* 5) Consider the gender expectations of the Ozark community in which Ree lives. Does she succeed by abiding by traditional gender roles or by rejecting them? Both? Neither? Explain. *
In the Ozarks, the roles of men and women of the Dolly Family over time have not changed. The Olden Dolly men would produce an illegal alcohol called Moonshine as the Present Dolly men are cooking crank. The female gender, both of the past and of the present, would work until they wore out to become empty corpses. Their only responsibility was to preserve and maintain their home. As for Ree Dolly, a well with it and independent teenager, she succeeds by rejecting the traditional gender roles of The Dolly Family. Ironically though, by continuously rejecting them, Ree ultimately abides the traditional gender roles.
Throughout the story of Winter’s Bone, most women are being diminished because they are abiding gender roles. The women closest to Ree, Gail and her mother, are in marital relationships. Her mother, who is nearly brainwashed and cannot function on her own, is described as “a Bromont, born to this house, and she’d once been pretty. Even as she was now, medicated and lost to the present, with hair she forgot to wash or brush and deep wrinkles growing on her face, you could see she’d once been as comely as any girl” (6). This quote shows how marriage affected the life of Ree’s mother in a detrimental way. Before, she was lively and “comely”, but now she’s “medicated and lost to the present”. She also adds numerous chores to Ree’s life such as washing and brushing her hair. In addition, Ree’s dear friend Gail who is married at a very young age cannot make independent choices like Ree can. Unlike in my house, Gail’s husband Floyd has the final say in any decision to be made. For example, Ree asks Gail to borrow her family car, but Gail needs to first confirm it with her husband. When Floyd says no, Ree, puzzled, asks Gail why not. Gail...
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