Social And Gender Themes In 'The Bet And The Singing Lesson'

969 Words 4 Pages
Some birds are too beautiful to be caged. It has such bright feathers and sweet songs that you feel guilty to imprison them . Norms and expectations imposed by the society seem to imprison such splendid creatures, crushing their dreams and hopes of achieving something they wish. People are withheld by the society and personal limitations. Social norms and gender roles are exerted onto people, confronting them to be normal, as seen in ‘Boys and Girls’ and ‘The Singing Lesson’. However, the isolation from society is not the only one to blame, personal limitation also imprisons us from within. We see physical and spiritual chains from ‘The Bet’ and ‘The Hunger Artist’. This critical essay will elaborate on the resemblances and distinctions of …show more content…
Social and gender norms imposed onto individuals end up chaining them to a certain routine. They are forced to fit in or they will risk alienation. Miss Meadows from ‘The Singing Lesson’ desires to be married, not because of true love, but because of social norms. The internal monologue of Miss Meadows paints a vivid picture of her struggles. Women in the 90th centuries were thought to be strange if they are not married by the 30 years old. The story portrays the insecurities of women at that period through the stream of consciousness of Miss Meadows. It can be seen that women or sometimes even men, are trapped by the social and gender norms imposed unto them. People define the meaning of life according to the society, blindly believing that true happiness can be achieved when they fit into the community. Here we can see humans imprison themselves due to social norms and the need for …show more content…
People curse the unreasonable social expectations and their narrow-mindedness. However, can we blame ourselves? After all, we are humans, without human contact, humanity will never exist. ‘The Bet’ clearly illustrates this point. Life imprisonment kills the lawyer by degree, eventually taking away his social life since human contact is disallowed. Without human interactions, emotional outburst, lack of sympathy will result, eventually becoming a living dead. ‘A Hunger Artist’ is a story of paradox that approaches this topic by describing how the artist isolates himself from the society. The physical and spiritual separation caused a misunderstanding of his art. Therefore, he continued isolating himself from human contact, believing that nobody will understand his art but still requires recognition, leading him into a vicious

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