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Till this day, gender conflict in society is an on-going concern. Through generations men and women have been limited to their ability based on society’s labels that are attached to each gender in which the narrator experiences these restrictions through her household. For instants, the narrator enjoys the work of her father much greater than her mother’s. However, when her father introduced her to the salesman as a “new hired hand”, she was told by the salesman “I thought it was only a girl”.
The comment made by the salesman was one of the many ways the narrator was struck down by her belief and was nothing but a girl. Due to society’s guidelines, men are portrayed to be greater than a girl in which women feel the need to let the men handle men’s work. The narrator is constantly told by her mother “wait till Laird gets a little bigger, then you’ll have real help”. Once again, the narrator is told she doesn’t belong in the position she desires and that it’s temporary, being that the helping hand should be her brother whereas she will be forced to complete the tasks of the household like an ideal girl would carry out.
Generally, when women take upon manly conduct or services many individuals point out and frown upon their originality in a negative way and take it upon themselves to remind them their side of the line.With the pressure of gender role, those who go against society’s guidelines have trouble finding their identity being that they rejected the one that was set for them when they were born. When you think of a girl, you think of someone who generally takes interests in feminine activity such as household cleaning, cooking etc.
Although, the narrator choses to break these chains bounded to her gender, and attempt at creating her own identity. Being that the narrator’s perception on the mother’s work was “endless, dreary, and peculiarly depressing” shows that she has no interests in what a typical girl carry’s out. Her mothers work is far more boring compared to her father’s work which was “ritualistically important”. “These stories were about myself, when I had grown a little older; they took place in a world that was recognizably mine”.
In addition, through these dreams you can see she’s inspired to be someone and not what her reality wants her to be. Despite, that these were based on a fantasy, her braveness that lies within her character allowed her to want more for herself.When individuals are forced to accept certain norms, they tend to do the opposite. The narrator experiences multiple incidents in which the female role in society is constantly being forced upon her.
Something as simple as, when her grandmother told her “girls keep their knees together when they sit down”, is a direct suggestion on how to be a girl. In our society being a girl involves many aspects and something as little as our posture can change people’s assumptions on you. “I can use her more in the house” although, this may not seem big, for the most part of the narrator’s upbringing she religiously had remarks thrown at her by her mother. Whether it was trying to teach her a women role in the household or putting her brother on a pedal stool. “She was now plotting to get me to stay in the house more, although she knew I hated it”.
When were children, believe it or not we have more liberation and people tend to turn a blind eye to things that aren’t considered right in our conduct however, as we grow older our parents try to shape us and feel like it’s their responsibility to show you how to be a proper girl or boy in society.Growing up, the narrator experiences firsthand the fine line in society’s damaged system on gender separation roles. Whether we agree or not, generations will always have defined norms that shape the way individuals live their life, however, it is up to you to separate right values from wrong values.
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