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Literature and Community - Essay Example

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Whether it is rigidly idealistic regarding gender roles or expected behavior or it is more flexible, these ideas come across in the…
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Literature and Community
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"Literature and Community"

Download file to see previous pages Faulkner introduces Miss Emily Grierson as a woman who has been strictly contained within the boundaries of her father’s old Southern ideals. “None of the young men were quite good enough to Miss Emily and such. We had long thought of them as a tableau; Miss Emily a slender figure in white in the background, her father a spraddled silhouette in the foreground, his back to her and clutching a horsewhip, the two of them framed by the back-flung front door” (437). As a result of his behavior and her confinement, the Grierson family becomes the town’s idealized image of what the Old South should be. As a result, the town insists upon Emily maintaining this role even after her father dies and she is left all alone. Miss Emily attempts to break out of this mold by dating Homer Barron and adopting more Northern ideals. “Her hair was cut short, making her look like a girl, with a vague resemblance to those angels in colored church windows – sort of tragic and serene” (438), but the town sees her as defying the old order of her class. Her cousins are quickly sent for (by the townspeople) to bring Miss Emily back into her ‘destined’ role.
Franz Kafka’s story “Metamorphosis” centers on the character of Gregor Samsa who wakes up one morning to discover he’s been transformed into the shape of a large bug, possibly a cockroach, which reflects his position in society and the expectations they have for him. It can be argued that Gregor’s transformation is a literal indication of his feelings of separation from humanity, including the members of his own family. Despite waking up to find himself in the form of a bug, Gregor’s primary concern is to get to work so that he can still support his family as he’s been doing for five years. This is the expectation society has placed on him and he has adopted for himself. As he thinks about his condition, he realizes the level of disconnection that has already occurred between ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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