Femininity against Masculinity in A White Heron Essay

Femininity against Masculinity in A White Heron Essay

Length: 1703 words (4.9 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Powerful Essays

Open Document

Essay Preview

Since its first appearance in the 1886 collection A White Heron and Other Stories, the short story A White Heron has become the most favorite and often anthologized of Sarah Orne Jewett. Like most of this regionalist writer's works, A White Heron was inspired by the people and landscapes in rural New England, where, as a little girl, she often accompanied her doctor father on his visiting patients. The story is about a nine-year-old girl who falls in love with a bird hunter but does not tell him the white heron's place because her love of nature is much greater. In this story, the author presents a conflict between femininity and masculinity by juxtaposing Sylvia, who has a peaceful life in country, to a hunter from town, which implies her discontent with the modernization?s threat to the nature.

Different from female and male which can describe animals, femininity and masculinity are personal and human. That is femininity refers to qualities and behaviors associated with women and girls and masculinity is manly character, it specifically describes men. Femininity has traditionally included features such as gentleness, patience and kindness. On the contrary, men?s chief qualities are strength, courage and violence.
Clearly images for two definitions above in A White Heron are Sylvia and the hunter. The hunter is friendly and easy-going while Sylvia is ?afraid of folks?. Sylvia is ?a little maid who had tried to grow for eight years in a crowded manufacturing town?, but she is innocent and purity. ?The little woods-girl is horror-stricken to hear a clear whistle not very far away.? ?Sylvia was more alarmed than before? when the hunter appears and talks to her. She easily agrees to help the hunter with providing food and a place...

... middle of paper ...

...usting civilization upon it? (P. Miller, p.207). With all this, the author has achieved the vividness implication that aggressive masculine modernization is a danger to the gentle feminine nature. In the end of the story, Sylvia decides to keep the secret of the heron and accepts to see her beloved hunter go away. This solution reflects Jewett?s hope that the innocent nature could stay unharmed from the urbanization.
In conclusion, Sylvia and the hunter are two typical representatives of femininity and masculinity in the story ?The white heron? by Sarah Orne Jewett. In the age of industrialization when rural life gradually was destroyed, the author as a girl who spent almost of her life in countryside could not help writing about it and what she focuses in her story - femininity and masculinity, which themselves contain the symbolic meanings - come as no surprise.

Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »

The Between Masculinity And Femininity Essay

- The roles and definition of gender and its implications have been and still are complex and often times confusing depending on the circumstance. What really defines masculinity/femininity and can they be interchangeable in the sexes. Can a woman act like a man and vice versa without it somehow going against nature. With this ever changing definition and implication of gender, it is interesting McEwan sets us up in a world seeming to have black and white view of this debate. Throughout Atonement the divide between masculinity and femininity is un-doubtfully present and is almost always hard and fast....   [tags: Gender, Gender role, Woman, Masculinity]

Powerful Essays
2398 words (6.9 pages)

Comparative Anaylsis of Hegemonic Masculinity Essay

- This paper compares Peter Tragos “Monster Masculinity: Honey I’ll be in the Garage Reasserting My Manhood” and Richard Majors’ “Cool Pose: Black Masculinity and Sports” in regards to males regaining their masculine identity during the transition of a gender blurred society. In Richard Majors’ article, he discusses how sport has become a major institutional context for the expression of masculinity and the development of the cool pose among black males (1). Peter Tragos article addresses how men are experiencing a backlash against the feminization of masculine culture (2)....   [tags: manhood, masculinity, masculine ]

Powerful Essays
1437 words (4.1 pages)

Hegemonic Masculinity And Gender Roles Essay

- The notion ‘hegemonic masculinity’ was formulated during the 1980s and questionably has been a common term through gender studies over the last two decades (Connell & Messerschmidt 2005: 829). Hegemonic masculinity can be determined as established male power through character traits as outlined earlier and through consensual negotiation of achievement. All other forms like the female gender, homosexuals and native people (Roper and Tosh, 1991) are determined through submissive and subordinated identities that subvert to the hegemonic masculine male....   [tags: Gender, Gender role, Masculinity, Gender studies]

Powerful Essays
1227 words (3.5 pages)

