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Analysis of Gender Roles in Kate Chopin’s The Story of an Hour

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Introduction

One important issue that arose towards the end of the 20th century was the issue of gender. The issue of gender has become a topic that has entered into every social analysis, a subject in the debate over social change and has also become a major topic in discussions about development and social change. In recent times, various writings in both the mass media and books, or activities such as seminars, discussions, etc. discuss much about protests and lawsuits related to injustice and discrimination against women. Injustice and discrimination occur at almost all levels and sectors, ranging from the international, state, religious, social (social), cultural, economic, to the household level. Gender comes from the Latin ‘genus’, meaning type or type. Gender is a characteristic of roles and responsibilities imposed on women and men, which is determined socially and does not originate from God’s gift or nature. The concept of gender is the result of social construction created by humans, which are not permanent, changeable and can be transferred and exchanged according to the time, place and local culture from one sex to another. The concept of gender also includes the characteristics or characteristics of men and women created by family and / or society, which are influenced by culture and religious interpretations. For example, in general, cooking, child care, washing are always mentioned only as women’s work. This view is the creation of a society from a particular culture, even though the work can also be exchanged with men or can be done by men. But this view may differ from one culture to another. These characteristics or characteristics create a distinction between men and women called gender differentiation. This often results in different social roles between men and women. This role is learned and changes from time to time and from one place to another. This social role or often called gender role influences the pattern of power relations between women and men which is often referred to as gender relations.

Discussion

The term gender was originally developed as an analysis of social science by Aan Oakley (1972). Since then, according to him, gender was then considered a good analytical tool to understand the problem of discrimination against women in general. Gender is not the same as gender (sex). The concept of sex or sex is more biological differences in women and men; on the difference between male and female bodies. Thus when we talk about gender differences, we will discuss the biological differences that are generally found between men and women, such as differences in terms of shape, height and weight in a person, in the structure of reproductive organs and function, in sound, etc. While gender is a term used to describe differences between men and women socially that shape them.

Gender is a concept of social relations that distinguishes functions and roles between men and women. The difference in functions and roles between men and women is not determined because there are biological and natural differences, but rather according to their position, function and role in various fields of life and development. According to Mead in the history and culture of Western societies, there are differences in personality between men and women. In this classification women are generally associated with certain personality traits such as maternal character, not aggressive, gentle-hearted, helpful, emotional, dependent, indulgent, caring for the needs of others and having feminism sexuality. Men, on the other hand, are associated with hard, aggressive, dominating personality traits and strong sexuality. The diversity in social life conditions, a system is made based on a consensus of values so that there is an interrelation that is for the sake of something called harmony, stability and balance (equilibrium). This system requires an adequate number of actors, so that the function and structure of someone in the system determines the achievement of stability or harmony. This applies to social systems: religion, education, political structure, to the household, in this case including gender. The socialization of the structure’s function is carried out through institutionalization, through socialized norms. Gender injustice and discrimination are conditions of inequality and inequality or are unfair as a result of a social structure system in which both women and men are victims of the system. Gender injustice occurs because of the beliefs and justifications that are instilled throughout human confrontation in various forms that not only affect women but also are experienced by men. Although overall gender inequality in various lives is more experienced by women, but gender inequality also affects men.

In this essay, the writer will discuss gender issues that can be seen from a short story titled ‘The Story of an Hours’ by Kate Chopin. Kate Chopin in her short story written in 1984 tells the story of a woman named Mallard. she has a heart health problem. One day the family reported that her husband had died in a train accident. Because of her heart condition, her sister had to be careful when delivering bad news to her. She was afraid that the news of her husband’s death would cause a heart attack. she devised a strategy of how to tell the news to his sister little by little, which worked very well. Mallard did not react as expected, but instead, she began to cry. Mallard wonders how she can survive without a husband. She went to a room and locked herself to reflect on what her husband’s death had brought to her life. She was sad that her husband was dead. This sudden death shocked her. His younger sister, Josephine, and friends Richard and Louise also grieved. When she was in the room alone, Mallard really thought of the future. Unexpectedly, she contemplated her life without her husband. Despite her sadness, she began to calculate the best parts of her life without her husband. She saw many opportunities and freedom to do what he wanted to do with her life. she believes that the coming years will be perfect because she only has to worry about herself. She even prayed that life would be long. After some time, she opened the door to Josephine, her sister who had a happy face. They went down the stairs of the house, and Mr. Mallard appeared when he opened the gate. Mallard was not involved in the accident and could not understand why Josephine cried. Upon seeing her husband, Mr. Mallard, his wife Mrs. Mallard collapsed and eventually died. The doctors said that she died because of heart disease.

