Analysis Of Katherine Porter 's ' The Grave ' Essay example

Analysis Of Katherine Porter 's ' The Grave ' Essay example

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Gender Criticism “The Grave”
Katherine Porter’s “The Grave” takes place in the year 1903. During this time, all women were expected to fit the typical stereotype roles, which are shown throughout this short story. Using a feminist gender approach to look at this story, we can see how key symbols are used to show the roles of the main character Miranda as compared to her older brother Paul. In Porter’s story, “The Grave”, Miranda, at first goes against the social norm of how the typical women is but then eventually she accepts her role and become the ideal young woman of this time.
In the early 1900’s, around the time the story takes place; women were expected to be care takers of the home, to be clean, well dressed and mannered. All of these characteristics are the opposite of Miranda. She dressed in boy 's clothes, hunted, and played in the dirt, which “was making rather a scandal in the countryside” (pg. 997). However, no one ever commented on Paul’s attire or critzicied the father for Paul’s behavior.
Miranda, unlike other women in this time was very independent. She dressed how she wanted and went against her father’s wishes by hunting with her brother Paul. One elderly woman approached Miranda on the side of the street saying “Ain’t you ashamed of yoself, Missy? It’s aginst the Scriptures to dress like that”
(pg. 978). This old women can be seen as representing society as a whole trying to control the way Miranda acts and dresses by trying to conform her into the stereotypical girl. The society of this time did not accept her, but this comment made by the elderly woman shows the standards women are held to, and the disapproval of those who do not have the same values as others at this period of time. As the father, be...


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....put on the thinnest most becoming dress she owned, with a big sash and sit in a wicker chair under the trees.” Even though her grandmother is deceased, the influence of her beautiful gold ring made Miranda want to change, to fit this ideal image of a how a women should appear to be. She no longer denies her role as a woman but accepts it.
As a young girl being raised by her father and brother Miranda went against the social norm of how a girl ought to act and appear properly. By using the feminist critical approach we can see, in depth how Miranda goes against the social norms and then come to accept her role and conform to society’s standards. At one extreme she dressed in dirty worn overalls and hunted with her brother. Through the progression of the story and finding the small gold ring of her grandmother’s she completely changed to fit into her gender role.



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