Cloudstreet Gender Essay

Topics: Gender, Gender role, Woman Pages: 4 (1413 words) Published: June 13, 2011
Over the years, representation of gender has played a vital role in stabilizing the stereotypical family structure. By society assigning different “roles” to males and females, we categorize them into what they should and should not do based purely on their sex. Cloudstreet by acclaimed Perth-born author Tim Winton addresses these issues directly. Winton challenged the stereotypical gender roles of males and female in the 1940’s – 1960’s society of Western Australia by reflecting his characters upon his own family and the people in his life, and to relay to the reader his idea of what it means to be feminine and masculine as well as to make his characters more relatable with modern readers of today’s society. The 1940’s – 1960’s was a time of separation for Australian society, especially between women and men. Women were considered as house wives, who lived to serve the needs of the husband and her children, which is illustrated in Fascinating Womanhood by Helen B. Andelin. She takes an excerpt of the Feminine Mystique which informs women from the 50’s on how to behave and uses it to convey the jobs that women were expected to fulfil in society, some of which include “get your work done”, “have dinner ready for when he (your husband) comes home”, “prepare the children and wash their hands and faces”, “minimise all noise” and “be happy to see him”. Women were expected to “solve all the problems” on their own, before a husband returns from work, so that he feels as if he has reached “a haven of rest and order” where he has no need to assist in child care tasks, or housework. Women were expected to derive pleasure from preparing the house and a meal for their husband, which is unrealistic seeing as even women of that decade would have been tired and busy after a day of looking after many children and cleaning the entire house as well as shopping to plan a meal by the afternoon. Winton, who lived in a female-strong household and was bought up in a two-parent...
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