Gender Representation in Janice Galloway’s Short Stories.
The City and State
Table of Contents
Significance of the Research 5
Problem Statement 5
Purpose of the Study and Research Questions 5
Assumptions and Limitations 6
Overview of the Research 6
2.0 LITERATURE REVIEW 7
2.2 Gender-Based Theories 7
2.2.1 Structural-functional Theory 7
2.2.2 Gender Schema Theory 8
2.2.3 Symbolic Interaction Theory 9
2.3 The Use of Short Stories To Depict Gender 11
2.4 Jason Galloway’s Short Stories 12
3.0 RESEARCH METHODOLOGY 14
4.0 RESULTS AND DISCUSSION 15
4.2 Summary 19
5.0 CONCLUSION AND RECOMMENDATIONS 21
From time immemorial, human societies have gravitated towards assigning distinct roles, behavioral codes, morality, and feelings and thoughts to men and women depending on one’s biological distinction of sex. Notably, Janice Galloway has been among the most celebrated Scottish authors to come from the British literary arena in the ’90s. Her prowess would lead to plenty of research on her novels, precisely the theme of gender representation, especially for women and their difficulties to be defined in their roles by society. From the novels, it is evident how women struggled to attain individuality in a hostile and predominantly male society. This research aims to determine how gender has been represented in the short stories by Janice Galloway. As one reads through the short stories, even with the understanding that they have been written from a female perspective, it is evident that women’s priorities are not considered standard. Women’s issues are considered deviant or add-ons or extra issues and not part of the Big Picture.
From time immemorial, human societies have gravitated towards assigning distinct roles, behavioral codes, morality, and feelings and thoughts to men and women depending on one’s biological distinction of sex (Banerjee, 2018, 2). Subsequently, this would lead to a construction of the social distinction of gender between masculinity and femininity. From the 19th century to the end of the 20th century, short stories would develop as a literary genre that would highlight this social construction on gender that determined how men and women lived their lives.
Janice Galloway has been among the most celebrated Scottish authors to come from the British literary arena in the ’90s. As of 2004, she had published three novels, two anthologies of short stories, and several articles while being a participant in other projects such as audio plays. Through the various literary works, it was evident that gender issues are an essential concern to Janice. Her texts have demonstrated hard criticism of the predominance of men in society. However, it is prudent to note that she asserted not feeling like a feminist authoress but rather a writer working hard towards getting states of mind clearer by coming from the middle of characters and instead not standing apart.
Her prowess would lead to plenty of research on her novels, precisely the theme of gender representation, especially for women and their difficulties to be defined in their roles by society. From the novels, it is evident how women struggled to attain individuality in a hostile and predominantly male society. Her fiction was a rigorous analysis of the continuous influence of the conventional conceptions of gender identities and relations. They were a dissection of how patriarchy oppressed women and accounts of moving away from the attractions binding women from the hegemonic hostility defined by dominant masculinism. Notably, an analysis of her literary works left enlightenment on women’s issues and why they needed to be handled.
Nonetheless, despite the richness provided by her novels on gender representation, this theme remains under-explored when it comes to her short stories. Her collections of short stories are filled with coherence on this universal subject to engage intimately with the occurring discourses through which it is constructed. This research seeks to explore gender representation in Galloway’s short stories. They will evoke similar tensions concerning the existential dilemma for minority individuals trying to assert their individuality while dealing with the dehumanizing complexities of social conditions.
Significance of the Research
The primary significance of this research rested on the broad topic of gender. Research on gender is generally multi-dimensional such that it does cross all boundaries of history, sociology, psychology, leadership, among other fields. Due to the far-reaching effect of gender, extensive research and further understanding are fundamental in informing one’s work, providing newer perspectives, and having a broader context to understand research in one’s field. Therefore, since literature has remained a lens to understand society, this study selected the short stories by Janice Galloway to enhance what is known about gender-especially women- as it being part of society.
The secondary significance of this research is derived from studying the different short stories by Janice Galloway. The study of gender and its portrayal in the identified literature piece expanded and added to the canon of research on these particular works.
