Gender Stereotypes: A Literary Analysis

2000 Words 8 Pages
Three works of literature that give readers similar impressions are The Yellow Wallpaper, by Charlotte Perkins Gilman, A Writers Model, by Molly Giles, and Sex Without Love, by Sharon Olds. The two stories and the poem portray the way men and women are trapped and controlled by stereotypical gender roles. These set gender roles are linked to gender inequality and to the harmful representations of both men and women. Gender roles are the concepts of how men and women are expected to act and they are molded by their cultural norms. The roles of men are usually associated with strength, dominance, and aggression, while feminine roles are usually associated with nuturing, passivity, and subordination. The repeated socialization of these roles lead men and women into thinking that they are acting …show more content…
Stereotypes, or overgeneralizations of attitudes, traits, or behavior patterns of men and women, lead to the attitudes and expectations of gender roles. To add to this statement, gender stereotypes form the basis of sexism; this leads to the inequality of the sexes. A type of sexism that is common to see on a regular basis is hostile sexism. According to Andrew N. Christopher, author of “Personality, Authoritarianism, Social Dominance, and Ambivalent Sexism: A Mediational Model”, “Hostile Sexism is a type of prejudice in which women are viewed in a blatantly negative manner. Such sexism stems from the desire for a hierarchy in which men are dominant to women and from a resentment of women who try to gain power relative to men.” Throughout these works of literature, it is clear that the women held under the stereotypical gender roles are not able to express their individuality, and the women who do not follow these roles are looked down on and penalized. The short story “The Yellow Wallpaper” by Molly Giles, describes the typical gender role of a submissive, childlike obedience, of women to male authority figures. Gilman uses the conventions of a

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