Gender inequities have existed since the beginning of time. The various roles assigned to men and women in society have served to perpetuate differences that even until the present have not been overcome. These gender differences are evident in The Stone Diaries by Carol Shields. Initially the main character, Daisy Goodwill, is a pathetic, weak woman whose only joy comes from appreciating the small things in life. After a series of personal events, she changes dramatically and becomes a stronger individual. Daisy’s continual need for self-reliance is fulfilled by the changing society around her.
Daisy’s initial character is anything but extraordinary. She is ordinary in every way except her birth. Neither of her parents knows her mother is pregnant. Her mother dies in childbirth, leaving Daisy to find her place in society without her mother’s example. Daisy grows up in a normal home, with guardians and basically lives a normal life. Daisy’s moderate intelligence affects her both positively and negatively. Daisy has certain fundamental needs, which sadly go unnoticed by those around her and even sometimes by herself. Her appreciation of the small pleasures in life is attributed to her ordinariness. As critic Geraldine Sherman points out, “Shields demonstrates there are no small lives, no lives out of which significance does not shine. She makes us aware that banality, ultimately, is in the eye of the beholder” (47). Her view of the beauty of nature and her curiosity towards people in general portray this. On the other hand, Daisy’s average intelligence causes her inability to express herself. Her conversations with her mother-in-law to be, Mrs.Hoad, ...
... middle of paper ...
...ne.” The Spectator, September 4, 1993: 28 – 29.
Rpt. In Contemporary Literary Criticism. Ed. Bringham Narins and Deborah A. Stanley.
Vol. 91 Detroit: Gale Research, 1996. 167-168.
Fitzgerald, Penelope. Rev. of The Stone Diaries, by Carol Shields. The London Review of Books September. 1993: 19-22.
Pool, Gail. “Imagination’s Invisible Ink.” in Women’s Review of Books, Vol.XI, No.8, May, 1994: 20. Discovering Authors The Gale Group, 2000. Available via
http://www.galenet.com/servlet/GLD/hhits?c…d&o=DataType&n=10&1=d&NA=shields%2C+Carol. (28 march 2000).
Sherman, Geraldine. “Straining to Fulfill Ambitions.” The Globe and Mail 2 October.1993, natl.ed.: Cl+
Shields, Carol. The Stone Diaries. New York.: Penguin Books USA Inc. 1994.
Need Writing Help?
Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.Check your paper »
- In today’s society, there are stereotypes concerning gender, however subtle and incorrect they may be. Women are thought to be emotional, while men are expected to pull themselves together quickly. Men are also assumed to be the breadwinners, and women are traditionally the homemakers, caring for the children and preparing meals. Some of these stereotypes have stemmed from historical perspectives concerning genders and have not changed in hundreds of years. The relationship between genders in the colonial South included some of today’s gender assumptions as well as some others.... [tags: Woman, Gender, Gender role, Female]
1006 words (2.9 pages)
- Most diaries from women on the westward journey show that they struggled with upholding their roles as wives and mothers, but they did the best they could under the circumstances. Most of their responsibilities were similar to those they had at home. Cooking cleaning, doing laundry, entertaining children etc. was women’s work, but these obligations were much more difficult being in the middle of nowhere. Women also had extra duties, such as packing up the wagon, making sure their children were with them, and taking on their husband’s role when he fell sick.... [tags: Narcissa Whitman, Amelia Stewart Knight]
1538 words (4.4 pages)
- Life in Medieval Europe was governed by the Pyramid-shaped Feudal System. The operation of this system consisted of the lowest peasants at the base and the highest lords at the top. One good thing about the feudal system was that it was possible for everyone to move up in rank. However, it was much harder to women. (Feudalism Pyramid) Women’s standing in this pyramid were determined by the male in her life, whether it be a husband, father, or brother. Yet, no matter what their standing may be, women were not seen in a positive light or valued.... [tags: British history, women's role]
1444 words (4.1 pages)
- Women's Role in Science and Technology Women have played an important role in the development of science and technology, but there is an insufficient number of females in those career fields. Technological change has affected the roles of women and gender role ideas. Women without doubt came a long way improving the numbers and increasing the percentages in the workforce of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) but the statistics say the numbers are still less than those of men.... [tags: women scientist, engineering, high education]
1974 words (5.6 pages)
- Lawrence Stone’s book ‘The family sex and marriage in England 1600-1800’ is one of controversy and contrasting opinions about marriage in the medieval era. As a medievalist historian, Stone puts forward a conflicting perspective when it comes to the medieval family unit in providing a new interpretation of the medieval family unit. In producing such a notorious argument, Stone provided the beginnings of the debate that has now surrounded the medieval family. His work, has had a mixed reception in the history community sporting conflicting ideas about his distant view on marriage.... [tags: Lawrence Stone]
1759 words (5 pages)
- In the Middle Ages, the roles of women became less restricted and confined and women became more opinionated and vocal. Sir Gawain and The Green Knight presents Lady Bertilak, the wife of Sir Bertilak, as a woman who seems to possess some supernatural powers who seduces Sir Gawain, and Geoffrey Chaucer’s The Wife of Bath Prologue and Tale, present women who are determined to have power and gain sovereignty over the men in their lives. The female characters are very openly sensual and honest about their wants and desires.... [tags: Role of Women in Middle Ages]
1648 words (4.7 pages)
- For the Greeks, Homer's Odyssey was much more than just an entertaining tale of gods, monsters, and men, it served as cultural paradigm from which every important role and relationship could be defined. This book, much more so than its counter part The Iliad, gives an eclectic view of the Achean's peacetime civilization. Through Odyssey, we gain an understanding of what is proper or improper in relationships between father and son, god and mortal, servant and master, guest and host, and--importantly--man and woman. Women play a vital role in the movement of this narrative. Unlike in The Iliad, where they are chiefly prizes to be won, bereft of identity, the women of Odyssey are unique... [tags: The Role of Women in The Odyssey]
1720 words (4.9 pages)
- The role of women in learning and education underwent a gradual change in the Afro-Eurasian world and the Americas between the 11th and 15th centuries. As societies in Africa, Middle East, India, China, Europe, and America grew more complex they created new rights and new restrictions for women. In all regions of the world but the Middle East, society allowed women to maintain education in order to support themselves and their occupations. Women slaves in the Middle East were, however, prized on their intelligence.... [tags: Role of Women Essays]
589 words (1.7 pages)
- AP American History Women’s Role in Society During the early 1800's women were stuck in the Cult of Domesticity. Women had been issued roles as the moral keepers for societies as well as the nonworking house-wives for families. Also, women were considered unequal to their male companions legally and socially. However, women’s efforts during the 1800’s were effective in challenging traditional intellectual, social, economical, and political attitudes about a women’s place in society.... [tags: Female Women Rights]
727 words (2.1 pages)
- Stone Angel - Hagar as a Product of her Environment Since the commencement of our world, there have been those such as Hitler, Einstein and Hitchcock, whose very name stands apart from the masses; their distinct aura symbolized something far greater than just a simple human life. Such a statement can be applied to Hagar Shipley, the protagonist from the novel The Stone Angel by Margaret Laurence, and hold true. Hager is a unique character, whose essence rises above others, such that after understanding the journey of her life, her first name evokes a series of emotion within the reader. Due to her crass nature and uncompromising pride, one questions if the prestigious backgroun... [tags: Stone Angel]
1115 words (3.2 pages)