How Are The Gender Roles Represented In Australian Short Stories? (From The Penguin Best Australian Short Stories) Comparing Three Stories, How Do They Change Over Time?

805 words - 3 pages

The representation of Gender roles is an issue expressed in "The Penguin best Australian Short stories" collection. The issues of gender are expressed through gender inequality, stereotypical gender roles, the economic basis of marriage, and the expectations of women. These beliefs and their changes as the stories became more modern are presented through the stories, 'Monsieur Caloche', "The Lottery' and "A Gentleman's Agreement.The representation of gender inequality is expressed in the story Monsieur Caloche (1889) through a satirical point of view. This story represents the workplace and throughout most of the story the readers notice that there was a deficiency of female characters. The irony is that at the end of the stories the readers find out that the main character 'Monsieur Caloche' is in fact a young girl, who had lost her beauty after suffering from smallpox, and resorted to looking for a job as a boy. "Hiding the loss which had deprived her of all the glory of her sex. Beauty is more than skin deep, however Monsieur Caloche had not known it. This is an example of gender inequality in Australia during the 19th century.The story 'The Lottery" (1943) represents the stereotypes of the gender roles through the view of Ted, the husband. Ted had strong opinion about what men and women were supposed to act and about what a 'good' husband and a 'good' wife did. "All she had to do was stay at home and look after the children.... he had a vision of his washed cream trousers, the children's neatness, the tidy house. That was being a good wife...and he has always been a good husband, always brought his money home, never looked at another woman." This shows that the genders were stereotyped in Australia in the 1940's.Another gender issue brought up in the story "The Lottery" is the economic basis of marriage. The man was the economic base of the family and everyone in the story assumes that a wife's money is her husband's to dispose of. "He could do almost anything he could think of with five thousand pounds." This shows that Ted was already assuming the money was his, as does his neighbour who had money problems. Ted says confidently to him "I won't see you stuck, old man."The Lottery also brings up an issue of expectations and changes of the women in the 1940's. Ted had...

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