Based on the symbolic interaction theory of gender that stipulates that gender roles are social constructs, the problem in this research is exploring gender and its representation in selected short stories by Janice Galloway. She is part of the Scottish Postmodern writers. Narrative analysis methods will be incorporated into describing how gender was represented; hence, the research seeks inference about the messages that these short stories send concerning gender representations. The research also revealed themes that suggest cultural attitudes being reflected on gender.
Purpose of the Study and Research Questions
This research aims to determine how gender has been represented in the short stories by Janice Galloway. Even though the essence of the research is a women’s study, effective gender research cannot be done by exploring a single point of view. To this effect, to explore how women have been represented, it needs the male gender to be simultaneously examined. To achieve this end, the research will focus on the following research questions:
Research Question One: How have the different genders been represented in the short plays by Janice Galloway.
Assumptions and Limitations
The very nature of this research and the research design to be incorporated did bring up its assumptions and limitations. The research was based on the assumption that the selected short stories were credible examples of Postmodern literature. While the writer does represent both genders with different backgrounds, it is not the purpose of the research to draw sweeping conclusions about how the author of these short stories thinks, feels, or writes.
Overview of the Research
This research has been organized into several chapters. Chapter One consisted of an introduction, the research’s problem statement, the significance of the study, the purpose of the research and respective research questions, the assumptions and limitations, and the study’s overview. Chapter Two contains the literature review, specifically gender theories, postmodernism short stories, and a sample of studies that present current literature on the research subject. Chapter Three explains its research methodology and the reasons why it was selected. Chapter Four will be a discussion of the collected data and the findings. Chapter Five presents conclusions and recommendations for further study.
2.0 LITERATURE REVIEW
The review of relevant literature created a textual backdrop of the research. This literature review provides an overview of gender representation. A discussion of gender theories, Janice Galloway’s work and relation to gender representation, and several short stories delved into the research subject.
2.2 Gender-Based Theories
2.2.1 Structural-functional Theory
The theory is founded on the ideal that a particular society needs to find a mechanism to perpetuate itself to ensure survival. This view suggests that both genders understand their places in society are not determined biologically but by the requirements of their cultures. A central notion in this theory is “organization”. According to Parsons (1960), the main aim of an organization is to attain a specific goal achieved through the division of labor in a group that permits the production of something from the group that another group could use. As persons found themselves belonging to specific groups, the persons collectively shared a mutual experience. Division of labor would place male individuals as breadwinners and females to work domestically, hence helping their children prepare for their futures as functioning individuals. Gender and respective roles created a stable society since each individual grows to understand their positions linked to the larger group. The cultures would also have beliefs and value systems that pressure individuals to maintain their given roles.
The theory would be refined further by Parsons and Bales (1955) through their work on socialization within the nuclear family. Their work noted that people no longer lived in large communal tribes but rather in nuclear families with independent dwellings. To this effect, families were now a more specialized agency (14). Therefore, the roles of the man and the woman in the family would give the family stability and a medium for a child to socialize in the world’s ways. Hence, the two scholars would conclude that the adult feminine role has not stopped being anchored primarily on the family’s internal affairs.
In contrast, the adult male remains predominantly anchored in the occupational scene. This has given them status and income to handle the issues within the family (Parsons and Bales, 1955, 15). These established roles make the family a structured unit, with its primary function being the child’s socialization into the “pattern of values” so that the child can be able to carry on the society’s structure.
Parsons and Bales would suggest that the child’s socializations happen in stages and that the parents were the primary socialization agents. For adequate socialization, the father had the role towards his sons, and the mother had the unique role towards her daughters so that the latter could emulate them. The emphasis on different gender roles was put when men got categorized as instrumental superior and women were categorized as expressive superior. Instrumental meant that the man has an external concentration focusing on ensuring the family was getting income and providing status in the world. Conversely, the expressed term meant that the female had an internal focus on maintaining family relationships.
Notably, this theory has its theoretical limitations as it tries to explain society and gender. One of them is that the theory has an oversimplified perspective on society. Furthermore, its view on gender was conservative and did not consider the varieties present within the society. According to Lindsey (1997), the theory failed to consider the households with single parents, yet they are extensively adaptable and demonstrate diverse patterns and circumstances. Also, the theory’s perspective has been used to justify the persistence of male dominance and overall gender stratification and supports the “white middle-class family ethic (Lindsey, 1997, 6). Therefore, it is evident that the theory failed to consider the tremendously changing dynamics of the modern family and other affiliated factors.
