Essay Karen Ker Conway 's Social Expectations

1120 Words Nov 22nd, 2015 5 Pages
Jill Ker Conway grew up in an oscillating household, experiencing economic failure, personal tragedy, social isolation, and eventual financial success. A gifted student, Conway eventually fled Australia, citing psychological distress and professional stagnation. Conway’s upbringing was largely similar to a rural American girl in the middle twentieth century. Facing social limitations, economic hardship, and controlling parents, Conway received similar autonomy to female Americans. However, her experience differed from the American because she experienced British expectations and religious ambiguity. Though Conway’s Australia placed restrictions on her progress, she too sharply criticizes her homeland. Blessed with a privileged upbringing, exceptional education, and personal success, Australian society offered Conway and her family the best the twentieth century offered. To cast Australia as backwards is to ignore western social mores. After college, however, Conway exhausted much of what Australia had to give to her. Escaping a tyrannical mother and chasing professional success, her decision to come to the United States was correct. Conway’s social expectations were similar to rural American girls’. Despite her mother’s attempts for egalitarianism, “my mother encouraged a strict equality between us,” Conway could not escape traditional gender roles (34). When her older brothers were sent off to boarding school, Conway remained at home, helping her parents grasp with a…

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