An Escape 2 Gender roles and marriages can play an important role in literature. It can be one of the most influential ways that gender roles are constructed. Works of literature construct images of boys and girls and men and women. These works usually depict the girls and women doing housework, playing with dolls, and cooking. The men are usually depicted as sports players and lovers, providers, and figures that are overall stronger than woman. Guy de Maupassant’s, “The Necklace” and James Thurber’s, “The Secret Life of Walter Mitty” are two works of literature that focus on the themes gender roles and marriage, with some similarities, but with even more differences. In “The Secret Life of Walter Mitty,” Thurber shows a
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Known as the Fashion Capital of the world, it isn’t ironic that Maupassant placed his story there. “Women’s styles were set especially in Paris, which gained a reputation for elegance with the rise by the 1850s of powerful dress designers…(Fashion and Style,1991,para. 1).” We have Mathilde who believes she was born to be wealthy and have nice things living a middle class life where she can’t have everything she thinks she deserves, in a city where she is surrounded by finer things.
In contrast to the setting of “The Necklace,” “The Secret Life of Walter Mitty” takes place in many different places throughout the story. First there is the element of everyday life. There are scenes that take place throughout the city. Places like the hairdresser, a parking lot, hotel lobby, and a drug store, all of which are everyday places that represent a pretty ordinary life, and the unimaginativeness of Walter’s everyday life.
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But on the other hand, his daydreams take us too many different places. The settings of his daydreams strongly differentiate from his ordinary life. His daydreams take place in a “Navy hydroplane” during a storm, an operating room, a dugout, and at a wall before a firing squad. These settings are filled with excitement, drama and imagination. Everything his life is not.
Both of these stories are set in places that do not compare to their actual way of living. They each fantasize about being and