2.2.2 Gender Schema Theory
This theory focuses on the process by which a person comes to understand gender differences. Particularly, the division between male and female is a fundamental issue, not what makes up male and female. This gender has been based on the notion that humans develop cognitive schemas that organize systems that store information on specific objects or concepts. Howard and Hallander (1997) indicated that the schemas are abstract and serve as theories of our preconceptions that drive the cognitive process. It is the construction of social schemas that allows individuals to be cognitive misers (71). People will simplify realities and interpret particular events about a general category through schemas. The importance of schemas is in processing the information as it influences that information to be processed and what not to be seen in social situations. Following this theory, creating schemas aided individuals in processing information and making judgments (Howard and Hallander, 1997, 72).
This theory is proper to explain gender role development since individuals live in a sex-typed society. Through the theory, a child could learn the culture’s definition of male and female and the subsequent gender roles. After learning, the child could learn to invoke the heterogeneous network of sex-related associations to evaluate and assimilate new information. The child learns to encode and organize information concerning the evolving gender schema (Fagot, 1995, 130). The encoding process is then transferred to the individual for a child to determine whether individual behavior is aligned with the established schema. One would use the gender schema as the lens. If the behavior is not aligned, the child modified their behavior so that their behavior adhered to the cultural definition.
Notably, using this theory to understand gender has its criticisms theory, ignoring situational variables and reducing all situations into a gender schematic perspective. The critics suggested the need for more empirical research is required for a complete understanding of the theory.
2.2.3 Symbolic Interaction Theory
This theory presents a distinct way of looking at persons and their learning. This theory characterizes the individual as one engaged in learning and responding to internalize the messages of socialization. Additionally, symbolic interaction asserted and explored the distinct levels of experience that other sociological traditions have neglected. Particularly, this theory examines how individuals attach symbolic meanings to objects, behaviors, and other persons then develop and transmit the meanings through interactions.
The basis for the theory arises from George Herbert Mead’s work. Mead was interested in the idea of self and how it was created. He stipulated that the self came from the interaction of the individual with the group to which the person belonged. The interactors happen in two forms: non-symbolic and symbolic interactionism., non-symbolic interaction is a reflex action or the action taken with no premeditation. Symbolic interaction entails interpreting and thinking about the actions. Language and communication are essential elements in symbolic interaction. The individual talks to himself on matters related to the community he belongs to and lays upon oneself to belong to that community.Furthermore, language helps the individual internalize social habits that subsequently create a universal discourse among the group’s participants. The universal discourse created a common language between the participants. Mead concluded that the self has a development that does not happen at birth but will arise during social experience and activity.
According to Howard and Hollander (1997), the self is essential to symbolic interaction since it is a social construct and not singular. Self is made up of several identities that are to be constructed as individuals interact with others. The primary mode of interaction was the language that was acknowledged as another social construction form. Blumer (1969) developed the process of how symbolic interaction theory worked within the confines of society. They suggested three premises for symbolic interactionism. The first is that individuals will act towards thighs depending on the meanings assigned to those things. The second is that meanings of these things are derived from the social interactions one has with their followers. The third premise is that the meanings are handled and modified through an interpretative process utilized by the individual to deal with the things one has encountered. The three premises would summarize the notion of how this theory looked at the meanings;’ development as the process that directly involves the individual (Blumer, 1969, 2). Blumer labeled the individual as the actor theorized that developing meaning initially started with self-communication, where the actor defined the meaning. This self-communication led to the interpretation of the actor selecting, checking, suspending, regrouping, and transforming meanings depending on the situation one is in and the directions of their actions. Accordingly, the interpretations should not be considered a simple automatic application of established meaning but rather a formative process where the meanings are used and revised to guide and form action. It is important to note that meanings play their part in action via the process of self-interactions (Blumer, 1969, 5).
Since persons live in groups, Blumer further suggested that the group’s reaction to the actions of a person was fundamental to a person’s development of meanings and the subsequent future actions. People consider their words, objectives, and self-images of structure themselves hence the social process within the group life, which leads to the creation of respective rules that are then upheld and not the rules that create and uphold group life.
