The Hand By Gabrielle Colette Essay

The Hand By Gabrielle Colette Essay

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Submission is a set of dominant behaviors involving the obedience of one person to another, which can be considered nowadays as an immoral intolerance. Submissiveness, generally directed towards women, has always existed throughout history. Even Sidonie-Gabrielle Colette’s short story “The Hand” brings out this oppressive notion at her times. Through the use of literary devices such as symbolism and characterization (which might also involve imagery), the author portrays this idea of women’s submissiveness to their husband’s dominance in a marriage.

The submission of women is demonstrated in the text through the symbolic colors of the couple’s bedroom. Indeed, as the young woman’s husband is asleep, the wife remains wide-awake, trying her best to provide the man with comfort, while enjoying her newlywed life. As she opens her eyes to contemplate “the blue of the brand-new curtains, instead of the apricot-pink through which the first light of day [filters] into the room where she [has] slept as a little girl” (1), the author depicts through symbolism how a woman must accept all sides of her husband. More explicitly, this contract in colors symbolizes the wife’s conformity to a more masculine taste. In the passage, the wife is associated with light colors that most likely define femininity while men, including her husband, generally have a tendency to go for darker colors. In the couple’s bedroom, the curtains are of the periwinkle shade, a blue-purple color, which is quite different from the young wife’ color preferences. Essentially, not only does it demonstrate how she neglects what she likes, but it demonstrates how this dominant blue color symbolizes men power when taking decisions in a marriage. Furthermore, the young bride’...


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...inance in a marriage. Through the use of symbolism, and characterization that involves an instance of imagery, the author advocates this notion through the newlywed’s decision of neglecting her personal feminine taste to make her husband’s preferences her own, and embracing her title of submissive partner by kissing the hand. Also, the choice of words to describe each partner differs tremendously, as the author seems to give more importance to the man by making him appear handsome, and particularly strong. On the contrary, the young woman appears to be weak and minor, which supports this idea of submissive women in a couple through the perception of the woman being way behind her husband. This story demonstrates a great symbolic significance when it comes to the hand, which can lead to other important ideas surrounding the message the author is trying to convey.



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