The Hand Essay

989 Words Mar 3rd, 2007 4 Pages
The short story "The Hand" is about the role of the sexes. The author was a significant feminist voice in the twentieth century and in this story she showed that men where said to be dominant over females. She wrote the story close to home for young, female brides who have married older, more experienced men. The young women were already in a place of submission because they just left their parents. Colette points out an uneven power in marriage and shows how the young wife slowly sees that her husband prevails over her. Colette starts the story out by making a role of submission in the wife, and domination in the husband, making an unbalance of power. Colette also uses the description of the husband and wife to stress the unbalance …show more content…
But he's sleeping so well…"(Colette 240). She makes herself feel guilty as if it is her fault that his muscles twitched. She puts her feelings for wanting to turn the light off aside so she can please her husband while he sleeps. As the story goes on, the young wife starts seeing the darker side of the husband. Earlier in the story, she did not realize she was in submission to him because she was still excited about being in a newlywed. She starts to realize his physical ability and that he has potential to harm her. Colette portrays the husband as an animal as another way to show the unbalance in power. She describes him as having very big arms, hands larger than the wives whole head, and "powerful knuckles and the veins engorged by the pressure on his arm" (Colette 260). The wife even comments, "It's as if I were laying on some animal" (Colette 260). The hand is later described as "apelike" and "lowered its claws, and became a pliant beast" (Colette 260). The hand takes on animal characteristics as a car passed by killing the silence. The hand "offended, reared back and tensed up in the shape of a crab and waited, ready for battle" (Colette 260). When the silence came back the hand became "a pliant beast, awkwardly bent, shaken by faint jerks which resembled some sort of agony" (Colette 260). Colette is using this as another tool to show that the behavior of the hand is a symbol for the roles in relationships. The dominant male will strike

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