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Through the two main characters of Rhodaand Gertrude the writer allows the reader to know his opinion on gender equality at the time.

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Introduction

Through the two main characters of Rhoda and Gertrude the writer allows the reader to know his opinion on gender equality at the time. As well as criticising the way in which men treat women, he also states his feelings on how women treat other women and their selves. Rhoda is firstly represented as a mysterious, lonely and segregated person who has a history with the character, Farmer Lodge. This assumption can be taken from the way the fellow workers treat Rhoda and their conversations involving Farmer Lodge and his new bride. For example one milk maid says, "Tis hard for she" while looking at Rhoda who is described by the writer as, "a thin fading woman of thirty milked somewhat apart from the rest". This description is just, because the workers speak blatantly about Rhoda and her past, even though she is in hearing distance. It is like they are aware of her presence, but choose to discount it because Rhoda, in their eyes is worthless. ...read more.

Middle

and body just because of a man's actions and how they choose to treat women, in this case in a disparaging way. The writer also uses Rhoda's self- absorption (...his mother not observing that he was cutting a notch with his pocket-knife); obsessive fixation on Gertrude's appearance and the twisted gratification she receives at hearing of Gertrude's faults ("She is not tall. She is rather short". He replied. "Ah!" said his mother with satisfaction) to criticise how weak some women can be. The writer sympathises with Rhoda's mistreatment but also pities her for allowing she to become a victim in the first place. This opinion is later confirmed when Rhoda is so consumed with envy and scorn that she dreams about Gertrude. The dream being a metaphor for her inner feelings. Up to this point the writer doesn't prompt much sympathy for the character of Rhoda as she is construed as bitter and slightly vindictive, yet after the event we see a softer side to her. ...read more.

Conclusion

Men think so much of personal appearance", to once again criticize both males and females of the time. Men for making women degrade themselves in order to pathetically please 'their man' and women for allowing themselves to be so hopelessly dependant on a males approval and love. He is saying that, that kind of relationship is destructive, to a female especially since most men of the time focused solely on appearance, "Yes; and he was very proud of mine at first." The writer uses the characters of Rhoda and Gertrude as a kind of before and after picture. In the beginning we see that Rhoda Brook is a lonely, poor woman who is branded a witch and thought of as highly scandalous yet we see Gertrude as an innocent and beautiful young woman, the later image is ironic because the beautiful Gertrude does transform into a Rhoda-like being, bitter and obsessive. The writer is allowing us to see the process in which vanity, reliance, obsession and the behaviour of men towards women along with the nature of the female friendship enables the downfall of a person. ...read more.

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