According to Blumer (1969), objects are anything that can be indicated or pointed to or referred to and hence physical objects, social objects such as teAcher or friend or abstract such as philosophies or ideas. The meaning given to that object by a person, regardless of its type, arises from the interactions one will have with others and how the latter have defined that object. A central notion to this position is that the objects are social creations with no fixed status, and hence respective definitions can be created, affirmed, transformed, or put aside. Hence, gender becomes an object that a group has given meaning to, and this meaning has been affirmed for the person by interaction with the group. Since social definitions for objects can be changed, gender and gender roles are subject to being affirmed or changed.
As indicated in the first chapter, symbolic interaction provides the theoretical model in investigating gender. The theory suggests that the ideals related to gender are subject to change and that persons play an active and fundamental role in creating their identity.
2.3 The Use of Short Stories To Depict Gender
The study of short stories has demonstrated to be a better source to look into any form of prejudice than any abstract speech (Decure, 2013, 7). Educators have indicated using short stories constantly to provide a good source of tackling the challenges related to gender and better received by the students. Therefore, several short stories from prolific authors would be studied to portray gender representation in society.
Dale Spender (1985) stated that what one sees relies on one’s beliefs (41). Once particular categories are constructed within the language, an individual will organize the world as per these categories. At times they limit one from seeing the evidence that is not in line with the categories. It is in these premises that Virginia Long and Ruth Rendell constructed their stories “Fool Me Twice” and “The Wrong Category,” respectively (Decure, 2013, 4). These two authors handled gender stereotypes through the tool of making the audience mistake one sex for another through clever use of language. For a long time, individuals will see, hear, and even experience vary mainly depending on the language habits that one has been predisposed to, leading to the particular interpretation choices. It is the language that has determined the world’s limits, thus creating reality.
Katherine Mansfield is another modernist writer that used short stories to demonstrate the end of gender. Her writings have suggested a sense of personal truth that is subjective and depends on the female experiences within the society where women are still marginalized (Seal, 2013). The short stories allowed Katherine to explore the ideas via the short stories. Notably, the short story format has mainly been praised for exploring a feminist worldview. Her stories focused on the people who had been estranged or isolated from society, particularly women (Seal, 2013). It is prudent to note that these short stories were written when women and some men had started to question the conventional gender roles.
Different authors would choose different paths to look into gender but using the short story form due to their ability to express anything one likes.
2.4 Jason Galloway’s Short Stories
Janice Galloway is a globally acclaimed author of novels, short stories, poetry, and nonfiction collaborative works with other artists. In every literature work, the stories and sentences have been beautifully crafted by an individual who cares enough to be very careful about how she writes (Janicegalloway.net, n.d.). Mostly, when something is meticulously created, the outcomes can be admirable but very cold. Nonetheless, Galloway’s stories exuded raw emotions that can barely be contained on a page. Her stories have dealt with universal themes such as love, trust, and relationships. These themes may be familiar, but Galloway had learned to make them startling and alien through her styles. Collected stories are one of her short stories that have tackled every possible narrative point of view, including first and third (Scott, 2012). Janice decided to ignore the forms and conventions which have traditionally governed writing. Her stories have been hugely satisfying due to the evocative writing style and a clear sense of how far she could go in bending the rules of writing (Holden, 2016).
In matters related to gender, Janice novels have set precedence hence the extensive research done on them. In her novels, Galloway minutely dissected the discourses on women’s oppression with her fictions functioning as the autopsies of obsolete gender relations relying on the failed notions of patriarchy (Jones, 2009, 65). The novels analyzed the causes of death and recognized the women’s challenging and contradictory relations with patriarchy. Three important novels, “The Trick is to Keep Breathing” (1989), “Foreign Parts” (1994), and “Clara” (2002), look into the historical subject matter of gender where women disappear either into the hegemonic femininity stereotypes or the woman figure or the mythical roles of the wife. An analysis of these novels would demonstrate how the writer worked on recovering the lives and voices of women from the universalized reductions of female selfhood and articulating the alternative modes of subjectivity.
To this effect, her short stories would also be a better source to look into gender as it goes beyond the physical differences between men and women and their distinct reproductive functions (Jones, 2009, 65). Gender perceptions are now separate sets of socially determined behavioral norms and performance standards affiliated to each gender. The social conventions have stipulated the different roles prevailing within the family hence the hierarchy setup regarding sharing work, resources, and decision-making roles in the household and broadly. To this effect, this leads to the research objective, which is exploring gender representation in Janice Galloways’ short stories.
