The essay is a rough draft which will help in developing a refined final paper. The theme that will guide the analysis is the representation of gender roles and/or marriage. Two works used to support the theme are the necklace and the Secret Life of Walter Mitty written by de Mauppassant and Thurber respectively. Historically, it is until 20th centaury that being a female meant being a housewife. Before now, women were being subdued. It is worth noting that women during that time had no rights, they were to stay home, cook, do all house chores, take good care of their families. Indeed they were deemed to be half humans hence not worthy human rights.
This according to a Russian sounds funny and sad. Currently, there are a number of groups that fight for women position in the society making them recognized, this might make it hard for the current generation to imagine that some times back, and women were not seen as being constituent of a society. It is no doubt that the role of females is fully reflected in various literatures. Nonetheless, due to the reason that women held no status in the society, they were not expected to engage in any work and for that matter found themselves in unhappy marriages (Roberts, 1991).
It is worth noting that the choice to use The Necklace in studying the representation of role of gender role and or marriage was guided by my interest in the book. When I first read the book I really enjoyed it this is attributed to how the author ended the whole story, Mithilde losing it all and finding her self in more trouble as well as establishing that she was dubbed by her friend Mrs. Jeane Forestier. The second choice, the Secret Life of Walter Mitty was as a result of its link to the first choice, both having characters that are dreamers and build castle in the air.
The piece of art tells the story of Madame Mathilde Loisel and her husband. Through this piece of work, we are able to carry out an analysis of gender roles and or marriage.
The story is the life of Mithilde and her husband. She was a beautiful and charming girl, born in a family of artisan. She thus had no hopes of marrying a man of her dreams, rich and with a social status. She ended up marrying a poor man working as a clerk in ministry of education. Mathilde always built castles in the air, making her not accept who she was (Guy 1884)
Her husband through intensive pleading, managed to get two invitations to the ministry's party. His wife refused to attend the party stating that she has nothing to put on. The husband used the money he had saved in order to buy a gun used it to buy her a dress. His wife is still not satisfied and demands to put on an expensive jewelry. With no money left, the husband was of the opinion that the wife opt to borrow money from her friend Jeane Forestier.
She bought an expensive necklace, while at the party; she realized that the diamond necklace was no longer there. The two searched it to no vain; they were forced to take loans from their fiends to buy a necklace just like the one that got lost. To repay the loan, they worked for ten years to raise the 36,000 francs. While walking, thinking the tribulations she underwent, she met with Jeane, as a results of wriggles the later doesn't recognize her. They talked and through the conversation, it emerges that the lost necklace bared cost 500 franc Guy, 1884).
It is evident that Mathilde while using her gender in trying to look like other women who are from well of families landed her self as well as her husband into a longer period of toiling paying for a necklace not worthy their efforts. "When you like women, they think you are supposed to do everything for them. It's not like we can't . . . it's like we won't. Women make men do the dumbest things. It just ain't right! Can't we get along? Like and love are two different things. Just because we call you, doesn't mean we need you. Women want it all . . . love, money, cars, money, money, money and more money" (Waff 1995).In her desires, the family went into borrowing which later made it spent ten years to repay the loan.
It is also apparent that women in this case portrayed by Mathilde however much their husbands try their best to meet their expectation, they are always in dire need for something more and of course more expensive (Guy, 1884). After sacrificing his money that was intended to buy a gun, her husband used it to buy he a dress, she not only didn't show pleasure but also gratitude and demanded a jewel.
This made her husband allow her to borrow from her friend, what this depicts is that women can plunge the whole society into trouble, in this scenario, the family toiled for ten good years repaying the loan, resulting to wriggled wife that can no longer be recognized by her friend. This signifies that as much as we desire for equality and recognition in the society, the price for doing so is extremely high.
We are also told that she was not pleased with what she had in her house, from curtains, worn out furniture, poor house with mean walls. Before marrying his present husband, she used to seeing herself with expensive jewelry despite the fact she was from a very humble and poor background. This symbolizes the desire of women when it comes to power and equality (Guy, 1884). They crave for much and do very little themselves in trying to realize such dreams, it is thus important for them to not only call for equality and power but take steps towards attainment of the same.
