Women Gender Roles In Society Essay
Gender roles have had a dominant place in society throughout the century, different families emphasizing different roles. Society places certain expectations on men and women; allocating specific responsibilities to each gender. In Alice Munroe’s and James Joyce's short stories, the inexplicit social roles for women exist throughout society during these eras.
In Alice Munroe’s “Boys and Girls” the narrator’s mother is viewed as a stereotypical traditional housewife as opposed to James Joyce’s Mrs. Mooney in “The Boarding House”. Mrs. Mooney is seen as more of a modern mother. This essay contrasts the modern and traditional woman by explaining the stereotypes associated with each, as is evident in the above short stories.
‘Modern women’ are career oriented and self-sufficient. They do not need a man to provide for them, as they are independent and in control of their lives financially. The ‘modern mother’ is exemplified in the text. In “The Boarding House” it states that Mrs. Mooney does not want to intervene with Polly’s relationship so that she could try and manipulate Mr. Doran into marrying her daughter so that she would have a good future ahead of her. In contrast, the traditional mother is more reliant on others. This concept is revealed in “Boys and Girls” when it states in the book that the narrator’s mother would be given jobs such as working in the kitchen peeling peaches and cutting onions all day.
The stereotype of the traditional mother can be viewed in Munroe’s “Boys and Girls” when the narrator’s mother is more emotionally available to her children. When referring to her mother, she states “If she was feeling cheerful, she would tell me all sorts of things—the name of the dog she had when she was a little girl, the names of boys she had gone out with later on when she was grown up, and what certain dresses of hers had looked like”(p.494). On the other hand, in “The Boarding House” any sort of...
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