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Narrative Approaches in Short Stories - Essay Example

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This paper "Narrative Approaches in Short Stories" focuses on the fact that gender differences are often portrayed quite subtly in novels, short stories, and other literary forms. For instance, the general perceptions about women are often conveyed through female characters.  …
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Narrative Approaches in Short Stories
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Download file to see previous pages Nevertheless, it could not be avoided that perceptions of authors are differently expressed because of their genders. In the stories entitled “A Rose for Emily” and “Odour of Chrysanthemums”, such characteristics are portrayed by the authors. Therefore, this paper will look even further specifically at the biases, marginalization of women and sympathies of the authors as they are reflected in the aforementioned stories. “A Rose for Emily” is about an unfortunate woman who lived a miserable life. Being a member of the elite society, her actions and decisions have been greatly influenced by his father who did not want his name to be tarnished. Nevertheless, when he died, Emily was left alone and became involved with a worker who was expected to soon marry her. However, after their short romance, the man was believed to have abandoned Emily. When the woman finally died because of old age, it was revealed that the stink that has plagued the neighborhood about thirty years ago, was the cadaver of the man who was supposed to marry her, which was laid on her bed and was discovered showing the traces of hair and bones as proofs. The choice of using a fragile and dainty woman presented as a criminal shows bias on the part of the author. Since his female character is an unlikely personality to commit such a gruesome act like killing a person and having his cadaver stay in the room for years, it somehow portrays the perception that women, in their physical appearance, are as dangerous and/or even more treacherous than men. This suggests that women should not be trusted because behind their vulnerable appearances, they actually are precarious. On the other hand, “Odour of Chrysanthemums” narrates the story of a woman whose husband died in an accident, which explains why he has not gone home at the time he was expected to. However, the narration focuses more on the two women characters, the wife, and the mother-in-law. The wife is shown to be indifferent toward the unexpected circumstance that they are faced with, being more concerned about the children being awakened by the commotion than the fuss she is expected to show over her husband’s death. The mother-in-law, on the other hand, has done nothing since her appearance but to cry and talk about how good her son was. The bias is quite obvious in the story because the male characters are shown to be minor actors who were just there to complete the actions that were expected to take place. On the contrary, the characterizations of the women have been magnified, reflecting the negative attitudes of women behind their obvious activities. On the marginalization of women, “A Rose for Emily” states that “the women mostly out of curiosity (went) to see the inside of her house” (Faulkner). Such declaration asserts that women are not really at the deceased house to show their last respect but to satisfy their curiosity. In addition, it says, “Only a man of Colonel Sartoris’ generation and thought could have invented it, and only a woman could have believed it” (Faulkner). The phrase “Only a man of Colonel Sartoris’ generation and thought” represents the old-fashioned and already non-existing characteristics of males. His generation which he represents is already gone and new generations which have better ideals have changed that old system. However, the next phrase, “and only a woman could have believed it”, speaks of women in general. This shows a separation between men and women.       ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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