Professor J. Barrett
30 October 2018
Modern gender roles have a controversial concept in today’s society. Today, gender roles are distinguished between men and women. Each gender is based on personal opinions and how every gender is put into society. Literature and gender roles have a relationship that can interpret how different times and people see gender roles in society. Gender roles can be seen in literature such as The Canterbury Tales, Mallam Sile, and My Father’s Sadness. Authors have a choice of literary elements from which to choose to illustrate, challenge, and demonstrate gender roles to tell a story.
In the Canterbury Tales, author Geoffrey Chaucer uses literary elements, such as, theme, characters, and plot to illustrate gender roles. To display the theme of gender roles, Chaucer uses the story The Wife of Bath’s Tale. The theme of what women desire the most informs readers about what women want from men, which is to be respected. Chaucer also uses characters from the story The Wife of Bath’s Tale to represent the gender roles during this time period. The author has a knight who takes advantages of women. This character shows the interaction between men and women. Women were not treated with respect and did not have a voice to stick up for themselves. Gender roles in the Canterbury Tales reveal that men have more power than women.
Author Mohammed Ali uses literary elements to challenge traditional gender roles by using characters, plot, and dictation in the story Mallam Sile. Author Ali challenges traditional gender roles with the female character, Abeeda, willing to defend her soft-spoken husband. Men were usually the shopkeepers and business owners, being the provider for their families instead of women. Being insulted from his customers put an image on Sile being weak. Marrying Abeeda changed the plot of the story and the interactions with others. An altercation between a man and a woman in the story showed how the gender roles are reversed. Women can have power more than men and can voice for others. Mohammed Ali presented gender roles in a non-traditional way by reversing the powers that men and women can have for each other to be respected.
My Father’s Sadness by Shirley Lim is a poem that uses figurative language, but also liter...