Stereotypes In A Man's Woman

798 Words 4 Pages
In a Man’s Woman by Frank Norris it is implied through textual evidence in the title that it is taking a stereotype of a man’s idea of the “perfect” woman. What is a man’s “perfect” woman? Back in the 1900 when this book was written it meant that a woman really didn’t have a say in her life she was proper, beautiful and there to support her husband. In Frank Norris novel A Man’s Women, it clearly shows that idea of a man’s perfect woman. There is also a stereotype for men as well. Men back in the 1900’s were to act like strong, demanding, in charge, and manly which our main character Bennett try’s to cling to.
At the title page information can be gathered that this book will be about the stereotype of what a man wants his woman to be. It talks
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We get this picture of her by the way that Bennett describes her, “Lloyd was a beautiful woman; much about her that was regal.” (III, 51) When reading further into the book you find yourself asking if that is really the woman she is or if it’s just a facade? What first brings this into question is when she gets into a fight with Bennett about if she will continue to care for their friend, Farris. This fight begs the question was she really that women he thought she was or was she playing a role? “Willing to remain passive and dizzied and stupefied, resigning herself helplessly and supinely to the swift current events” (VII, 152) This creates an image for the reader that maybe Lloyd has played the role of a fragile woman for so long she may not know how to do or be anything else. Lloyd appeared to be made for the role of the “perfect” woman for a man in the start of the book but when her career is questioned she questions the view of herself, “She was successful in her chosen profession and work. She imagined herself to be stronger and of finer fibre than most other women.”(VII, 163) Lloyd is not the same women by the end of this book, she becomes the women she wanted to be but was to afraid to be for fear of not being the “perfect” …show more content…
Reading the book I believe that he keeps this stereotype strong till the end of the book where he changes a little bit. Bennett changes little, only changing his idea of what the “perfect” woman is. He realizes that he should be supportive of Lloyd and not be the man who forced his hand and “made her abandon her patient.” (VII, 154) Bennett thinks the perfect woman would be a strong woman like Lloyd by the end. He acts the same at the start and end of the book, speaking in a voice that “came heavy and vibrant from the great chest, a harsh, deep bass, a voice in which to command men, not a voice in which to talk to women” (IV, 97) Bennett changes his mind of the stereotype of what a perfect woman should be. In A Man’s Woman many stereotypes are addressed but the most promant ones are of Bennett and Lloyd. They represent the stereotypes that woman and men faced at that time. Woman faced they idea that they were another pretty face in the crowd with nothing but their husbands to back. While men were to be strong and not show weakness as Bennett does. This book takes on stereotypes at a time when people thought that was all they could

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