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If I Were a Man Charlotte Gilman

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  • Pages: 2
  • Word count: 293
  • Category: Gender

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The notion of crossing boundaries is explored throughout the text, based around the notion of gender roles, in context of the early 20th century. The gender roles presented fit the expectations at that time in society however present wide differences between the opportunities of man and expectations of woman and showing the barriers between the genders. Molly has everything she could want as a woman however wishes she was a man conveying the notion of an unfulfilled life living within boundaries. Views are contrasted as the narrator possesses the different perspectives, giving the audience a chance to empathise with each character. Gilman increases this ability to empathise through use of imagery and emotive language throughout the text, the feeling of a woman having the same opportunities as a man, crossing society’s expectations and limitations. The tone is casual and informal shown through use of stylised writing, short phrases and syntax, presenting the internalised thought processes of a woman. The use of epistrophe in various places in the text evokes the feeling of repetition in the woman’s life and the desire for change.

The words in italics emphasise Mollie’s pleasure experiencing the advantages of a man’s life, and what her life was missing. If I were a Man is similar to an exposition, both views are established and the monologue of Gerald/Mollie is the enlightened examination of society from knowing both sides of the issue, therefore inciting the audience of the text to be persuaded by the view. This texts confirms the idea that crossing boundaries can be an important step in exploring the unknown to gain insight and thus enacting changes specifically to society in this example. “Gerald was vaguely conscious of new views…and the submerged Mollie learned and learned.”

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