On the other hand, it is evident that it is the responsibility of a man or a husband to provide to his spouse. Mathilde's husband despite the fact that he works as a clerk in the ministry of education earning very little, the money he saved to buy a gun decided to use it to by his wife a new dress. This is not appreciated as she calls for him to buy her a necklace. Additionally, male in marriage are the one who make decision, for instance, when Mithilde had the idea of borrowing jewelry from Mrs. Jeane Forestier a friend to Mathilde. On the same note, it is evident that Mathilde husband went an extra mile to beg for an extra ticket so that his wife could be present during the Ministry of Public Instruction party. These are among the sacrifices men undergo to try their level best to make the women they love feel appreciated and satisfied but most often than not, their counter parts (spouses) do not see that and will always crave for more.
This is a representation of gender roles and/or marriage from Thurber's "The Secret Life of Walter Mitty," The Secret Life of Walter Mitty is a short story that talks of a man and her wife life. The man is seen to have dominated by daydreams fantasies that made him to have five dreams at the daytime. He is portrayed to have vague behaviors that make her to fell in the wrath of being domineered by his wife. The man seems to be represented as a weak marriage partner who is unable to accomplish real life things and instead he run to fantasies that make him feels a hero (Manchester & Thurber, 1968).
The short story generally deals with a man who is ha smiled mannered behaviors. He is seen to be very vague. He drives to a Waterbury with her wife to attend their weekly chores of shopping as her wife goes to a salon (Fensch, 2001). Walter is seen to come of the house with overshoes that were placed in his box and grasped it under his arm. He was wondering the other thing tat his wife has asked him to come with and have forgotten. However, she had told her twice before coming out of the house. This shows how responsible his wife was in the marriage. It also shows the level of the domineering that the wife had in his life.
The book sites that Walter hated this weekly trip to the town as he always made something has to go wrong. This shows irresponsibility of male gender in the family setting. He is also portrayed as ineffectual in the marriage and the things they were doing in the family life. The book also shows her memorizing things that his wife had asked him to come with as he say such things as corundum, toothpaste, toothbrush, bicarbonate and forget the last thing that he was sent. He never liked to ask his wife showing that the man was escapist, as he never wanted to be seen as a failure in life. He knew very well that they will collide with his wife but opted to keep quiet than asking what he was not remembering. He feared to be asked," don't tell me that you have forgotten that what's-its-name" (Manchester & Thurber 1968).
At this far we see a situation where the male gender is portrayed to be very weak and cannot be able to confront his wife for such small issues. The man is seen to be controlled by her wife as her wife to be very independent of her life as a part of family. Nevertheless, despite of her domineering ability, the wife is seen as not oppressive to the man. All over a sudden, as his struggle to remember the things, a newspaper carrier shouted something about the Waterbury trial and it is at this point we see the escapist nature of the male gender as portrayed by the book. He seems to say that, "perhaps this will refresh your mind". In his daydream, he sees district attorney place a heavy automatic figure at the stand where witness was. He is asked in his dream if he has ever seen that before (Napierkowski & Rose, 2006).
Therefore, he examines it and claims that it was his fifty-eight webly-vickers. The court process is seen to proceed at his dream but the aim of the whole episode was to escape from his forgetful nature and at the end of his fantasy dream, he is seen to have gone through this and surpassed his forgetful mind. This shows a loser in the male gender in the family as Walter is displayed to comfort himself to be a hero (Thurber, 1962). He even thought to be a US navy pilot to ensure that he portrays himself as a hero but only in the fantasy world while all those are not real but are there to ensure he see his life complete and to forget his short comings. Otherwise, her wife is seen to be independent of her mind and realistic of issues. This makes the reason why she is able to rule over her husband.
From the review of the story by Guy de Maupassant, "The Necklace" and The Secret Life of Walter Mitty written by Thurber we clearly see the issue of gender, sexuality, gender and power, equality and prestige. Mathilde in her quest to try suit a life status that is beyond her as well as capability of her husband has landed her into serious trouble. In the other short story, Walter is a man domineered by his wife and life in the world of fantasy. In both the works, main characters live a life of denial and seek to imagine a better life. It is also evident that there are varied roles played by the respective gender; however, Walter unlike Mathilde husbands does most of the housework like shopping among others. Walter also fails in acting responsibly as a man in marriage; he seems to forget things easily.