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Sowmya Pellakur ENGL 105 Leo Collins The Impact of Gender Roles on Short Stories There has been a common trend in which we see that gender roles affect the overall plot and events in short stories written by James Joyce and Ernest Hemingway In analyzing the impact of gender roles in the plots of Indian Camp by Ernest Hemingway Eveline and Araby by James Joyce we see that societal expectations and stereotypes surrounding gender greatly influence the characters actions and decisions which end up shaping the outcomes of each story In Indian Camp gender roles are mainly shown through the character of the Indian woman who is portrayed as a silent passive figure fulfilling her traditional role as a wife and mother This is evident when the woman is depicted lying in bed enduring the intense pain of childbirth without uttering a single word The men including the protagonist Nick and his father assume the roles of authority and control dictating the woman s experience and ultimately determining her fate Hemingway writes Can t you give her something to make her stop screaming asked Nick No I haven t any anaesthetic his father said But her screams are not important I don t hear them because they are not important This quote highlights the dismissive attitude toward the woman s suffering emphasizing the prevailing belief in the insignificance of female pain within the context of childbirth Similarly in Eveline gender roles play a significant role in shaping the main character s decision making process Eveline is restricted to the domestic environment burdened by the responsibilities of caring for her family and maintaining the household Her father s authoritarian presence is very large which symbolizes the patriarchal control that restricts Eveline s decisions Joyce writes She had consented to go away to leave her home Was that wise She tried to weigh each side of the question In her home anyway she had shelter and food she had those whom she had known all her life about In this quote Eveline is in a dilemma with the conflicting desires for freedom and security torn between her duty to her family and the possibility of a better life elsewhere Gender expectations dictate that she prioritize familial obligations over personal fulfillment which end up leading to her decision to remain where she is In Araby gender roles manifest through the protagonist s feelings towards Mangan s sister whom he idealizes as an ethereal figure of purity and innocence The boy s romanticized perception of the girl reflects traditional notions of femininity which strengthens the stereotype of women having simply the purpose of just being desired and admired Joyce says Her image accompanied me even in places the most hostile to romance On Saturday evenings when my aunt went marketing I had to go to carry some of the parcels We walked through the flaring streets jostled by drunken men and bargaining women amid the curses of laborers the shrill litanies of shop boys who stood on guard by the barrels of pigs cheeks the nasal chanting of street singers In this quote the boy s view on Mangan s sister serves as a distraction from the harsh realities of his surroundings which allows him to escape into a world of fantasy and desire

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UNC-Chapel Hill ENGL 105 - Unit 3 Paper

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