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Women are trapped by stereotypes they perpetuate themselves ......women in 3 short stories

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Women are trapped by stereotypes they perpetuate themselves ...... It is a strange idea to think women perpetuate their own stereotypes - but is it so unbelievable? I personally believe this is commonly the case as we all have choices in life, but some women make some decisions that could cause them to feel 'trapped' or squashed into doing certain things and not others. Women can be 'trapped' in many ways, for example their marriage, or their job. 'Ice Cream' by Helen Dunmore is a short story illustrating this point; she writes of 24 year old model Clara, and her choice between ice cream and her job. Being a model, there is a lot of pressure to be thin, as some people believe fat people can't be pretty, and models are widely seen as being very pretty. It is almost a battle between Elise (who's relationship with Clara is unspecified) who wants her to ignore the temptation of ice cream, knowing she was once addicted to sugary foods. All the women at Clara's birthday are models, and it is soon made clear in the story they don't approve of eating 'badly'; as they tell Clara of many ways in which she can make up for it later; one, Julie, suggests making herself be sick. '" If you're that desperate, why don't you do what everyone else does?" ...read more.


We are let to believe she is innocent, like a child, as her reaction to his discovery is less than excited; 'The round of her chin was trembling like a child's before it cries: there was something in her throat so strong she could not have spoken it is it had been for her life.' He however does nothing to comfort her at this moment, but you almost feel he should care she is afraid of heights, because they are married. The whole story contains more and more flavours of this and the tension between the couple. She continually gives things up for him; she gives up her morning ot return to see the samphire, and she gives up her things so he can buy other things for himself. You can clearly see she is in a state near the beginning because of her reaction to him making her look over the edge of the cliff; 'Even then she writhed away, covering it by getting up and returning to the path.' The word 'covering' is clever because she is covering her emotions, letting them build up inside. Its as if each annoying little thing she does it just builds up like bricks inside her, and eventually she will collapse. And this does happen: at the end of the story there is almost a role reversal; she ends up pushing a man who clearly loves her off a cliff in the vain hope he might be silenced. ...read more.


Junior orchestra.' Women in previous generations pass down stereotypes, telling their daughter the 'right way to live is to....' Martha clearly wants more from her life, but has become stuck in a routine and feels trapped into one track of mind. 'If you have children, mother, that is your reward. It lies not in the World.' In the car Martha thinks of Martin's ideals, and how she desperately wants to be the woman he dreams of, the slim, cook, almost dummy there for his needs and his sex. This goes through the whole story, with her comparing herself to Colin and Katie, a young, handsome couple. 'But try, oh try, to be what you ought to be, not what you are.' This quotation for me sums up the whole issue and in conclusion, I believe that although there are many different stereotypes on women, not all could have been founded by religion or rumour, and particular women's behaviour cause certain rumours to spread. All the stories have an annoying tone to the writing, which could suggest not only stereotypes are frustrating but the people in them. Stereotypes can cause friction and some women to feel trapped and feel like they can't do anything they want, but if debatably women started these stereotypes, they can end them, and by breaking free men and women might start to see each other equally and respect each other more. 18/12/2007 Short Stories Coursework 1, 452 words 1 3 ...read more.

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