Masculinity : Masculinity And Masculinity Essays

- Men are taught to be apathetic at a young age; don’t be a sissy, boys don’t cry, and man up are rules that are deeply embedded in men’s minds as they are acknowledged as “masculine”. Mainstream masculinity promotes domination, and power abuse which affect isn’t solely on those who are being dominated against, as men are perhaps the first victims to such toxic thinking. Mainstream masculinity breeds toxic masculinity which boosts violence against women, LGBT people, and those who are “less” powerful, so are men the problem....   [tags: Feminism, Gender role, Gender, Man]

Powerful Essays
717 words (2 pages)

Representations Of Masculinity : Advertisements : A Way Of Doing Gender Essay

- Topic: Representations of Masculinity in Advertisements A way of doing gender Intro: Masculine images typically convey power, strength, , athleticism, and competitiveness whereas feminine images show beauty, submissiveness, nurturance, and cooperation. Such themes appear repeatedly in popular culture (including advertisements) and are often accepted by those who see them as natural aspects of the human condition. The subject of this essay is the representation of gender in advertising. The focus will be on the story that advertising tells about masculinity and femininity and how it models and idealizes certain roles and behaviors while ignoring others....   [tags: Gender, Masculinity, Male, Sex]

Powerful Essays
1066 words (3 pages)

Masculinity vs. Femininity in Chinua Achebe's Things Fall Apart Essay

- Masculinity vs. Femininity in Things Fall Apart  If viewed on the surface the story line of Things Fall Apart is a tragedy, but when viewed in a wider perspective it is a story of deeper conflict. The main issue is that the British have come to establish a mission and receive converts. Less evident is the conflict this intrusion inserts between the Ibo and British. The underlying issue is masculinity versus femininity. By this I mean to say that the Ibo are an agrarian people who are a patriarchal and see any sign of weakness as being less than desirable....   [tags: Things Fall Apart]

Powerful Essays
1274 words (3.6 pages)

The Feminine Side Of Male R & B Singers Essay

- “Often” encapsulates the masculine side of male R&B singers through various use of lyrics and imagery. The song opens with The Weeknd staring emotionless into the camera, a blank stare almost as if he is in his own world. Showing very little to no emotion is widely accepted as an extremely masculine trait. In one of Devors ' essays he says “men/who conscientiously avoid anything associated with femininity are seen as exuding masculinity”(Devor 139). This can be interpreted as expressing emotion is associated with being feminine, so by not showing emotion The Weeknd exudes masculinity....   [tags: Gender, Masculinity, Femininity, Male]

Powerful Essays
858 words (2.5 pages)

The Patriarchal System Essay

- ... Today it is implicit now where women are pushed to remain in the homes and depend on men. Once again it is evident that the history of women being property of men still exist but the difference is that it is implicit now. Martin (1981) states that women are raised to be naturally dependent on men and lean to the greater strength of males with the expectations women have when they enter into a relationship. Nevertheless, because patriarchal is part of the larger social context of gender inequality, it makes it more of a struggle for women to not be subjugated to men....   [tags: masculinity and femininity, children]

Powerful Essays
1734 words (5 pages)

Essay on Media 's Influence On Gender Roles

- Growing up everyone plays games, whether it’s Monopoly, Mario Kart, or Simon Says. Regardless of whatever game you play, you have to follow certain rules. You go to jail if you land on “Go to Jail”; you drive one way in a race; and you do whatever Simon says. But what many don’t realize is that we are all playing a game, a gender game. Everyone follows certain rules and acts a certain way. Simon says your Princess Peach or Mario and you can only have the green property if you’re Mario. The question though is where do we learn these rules....   [tags: Gender, Gender role, Masculinity, Femininity]

Powerful Essays
1106 words (3.2 pages)

Gender Stereotypes Essay

- I don’t think anything makes me feel like less of an individual as I do when I tell people I work at a bar and the first thing they say is: “Aw, man, I could never be a waitress. You probably make good tips though, right?” As far as I can recall, nobody, man or woman, has ever strayed far from that exact sentence. Unless they happened to be a waitress. Than the focus shifts to the second half of that statement and either becomes all about the tips, or whether my boss makes it a habit of being to touchy-feely....   [tags: patriarchal society, femininity, masculinity, skin]

Powerful Essays
907 words (2.6 pages)