Where are all the southern gentlemen?
In Eudora Welty’s Petrified Man, there is a huge lack of the stereotypical strong “southern gentlemen.” This story, set in 1939 Mississippi, follows Leota and Mrs. Fletcher through two beauty shop appointments, where the two ladies discuss, in detail, the people around them. Fred, Leota’s husband, and Mr. Fletcher’s, Mrs. Fletcher husband, are spoken of almost like second class citizens and the other men, Mr. Pike and Mr. Petrie do not fare much better from these ladies’ discussion. The men in this story are a shadow of what a “southern gentleman” should be, and why do these ladies put up with their lack of manhood and laziness and lack of manhood? Ever action the men take in this story is led by the women, and all the men seemed to be as “petrified” as the real Petrified Man.
When thinking about men in the 1930, even during the grips of the Great Depression, they were still doing everything possible to help support their families. Why are these men in the story so different, do the not have any honor or pride, where is their manhood? What makes a southern gentleman? Most can agree the criteria include; financially security, successful in his job, and most important respect, for himself and for the people around him. A true southern gentleman would not be caught dead lying around while his wife worked, living off her money, and being an overall bum. Even during this time, if you were a man, and wanted to work, you could always go to a farm and get a job, there were jobs for manual labor during this time, and these men are just too lazy to get one. Gender roles in the south, even today, are very tradition, men worked outside the home and women stayed at home and kept the house. ...
... middle of paper ...
...ot work for your height, you did not earn your height, this is not a real accomplishment. Your husband’s height is normally not something to brag about, but it seems like this is all the ladies have to say about their husbands.
These men are anything but stereotypical southern men, they are bossed around by their wives, have no real accomplishments and they are lazy. The women in the story take on a more “manly” role, by making the money and controlling their households. This seems to go against the grain, especially in the more traditional Bible belt of Mississippi in the 1930’s. Real men would continue to move, be productive and even if that is a more “typical man role” if you are married you would at least want your partner, male or female to contribute. Without going forward these men are becoming stale, or as petrified as the “Petrified Man” in the story.
Need Writing Help?
Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.Check your paper »
- Over time the meaning of the Southern Man has remained similar. The films and books that we have watched or read in class have a given a clear picture of what it is to be a man of the New South and the Old South. Movies and books such as Mandingo, Gone with the Wind, To Kill a Mockingbird, Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, The Color Purple, Gods Little Acre, Jezebel and The Littlest Rebel will all help with the depiction of the Sothern Man. Southern Men are said to follow a southern code. A code in which includes; strong character, honor, respect, God, and among other things.... [tags: Southern United States, African American]
1129 words (3.2 pages)
- The Characters of For Whom the Southern Belle Tolls For Whom the Southern Belle Tolls is Christopher Durang's hilarious 1994 parody of The Glass Menagerie, a 1945 play by Tennessee Williams. In both plays, the main characters must deal with several serious problems, including isolation, fear of the outside world, and the need for understanding. Whereas the characters in The Glass Menagerie handle their problems in a relatively serious manner, those in For Whom the Southern Belle Tolls take a more farcical approach.... [tags: For Whom the Southern Belle Tolls Essays]
1235 words (3.5 pages)
- America is called the melting pot because of the diverse people and cultures that makes up our beautiful country. My parent were raised in different cultures and surroundings. Raised in Turks and Caicos, my mom grew up on a tiny island in the British Islands. My dad is a southern gentlemen who was raised in a petite town named Bennettsville South Carolina. Somehow my parents met, and had four wonderful children, of course, I am the oldest of them. My parent never gave up their heritage; on the other hand, they found a balance for my siblings and I to get a true understand of each of my parents back ground when it came to family traditions and views about education and discipline.... [tags: melting pot, culture, ]
584 words (1.7 pages)
- Parallels To southern men, honor was everything. I dictated their standing in society, whether or not they could own slaves; it basically was a secret caste system. A man held in the highest honor experienced a good life from a social stance in the south. The honor system used in the south was related to the language used by southern gentlemen.# Honor and Slavery by Kenneth S. Greenburg attempts to explain the vernacular and customs used by men in the antebellum south. It would be hard for a person in today's society to understand the way honor was shown; it would have even been a challenge for men living in the Northern United States to understand at that time.# As Greenburg states, "Si... [tags: Slavery Essays]
1654 words (4.7 pages)
- The Southern Dialect as Seen in the Works of William Faulkner In the writings of William Faulkner, the reader may sense that the author has created an entire world, which directly reflects his own personal experience. Faulkner writes about the area in and around Mississippi, where he is from, during the post-Civil War period. It is most frequently Northern Mississippi that Faulkner uses for his literary territory, changing Oxford to “Jefferson” and Lafayette County to “Yoknapatawpha County,” because it is here that he lived most of his life and wrote of the people he knew.... [tags: William Faulkner Essays]
2802 words (8 pages)
- Differences In Northern And Southern Colonies Prior To Revolutionary War As Earl Nightingale stated, "we can let circumstances rule us or we can take charge and rule our lives from within" (qtd. in www.brainyquotes.com). This attitude was held by the people who colonized the eastern seaboard of America. They left home and everything familiar to brave sickness, hunger and the threat of death on the long voyage to America, in the hopes of creating a better life. They formed settlements, some of which gradually grew into towns and cities.... [tags: Compare Contrast Colony US History]
1421 words (4.1 pages)
- College Tuition: A Binding Contract. With the skyrocketing costs of college education — at both state institutions and elite private colleges and universities — the breakdown of cost responsibilities between parents and students is becoming increasingly important, and in certain cases controversial. However, nowhere was it more heated than in a recent case that was resolved by a Connecticut court. In this case, the plaintiff — a twenty-something female student — sued the defendant (her father) over his failure to pay the final year of her college tuition, despite an explicit contract in which he had stated that he would assume all responsibility for her college.... [tags: Contract, Gentlemen's agreement]
736 words (2.1 pages)
- Gender played a part in the Civil war, especially the difference between North and South men and women. These different played in the reasons on why they fought in the war. In the North, the idea of manhood is different from the South. The same can be said about the idea of manhood between White and Black. The difference between North White man 's and Southern white man 's idea of manhood was unique to their regions, and these ideas shape the war and why people enlist to fight in the Civil War whether they are white, black, women, and men or from the South or North.... [tags: American Civil War, Southern United States]
1306 words (3.7 pages)
- Throughout The Two Gentlemen of Verona, scenes featuring Lance and his dog, Crab are juxtaposed with (and perhaps reference) interactions between the friends and lovers central to the plot. The primarily comic scenes in which Lance and Crab are present often illuminate problems in the relationships between the other characters in the play. Although Crab never speaks and is in fact a dog, his interactions with Lance as Lance explains them, mock the celebrated love between male friends and the much afflicting Petrarchan love that threatens it.... [tags: The Two Gentlemen of Verona]
896 words (2.6 pages)
- Norfolk Southern: Health and Wellness 1. Background Norfolk Southern Railway Corporation was formed in 1982. This company has been around under many other names throughout the history of the United States, with the constant mergers and acquisitions in railroading history. In northern Indiana the railroads were originally New York Central and Pennsylvania Railroad, these two lines merged to become Penn Central. Penn Central went bankrupt and the United States government merged them with other railroads to form Conrail.... [tags: Health, Nutrition, Norfolk Southern Railway]
1377 words (3.9 pages)