have stereotypical roots. There is an idea in society that women do not live a fulfilled and content life until a man has entered their lives. “A Rose for Emily” and “Hills like White …show more content…

Pamela Smiley, a Professor at the University of Wisconsin, suggests that there is a representation of different languages being spoken in “Hills like White Elephants”. She explains that there are female gender-linked language patterns and male linked-language patterns being represented. The male speaker in the story is precise and straightforward. Through the author’s use of dialogue, the male is depicted as more dominant while the female is more submissive. This upholds the traditional gender role that suggests that men hold more of an authority role in the decision-making process than women do. The female speaker is also more imprecise. The female uses unsure language like “I guess” and “kinda”. This language difference portrays a power imbalance between the two characters. Smiley suggests that the way the female in the story talks presents a sense that, “the audience does not really know what she is talking about (nor does she), but that she is very concerned with whom she is talking to, concerned with whether he is interested in her and whether his needs are being met” (Smiley 2). This fits the stereotype that women are more concerned with emotions than logic. She cares more about the man’s feelings than the actual situation at …show more content…

This type of language portrays the character as though she is fragile and in need of saving, which enforces stereotypes and roles. Traditional gender roles show that men are thought to be the protectors while women are the ones who need the protection. “A Rose for Emily” shows that the women in town use gossip-like language, which can be seen in the line, “Then some of the ladies began to say that it was a disgrace to the town and a bad example to the young people. The men did not want to interfere” (Faulkner 6). The line shows a mob-like mentality between the women and emphasizes that the men stayed away from the

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