3.0 RESEARCH METHODOLOGY
Literature research methodology is the primary research method that is to be incorporated in this research. This method entails reading, analyzing, and sorting the literature to identify the essential attributes within this material (Lin, 2009, 1). The primary objective of this research is to explore gender representation within the short stories by Janice Galloway, which makes up the essential attributes of these pieces of literature.
The research is to sort and analyze the different short stories done by Janice Galloway. The sorting process will primarily be the researcher conducting creative analysis, comparison, and summarizing the literature collected. The specific methods in sorting the stories will include logical analysis, reasoning, synthesis, and dialectical thinking to develop fact judgments from the sources. After sorting, the short stories will be analyzed. Qualitative analysis will entail studying the short stories and identifying the similarities and differences between the different things through reasoning while grasping the rules of things (Lin, 2009, 3). This analysis will follow a process that is identifying gender representation within the literature pieces, the affiliated facts and reasons, and how the short stories have concluded on the gender representation issue. Ultimately, the study would have attained its research objective of exploring gender representation in Janice Galloway’s short stories.
4.0 RESULTS AND DISCUSSION
A review of these short stories by the acclaimed novelist and memoirist Jason Galloway would demonstrate stylistically experimental writing that defied any ordinary settings. Many of these stories are painfully tense, which is an effect constructed with an intentional lack of clarity. The narratives get filled with gaps and absences. The language added onto the complexity, the writer’s ear for dialogue if astonishing with the everyday use of dialect words in the middle of consciousness monologues. The horror stories would range from minor domestic trauma to the lavish grotesque; the dark stories had been designed for dark times, which is very vivid to any audience.
4.1 Gender Representation In Janice Galloway’s Short Stories
Janice Galloway’s first collection of short stories was named Blood which had 25 stories that are both self-contained and interlinked with an evident coherence in style, imagery, and anecdotal surface in their plots. A vivid and visceral style was used in telling the several episodes and situations, and the cinematic pes perspective distorted the everyday situation in exquisite and grotesque events. This collection obtained considerable attention and acclamation (Laing, 2009). The uncanny episodes at the core of the stories within the collection revealed the writer’s intention of unmasking the tranquillity illusion that has been given by the familiar, homely, and domestic settings and reveals the dark undercurrents that run through the daily lives of the characters together with their dysfunctional relations. While the stories have been told from a distinctly female perspective and have looked into the interplay between men and women, and commonly the impact of men on women and the effects of women in living in a male-dominated society (Laing, 2009). The writer’s writing is superb as she takes chances that another writer would not take and displays a particular strength in conveying a wealth of emotion in words.
In the opening section of “Blood”, the imagery incorporated that is of a tooth extraction gets escalated to the traumatic violation of the woman’s body which is an actual threatening pattern intensified with the constant blood imagery and gory endings. In conjunction with the traumatic visions and the surreal hallucinations, the physical and emotional scars all advanced the unsettling mood felt reading through the entire collection. It was an actual exploration of life beyond the dangerous illusion of social conventions, moral codes, and the cliches of contemporary Scottish society.
In the story “Love In A Changing Environment”, the negative evolution of a relationship between the two characters is noted via the magical realist setting of the story. The surreal atmosphere made by the scented warmth for the bakery reflected a happy stage of their relationship, entailing emotional and sexual liaison. However, this rapidly faded when the ownership changed from the bakery to the butcher’s shop. The smells and sounds coming from the butcher’s shop ruined the couple’s love life as now their imagination was now filled with images of “dead tissue congested with blood” and a muscle clenching from the blade” (Galloway, 2009, 19). The couple started losing sleep and rarely touched as now they are suspicious of each other’s skin. This already demonstrated that these two genders have always been meant to stay together in love but how external environments bring up issues that even defeat the love they have for each other. Notably, in another story from the same collection, “Things he did”, it is not the abject. Still, instead, the language is made up of polite conversations, small talk, and empty words that hinder the sexual intercourse of the man and the woman in what is deemed a blind date. This story closed with the sharp “Things he did” (Galloway, 2009, 129). The wordy deferral of the action is ended together with the narrative to trigger the reader’s erotic imagination to fill the blanks. This was another instance of how typographical space and textual structure evokes a sensual response from the reader, specifically with an understanding of the sensuality of human beings regardless of one’s gender. Janice Galloway would have an interview with Christie and states that she has an intense interest in physicality and was fascinated with gender (Romero, 2019, 142). Specifically, she liked looking into the differences between the male and female gender that were more pervasive even at the physical level to an extent more than what they seem. This would be very evident in her stories. Specifically, the kernel of the man’s unstoppable shatter in the “Things He Said” story was the gender differences and especially the improbability of closing the gap that separates the two genders. This happens even with the means that seem to have the tremendous potential for success, that is, sex and precisely kissing.
