Monday, 1 February 2016

Operation of traditional gender roles in Chapter 1: Going West

Chapter 1: Going West

This chapter is useful because right from the start, from them deciding to head West, it presents both the male and female traditional roles. 

Here are the quotes which i will be referencing:

Uses "Pa said" a lot, mothers opinion isn't really heard
-“Pa said there were too many people in the Big Woods now” pg 27 

Pa's assertiveness and use of the traditional place of the male. Ma's say doesn't really count 
-“Seeing you don't object, I’ve decided to go West” pg 27
-“Oh, Charles, must we go now ?” pg 28
-“If we are going this year, we must go now” pg 28
-“”Pa had traded the tired brown horses for those ponies” pg 32 - doesn't involve Ma in the decision to trade the horses.

Paragraph on pg 28 list all the things Pa did:
- “Pa sold the house”, “He sold the cow and calf”
- “Ma helped him stretch white canvas over them” talking about covering the wagon.

Pg 29 - "Pa hung his gun to the wagon bows inside the canvas top, where he could reach it quickly from the seat. He hung his bullet-pouch and powder-horn beneath it."

Tradition masculinity of the male and also a sense of the american pioneer

-“Pa could always build new ones” talking about table and chairs
-"Laura didn't like it. But Pa was on the wagon seat and Jack was under the wagon; she knew nothing could hurt her while Pa and jack were there” - idea of male presence keeping them safe 

Traditional housewife and traditional provider for the family
-“Ma and Laura and Mary ate bread and molasses in the wagon, while inside the store Pa traded his furs for things they would need on the journey.” pg 30

Physical appearance

-“Pa’s back was hunched. The reins were loose in his hands, the wind blew his long brown beard. Ma sat straight and quiet, her hands folded in her lap.” pg 34
-The description of Pa and Ma sums up gender roles in this time period. Man at work and the woman looking nice and keeping quiet.

Laura contrasts with how a young girl in that time should act

-“I want to camp, now! Im so tired” Laura said.
-Then Ma said, “Laura.” That was all but it meant that Laura must not complain. So she did not complain. So she did not complain any more out loud, but she was still naughty, inside. She sat and thought complaints to herself.

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