Cultural Review On Country Hardball

1242 words - 5 pages

Jessie, Cho Kiu LeungProfessor NewtownEnglish 10126 February 2014Essay 2: Literary/Cultural Analysis ICultural Review on Country Hardball Country Hardball contains different stories depicting the tragic and hopeless life in the rural community of the late 20th century in Arkansas/Louisiana border deteriorated by economic turndown and endemic crimes. In most of the stories which always demonstrate violence and rudeness, men are always described as physically advantaged and vulnerable to violence while women are destined to be soft, weak and subordinate to men. Therefore, gender relation is one of the areas that worth the attention of the readers who are enthusiastic about the culture of the southern America where in the late 20th century, gender stereotype and inequality are still part of the social norms in the southern America where women's status are not valued and recognized as equal as men's.Gender stereotypes are the beliefs that the two genders are socially expected to have certain kinds of characteristics, psychological traits and behaviors. Simply put, they are the attitudes about masculinity and femininity. Gender stereotypes are based on the concept of gender roles which are defined by how men and women should behave (Brannon 159). Therefore, by studying gender roles and stereotypes we are able to account for men's violence and women's submission in the stories. This also results in gender inequality which means women do not possess the same opportunities in life as men (Reeves and Baden 2).First, "Good Money" is a story about Roy making good money by murdering a woman cheating on her husband who was so wrathful and felt insulted by his wife's divorce (Weddle 57). Though at the end the woman was not killed, the urge of killing his wife shows that how men are so sensitive to the loss of control over a woman. The late 20th century is not far from the decade we are living in. Nowadays, divorce is of a commonplace in modern America. Whether it is the man or the woman who first divorces the other, both of them respect each other's freedom, without the concept of gender stereotypes. In the last century when the novel is set, the divorce by a woman was seen as the total collapse of male power over female's one in their relationship. This behavior was by no means acceptable in a traditional community where males were dominated and superior to women. Due to such an insult, men resorted to violence to demonstrate his patriarchal authority in the relationship with women. It not only reveals how deep-rooted the impact of gender stereotypes was on people's life in the late 20th century, but also unfolds the unequal relationships between men and women.Second, in "All Stars", the dialogues among the family are the evidence showing gender stereotypes in family relationship. Throughout the entire chapter, Nancy, the mother of the little boy, are described as a traditional female role who is supposed to be warm, caring and child-like. For example, in...

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