Gender Roles and Marriage

Topics: Gender, Woman, Gender role Pages: 4 (1791 words) Published: May 11, 2012
Gender Roles and Marriage
The two short stories that I have decided to compare and contrast are “The Secret Life of Walter Mitty” by James Thurber; and “I’m Going” by Tristan Bernard. I choose these two particular stories because they were both comedies and funny to me. They both have the same theme as they focus around marriage and gender roles within a marriage and the society they live in. Some things never change; such as the pitiful yet comedic behavior of henpecked husbands and nagging wives. Actually in reality, gender roles in today's modern society have radically changed since the Stone Age.

Every marriage has its ups and downs, not one is 100% perfect. “As all couples experience stressful life events, addressing how couples adapt to stress is imperative for understanding marital development.” (Neff and Broady, 2011) Men and women have different interests, different likes and dislikes. Both stories discuss the theme of gender roles and marriage in the era that they live in. These two literary pieces also show how times are changing from decade to decade. In my reading of this story it is focusing on the marriage between Jeanne and Henri in “I’m Going” by Bernard and the marriage between Mr. and Mrs. Mitty in “The Secret Life of Walter Mitty” by Thurber. For example in the story of "I'm Going," by Bernard, women were looked at like a piece of property. Where in the story, "The Secret Life of Walter Mitty,” a woman was not looked as a piece of property but they were more excepting and viewed as an equal to men. These stories are more about love and commitment to the person you are married too. In both stories the wives are very much out spoken and tell their husbands exactly what they feel and what they want. “Wives may feel they have to work to help support family.” (Espenshade, 1985) The man is assumed to take the leadership role in both stories. “The man is valued for his work outside the home, whereas the woman’s job as parent is paramount.”...
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