Human relationships make up one of Galloway’s objects for acute investigation, which would lead to an equal reveal of related taboos and prejudice (Liggins et al., 2010, 39). Within the typically unsatisfying bonds is the inability of a man and woman to communicate. This inability will be evident in the different relationships, including between a mother and a daughter or a teacher and a student. “David’ ‘is a short story on a teacher’s quick one-night stand with a pupil, and it would explore the uncontrollable power of boundless passions but also would challenge the moral etiquette and gender stereotypes with a proper demonstration of female eroticism. The solid and traumatic emotions interchange with ordinary experiences to lead to a terrifying nightmare (Liggins et al., 2010, 39). Individuals constantly faced inevitable barriers to communication that would take either physical or psychological forms.
In the vignette “It was” from the Blood collection, Galloway’s narrator stated that there was no need to acknowledge anything unusual in the situation for nothing was (Branna, 2016, 19). The narrator’s words came after she excavated the body of her late uncle using her bare hands and accepted his invitation for tea afterward. For example, the uncle’s unearthing instead of, for example, a lineal relative that is closer to Blood and even affection takes up the sinister dimensions when connected with the collection’s final story, “Week with Uncle Felix” (Branna, 2016, 20). In this story, Senga, an eleven-year-old, gets to spend her holiday alone with her uncle and family. She was trying unsuccessfully to learn the personality of her deceased father, but the uncle was trying and failing to learn more about Senga. This story is a horror one as it depicts obsession and possession where a young woman is looking for her dead father in her uncle’s eyes while the latter is looking for her mother in the former’s eyes. This uneventful week ended with the uncle gifting Senga, her niece, pearls for remembering him. Still, he touched her inappropriately in remembrance of the girl’s mother. This uncle had a soft spot for the girl’s mother. Senga has been left with the ghost of his uncle’s hand on her breast and another ghost of her father as it still haunts her imagination (Branna, 2016, 20). The male and female genders have been at loggerheads, especially in their thought processes, and as it could be seen, the woman would always be inferior to the man. The innocence of Senga is what men like Uncle Felix always took advantage of. Unfortunately, the sinister events that happened to girls and women like Senga always left them feeling both victims and even with questions as to why they receive that kind of treatment, and at times they would blame themselves (Branna, 2016, 20). Women have plenty to fear from both strangers, and even the men they know, with the city and the suburbs, are alienating landscapes.
In the story, “Scenes from the Life,” Old Sammy encourages young Sammy to jump onto his arms but steps aside to let the last fall to the ground. This overdetermined cruelty goes in to show the inherent value of the relationships between father and sons. For the longest time, the male gender had been known to be one of being emotionless and having no compassion, especially towards people of the same gender. Generally, men will teach the young boys how hard life can be even through lessons that could hurt them. This could clearly show why men have continually grown to be hard-hearted individuals with a display of null or very minimal emotions towards their women. Emotions are considered a weakness that only a woman should display, which pouts the latter at the inferior position.
