Women's discussions, gossip or whatever you may call it is based on establishing a connection between the women that leads to a discussion of shared values. Tannen compares the two sexes to find men use their conversation as a type of competition or a way to preserve their independence. For example, men talk about their knowledge regarding sports, cars, business, ext. Meanwhile, women try to foster intimacy with others through a more personal communication. In the short story, "Near Pala" we see the characters demonstrating a perfect example of exactly that. The story starts out with the men in the front, controlling the vehicle and discussing business while the women in the back are lost in conversation of pregnancies and vacations abroad. According to Tannen, women use language to achieve intimacy, resulting in what she calls "rapport talk." For women, "talk is the glue that holds relationships together," and so conversations are "negotiations for closeness in which people try to seek and give confirmation and support, and to reach consensus." Men, on the other hand, use language to convey information, resulting in what Tannen calls "report talk." Because men maintain relationships through other activities, conversation for them becomes a negotiation for status, which explains why men debate more frequently amongst each other than women.
Gender roles are taught not only from our parents but also from media, television, magazines, books, etc. Almost every part of our lives has some sort of outside influence, showing the ‘norm’ of behavior and thinking styles. Men are to provide for a family, where women take care of the family. This alone explains why Nan and Gareth had such strong opposing feelings for the woman begging for water. Like most women, Nan feels the need to nurture and care for someone when they see them in distress. Gareth feels the need to prove that he has worked hard for the life...