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How does Gilman use Mrs. Marroner to depict the changing role of women?

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Introduction

How does Gilman use Mrs. Marroner to depict the changing role of women? The story was written by a woman called Charlotte Perkins Gilman in the 1900's, the author was trying to show what the attitudes of men to women at that time were like and what they basic roles of women were with their fight to get equality with men. Gilman was treated badly mostly by men in her life due to one of the facts being that her father left her and her mother when Charlotte was young, therefore she wrote this story. She was a feminist; therefore this is a feminist tale. She was an early one due to the fact there weren't many feminist authors at that time. CPG fought for the education of woman and felt they had a right to stand up and go against men. So basically the story is about the "turning" of women on men, where two women were betrayed and humiliated by one man and went out of their way to prove him wrong. CPG thought that women and men should be equal in all ways. She saw men treat her badly when she was young and she decided to turn on them and prove her worth. In the story she starts that Mrs. M was a highly educated person who had a PHD in college, so this depicts that CPG wanted women to have a fair education just like men instead of them becoming housewives. ...read more.

Middle

When Mr. M comes home, he is shocked to find that both Mrs. M and Gerta are gone, he is "Completely dazed" he doesn't seem aware of the fact that they could have left him and therefore is selfishly thinking of himself and women as being unsuccessful without men around. He has also completely forgotten about Gerta, even though he made all those empty promises in the letter that he sent her awhile ago. Mr. M looks all around the house trying to look to see if there is any trace of his wife but the rooms redounded him because of her "like the remote simile on the face of the dead." This indicates that their marriage is dead! This is reinforced by the simile describing the lawyer who brings Mrs. M's message as being called on "To kill something offensive." Mr. M also thinks of them as being dead before actually thinking of the scenario where she actually left him instead, and then we realize that actually Mr. M has lost by his weakness here. When we go back to see Gerta and Mrs. M we find that Gerta has turned into a more confident, intelligent woman. She compared to the Madonna - a powerful female role model and Mrs. M has turned to feel "impersonal" towards Mr. M and this is a very big turning point for the characters in the story with the two main women in the story becoming successful and leaving the man behind in the dust. ...read more.

Conclusion

But other than that he is away for most of the story and even then when he comes into the story and actually talks he isn't given a huge part in talking. Gilman makes it clear that Mr. Marroner is attracted to Gerta when he sees her, because for one thing she is young and innocent so she is practically an easy target for him seeing as she has to basically obey what he tells her to do. Gilman here is highlighting the arrogance of men to openly admire and take advantage of women even when they are married which encourages them to cheat. Clearly Mr. Marroner takes advantage of Gerta and then makes false promises in a letter he sent to her claming that he would take care of her (when he wouldn't). And then Mr. Marroner is so full of himself that the last thing on his mind, and that he expects is for his wife to leave him. The message that Charlotte was trying to get through to the readers in this story was that women were treated badly in the 1900's and that society was bad, women were treated as 2nd class citizens and not given proper rights, men also took advantage of women and left them to suffer when they didn't want them anymore. Women in Victorian times were underrated and this story was basically to show that society was bad and women should have been treated better. Sian Davies 11 Owen. ...read more.

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