From the story fragment from the short story ‘The Story of An Hour’ we can see that after all Mrs. Mallard, who initially felt saddened by the news of her husband’s grief, with a very calm flow, she suddenly enjoyed his sadness that instead turned into happiness. She realized that without a husband, he would be able to move freely. This flow is also described through flower symbols that are almost blooming, birdsong, and open windows bring fresh air to Mrs. Mallard. touches that support Mrs. Mallard to be happy and feel freedom. In a gender study, the story of this short story is as a social criticism of feminists who at that time realized how position based on gender is clearly not equal. How a woman must submit to a man, how a woman will end up being a wife, everything is limited by her husband. Here we can see how Mrs. Mallard realized that her love for her husband was closed by his free will from the restraints of her husband. The ending of this story is when Mrs. Mallard came out of the room proudly, feeling the happiness that still flowed in her body, but suddenly there came a man who turned out to be her husband who survived the accident. Mrs. Mallard was very hysterical, not because she was happy to see her husband return, but realized how happy she was to be free to fail. She also died of happiness that is only an instant. The background of the story

At that time, a woman did get rights far below a man. There a history about feminist; As the 20th century entered, the women’s movement in America began to collaborate with other women’s movements. This collaboration is carried out to strengthen each other in voicing their issues. One of the minor victories of women in America in the early 20th century was the acceptance of the XIX amendment (Nineteen). The amendment is an amendment to the law which guarantees voting rights for all adults regardless of sex. Depressed living conditions can foster women’s awareness of their abilities. Awareness of women’s abilities is no different from men beginning to emerge in 1940. It also cannot be separated from the occurrence of World War II. During the war, more than 6 million women had to work in various sectors that had been done by men. This moment made them realize that they were also able to work in various sectors that had been dominated by men. Around 1970, the issue of the growing women’s movement began to take a step forward. They then raised the problem of sexual discrimination that occurred in women. The demand for equal rights and social justice for women does not work alone, along with that, Martin Luther King, Jr. fight for the elimination of racial discrimination in America. Eventually they then made a push together and received enormous support from the American community. As a result of the urging the US Congress issued a bill, namely the Equal Rights Amendment (ERA). However, in the course of the ERA it failed to become an amendment because it did not reach 2/3 of the votes from 35 countries. So that there are very many literary works that discuss feminism in order to carry out social criticism especially towards differences in gender treatment as in the short story written by Kate Chopin. With simple language and a short story, readers can easily grasp the message that a wife does not always feel happiness on the basis of love. The instinct of a wife as someone who can give birth, does not rule out the possibility for them to be able to move more, equal to men. Basically, gender differences exist on the basis of social norms that are intentionally formed in certain social settings. So the feminists feel, that between male and female gender should be equal.

Conclusion

The concept of gender also includes the characteristics or characteristics of men and women created by family and / or society, which are influenced by culture and religious interpretations. For example, in general, cooking, child care, washing are always mentioned only as women’s work. This view is the creation of a society from a particular culture, even though the work can also be exchanged with men or can be done by men. But this view may differ from one culture to another. These characteristics or characteristics create a distinction between men and women called gender differentiation. This often results in different social roles between men and women. This role is learned and changes from time to time and from one place to another. The writer in this paper tells about how From the story fragment from the short story ‘The Story of An Hour’ we can see that after all Mrs. Mallard, who initially felt saddened by the news of her husband’s grief, with a very calm flow, he suddenly enjoyed his sadness that instead turned into happiness. He realized that without a husband, he would be able to move freely. In a gender study, the story of this short story is as a social criticism of feminists who at that time realized how position based on gender is not equal. How a woman must submit to a man, how a woman will end up being a wife, everything is limited by her husband. Here we can see how mrs. Mallard realized that his love for her husband was closed by his free will from the restraints of her husband. The ending of this story is when Mrs. Mallard came out of the room proudly, feeling the happiness that still flowed in her body, but suddenly there came a man who turned out to be her husband who survived the accident. Mrs. Mallard was very hysterical, not because she was happy to see her husband return, but realized how happy he was to be free to fail. He also died of happiness that is only an instant.

References

  1. Short story entitled “The Story of an Hour” by Kate Chopin https://lakilakibaru.or.id/sejarah-gerakan-perempuan-di-dunia/ https://gendernews88.wordpress.com/2010/09/07/konsep-dan-teori-gender/ https://archive.vcu.edu/english/engweb/webtexts/hour/storyofhour.html

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Analysis Of Gender Roles In Kate Chopin’s The Story Of An Hour. (2020, December 10). GradesFixer. Retrieved September 22, 2021, from https://gradesfixer.com/free-essay-examples/analysis-of-gender-roles-in-kate-chopins-the-story-of-an-hour/
“Analysis Of Gender Roles In Kate Chopin’s The Story Of An Hour.” GradesFixer, 10 Dec. 2020, gradesfixer.com/free-essay-examples/analysis-of-gender-roles-in-kate-chopins-the-story-of-an-hour/
Analysis Of Gender Roles In Kate Chopin’s The Story Of An Hour. [online]. Available at: <https://gradesfixer.com/free-essay-examples/analysis-of-gender-roles-in-kate-chopins-the-story-of-an-hour/> [Accessed 22 Sept. 2021].
Analysis Of Gender Roles In Kate Chopin’s The Story Of An Hour [Internet]. GradesFixer. 2020 Dec 10 [cited 2021 Sept 22]. Available from: https://gradesfixer.com/free-essay-examples/analysis-of-gender-roles-in-kate-chopins-the-story-of-an-hour/
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