The Construction of Feminity in “Hills Like White Elephants” and “The Stoy of an Hour”

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According to “The American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language”, the word “feminity” is defined as “the quality or condition of being feminine or a characteristic or trait traditionally held to be female.” Further speaking, feminity is formed by various socially-defined and biologically-created gender roles played by women influenced by a number of social and cultural factors. For example, the traditional gender roles of women include nurturer, birth giver, homemaker and caregiver. However, marked by a series of women's rights movements starting from the 19th century, women’s gender roles, as well as the ways how society and men perceive women, have been largely changed. This significant change, described as a process of female awakening, was widely reflected in many contemporary literature works. This essay will specifically focus on the construction of feminity in two short stories, “Hills Like White Elephants” by Ernest Hemingway and “The Stoy of an Hour” by Kate Chopin through examining how the authors define “feminity” in their treatment of female characters. “Hills Like White Elephants” is a classical short story first published in 1927 written by Ernest Hemingway, who has been generally recognized as one of the most influential writers in American history of literature. Starting with a lengthy description of the story’s setting in a train station surrounded by hills, fields and trees in the valley of Ebro in Spain, Hemingway told the story from a third person limited omniscient, nearly in an entire form of a dialogue between an unnamed American young man and a girl named Jig while they are sitting at a bar near the train station waiting for the train to Madrid. Throughout Hemingway’s direct and clean report... ... middle of paper ... ...e taken the traditional women’s obligation of loving and caring her husband. Her love to her husband reveals part of her identity as a conventional responsible wife, yet her internal desire of freedom sets another part of her feminity as an unconventional self-supporting woman. Works Cited “White elephants” Oxford dictionaries "Feminity." The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition. Houghton Mifflin Company, 2004. 22 Jun. 2014. .

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