King likes to play with the issues of that border between men and women, in “Green Grass Running Water.” The story crosses genres, moves back and forth across time, and plays with both oral and story-telling tradition and different points of view. It allows the reader to obtain comical relief for important and influential topics. I only touch on Kings idea of women’s roles in this response, but there are many other issues he brings up throughout the novel.
The issue of roles in the novel can be seen when King shows the single women like Alberta, Connie and Babo having to fight to maintain their title such as Miss, Mrs, and Ms. Babo has to correct Sergeant Cereno three times before he understood, she then talks about how her name is traditional and usually is a boys name. King plays with the idea of power and how we have titled ourselves for our identity. It seems the women in the novel are more intelligent than the men. I think King thinks men are more privileged in our society and with that privilege there is a certain laziness. The women don’t take anything for granted and always are working very hard to make their own identity be seen
King demonstrates traditional female roles of mothering, cooking, and maintaining families. But King also likes to overthrow traditional assumptions about women’s race and gender by redefining their identities as single, independent and professionals. King avoids drawing division between men and women. He never gives in to the stereotypes of aboriginals and never gives clear definitions of some characters allowing the reader to see the characters as male or female. For example the elders are never classified as male.
King also doesn’t draw distinctions between Native women and white women. The women don’t seem to be threatened with a possibility of a fractured identity. The women are not involved in political debates or feminist roles. They are more concerned about rebuilding their communities. For example...
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