In her other short story collection, “Where You Find It”, Galloway moves into engaging explicitly on romantic relationships while still using her lush language, including vivid physical descriptions to the poignant emotional characterizations. This collection is marked with the themes of ambivalence and affection that even the title suggests where love needs to be taken and where one finds it. The initial story, “Valentine,” created the connection between sensations human beings want to experience and those they do not want to experience. The narrator states, “I leave trying not to hear the noise of chewing Stella mashing her hearts to paste,” which refers to the heart-shaped sandwiches made by a coworker for herself and her man. However, even with the narrator trying not to listen, she does want to feel a similar kind of romance that, even if it looks ridiculous, does allow the silly Valentines for Stella to happen. By the time the story ends with efforts failing to achieve emotional intimacy with her boyfriend, the narrator indicates feeling her heart bursting with a need for something more even when she does not know what it is or how to give it. 6the narrator tries to please the overcritical man throughout the story, which makes it very uncomfortable. Her self-submission towards a man who does not want it just demonstrates how women would work on something they want even when it is fruitless. Emotions are very evident from women compared to the man as it can also be seen from Stella and her man, where Stella works to ensure her relationship stands.
In the “Where You Find It” Collection, Galloway returns to several significant concerns, including the secondary status of women in the society, the complexities of inhabiting a body, the social class structures in conjunction with their functions and effects, and the intricacies of family dynamics (Farlex, 2021). In Galloway’s fiction, women already see their emotional state as pathological, considering that their partners were more distant or reserved when it comes to emotions. The women are not models for independence or strength but rather make constant emotional sacrifices and contortions, especially in relationships (Farlex, 2021). These decisions appeared gratifying yet are very disturbing to the reader. It is proper to state that the female had the complicity to continually take up the subordinate role but still have a vast emotional strength that would also allow them to escape their emotionally rewarding relationships with the men.
Several women have demonstrated excessive frugality, which does not arise from being cheap but rather due to the society that has constantly rewarded them poorly in their occupations (Farlex, 2021). Cassie and Rona utilize the travel guide that subordinated the tourist experience, which was costly while eating sandwiches in their car. These sandwiches have been eaten in different cities, under trees, in fields, and even in the shadow of the great organ of Haarlem. However, this life the two were living is what they have always done. They do have an understanding that they cannot get any richer or more sophisticated or more included. The women knew their place where proper people and proper mona can only enjoy proper holidays. Cassie reads Rona’s and her incapacity to afford food continuously, which was very demeaning, and pointed out the exclusion felt in other aspects of her life and that she could not fit in. The women felt being excluded from the economic mainstream with the obligation of maintaining social appearance. Economic interdependence is considered a motive to remain in ungratifying relationships. This demonstrated the historical division of labor where the man was physically and the woman provided emotionally, which was considered faulty and unworkable.
As one reads through the short stories, even with the understanding that they have been written from a female perspective, it is evident that women’s priorities are not considered standard. Women’s issues are considered deviant or add-ons or extra issues and not part of the Big Picture. Notably, Galloway’s objective becomes that evident as she focuses on reconstructing the structures marginalizing women, which is something accomplished through postmodern conceptions of what a narrative can be by emphasizing the physicality of female bodies while also carefully considering the impacts of home and nation on life.
5.0 CONCLUSION AND RECOMMENDATIONS
Gender representation has been a constant theme in Janice Galloway’s different short stories. The writer would use her distinctive writing style to demonstrate how women are different from men. In these short stories, it is evident that the patriarchal society has prevailed for the longest time and would affect society in all aspects. Since women have been known to take the secondary status in society, this would happen even in the emotional state. Since men were the physical providers of tangible things, women provide emotionally. The men were emotionally distant people that rarely focussed on showing it. Emotions were considered a weaker trait that belonged to the women. Even with the women fighting to be shown more love, it was complicated to get it from their men. The superiority of these men is also seen in how they handled the girls and women, especially sexually. It was all a matter of a man doing what he wanted without going through the thought process of what the women wanted, hence the questions they had even when they were assaulted. Ultimately, the female characters suffered more and dealt with more profound consequences than the male colleagues. The women never got something they wanted, nor their effort never changed their situations, leading to emotional instability.
Despite the pervasive inferiority given to women, the two genders have their inequities that destroy human relationships. One of them is that the two find communication very challenging hence would instead go on without sharing their thoughts hence destroying any relationships they build. The men could be seen thriving in their physical occupations and required obligations, but many concerns arose of their emotional state, considering that they would not easily display them.
As an outgrowth of this research, more critical attention is needed towards more female literature pieces. While the novels have been studied extensively, it is time that the short stories also get centered on such analyses. This should allow the theme of gender representation to be studied to greater breadths and depths to make it impactful to society.
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