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Gender Roles - Essay Example

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In the play, “Othello”, the role that the male and female characters play directly asserts the helplessness and passivity of women in a patriarchal male-dominated society, whereas the characters in the “Fences” by August Wilson portray the men-women role in a more…
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Gender Roles

Download file to see previous pages... Necessarily there exists an attempt -on the individual level as it is evident in Troy’s fatherly affection towards his children and in Bonno’s anxiety that he also might repeat his father’s role- to restore order and peace in conjugal life.
Though Troy driven by sexual impulses makes contra-social relationship with Alberta, his fatherly affection and sense of responsibility for his wife proves him to be more of a sensible social being than of a member of the egoist patriarchy. Regarding Troy’s responsibility to his family, Storm (n.d.) says, “He was not in love with Rose, but felt a responsibility to her” (p. 3). But in the opposite manner, not only the roles of the male characters such as Othello, Iago, Cassio etc in the “Othello” and attitudes towards women and love, but also the passivity of the female characters depict a male dominated society in which a female figure is shaped according to what the male wants to and women’s voice is never paid heed to, as Desdemona’s true claim about her fidelity and loyalty has continuously been ignored by her husband. Referring to Othello’s ideal conception of Desdemona, Guffey (2005) says,
“Othello had a perception of Desdemona that was altered by the machinations of Iago.  Desdemona contributed to that perception by fulfilling a role that she thought was ideal for Othello.  She wanted to be Othello’s perfect woman, so she portrayed herself as pure and virginal to her husband.” (p. 3).
In comparison to Shakespeare’s “Othello”, the male characters of the “Fences” are less assertive to be the representatives of modern patriarchy. On the surface level Troy appears to be a bully, but he needs her support. He is not completely haughty; rather he pays heed to her and provides financial help to Lyon. At least, Troy does not hold any patriarchal-idealistic view of women’s fidelity. When he finds his father molesting his girlfriend, he beats his father, not the girl. But it ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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