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Social developments, and personal identities are determined the social environment which one is brought up in as well as inner perception of certain social issues such as gender roles and associated stereotypes. However, there are exceptions whereby some individuals go against through this natural pattern of life though rare. In this paper, I will address two characters from two different works of literature that are faced with social conflicts that influence their life significantly to some degree. Both, Emily from Faulkner’s “Rose for Emily” and Amanda from William’s “The Glass Menagerie” are socially a representation of the “Old South” with modern times during which radical ideas have come into place outfacing the traditional customs. Consequently, the characters have encountered conflicts due to their contrasting with traditions the societies, which they have been brought have embraced.
First, Emily and Amanda feature as the signature characters of the respective literary works, which the authors have developed them for illustrating the themes of the ‘Old South” and the Modern times. In William’s “The Menagerie” Amanda is a typical woman who is convinced and in support of gender stereotypes. Her perception of gender roles renders her a victim of the social conflict of her marriage, which she seems to value less although it is denial to swallow the bitter truth.
For instance, she accuses her husband of being involved in other activities other than going out to the movies at night. In fact, she only opens to confess that she her marriage as a way of finding her daughter a suitor, but attaches less emotions to in denial. Her marriage is all about her children whom she has future plans for, but rather over emphasized. She a background of the “old south” from a relatively outstanding family hence undergoes major economic and social reversals in the course of her life. The reversal of her life from being attached to her kins, and entering marriage is a drastic change which she has a hard time coping with. Amanda’s new social status it an introduction to an extremely new world. On the hand, social revolution of the “Old South” to a modern era is a purely new social set up of a modern society, which entirely different from the traditions, which, they practiced there before. A modern society, involved a social set up in which the social distinctions between men and women are no longer valued, but disregarded. In her marriage life, he is in conflict with his husband, for not taking their daughter, Laura for who she is.
In fact, she is preoccupied with finding a suitor for their daughter. She nags him to get her a Gentleman caller. She does all this in her nostalgia of her teenage life, which remembers having seventeen gentle callers at one instance on a Sunday. The matter is quite important to her since her daughter already dropped out of school and has never had gentlemen callers, and has no hope of getting any. However, his husband does not amount to this, but takes pleasure in going out to the movies.
Like, Emily from Faulkner’s “Rose for Emily” experiences social conflict with the society, which she been up in by her family. Although her marital status is unlike that of Amanda. Emily is composed and unshaken by the social issue, which rise due to the succumbing of the “Old South” to the modern times. After the death of her father, the poor loner is also in deep denial since her problems coping with the death of her, which is quite a huge loss. In fact, her father is the only company she had given that no suitor was approved by her dad thus, she remained unmarried. The conflict adapting to the new social set up of being alone without anyone close took so much of her. This is evident of the people who came to her house after her burial just to see the house since she had never moved out since her father’s death. In addition, she had been reluctant to let people to bury her father since he was the only company she had.
In conclusion, it is evident that the social set up of the “Old South” is in conflict with the modern times, and leads to personal conflicts with the society since the main characters present the whole society in general.