Sunday, September 8, 2019

Discuss gender roles and male and female relationship as it relates to Essay

Discuss gender roles and male and female relationship as it relates to the concept of authority in 20th American society - Essay Example The 20th century American society was very much influenced by the patriarchal western culture; but towards the end of the century rapid changes occurred in the American society. The role of women and the importance of family life had to be redefined as there was greater number of divorces: divorce was common in half of the homes and many families included single parents, step-parents, step siblings, adopted children and even mixed parents. Family as an institution was a great failure and very often the concept of man as the ‘bread giver’ of the family was shattered as women had to earn themselves to support the family and children. Many writers have pictured this conflict in the American society and Anzia Yezierska’s novel ‘Bread givers’ is a genuine attempt in this regard. The writer narrates the story of her protagonist, Sara Smolinsky, who fights against the dominant male culture and beliefs of her father and finally finds her own place in the high ly competitive New America. The novel clearly shows how her father Reb Smolinsky leads an easy going life and how he imposes his domination over his wife and daughters. The novel is set in the background of a massive immigration to America by people from all over the world for better living standards, believing that America is the most suitable nation to establish themselves financially and culturally, and to realize their inner urge for independence and self fulfillment. Sara, the protagonist of the novel, is the youngest daughter of an orthodox Jewish rabbi who cherishes a rigid conception of Jewish womanhood. Her family had immigrated to America from a village in Poland and according to her father’s Jewish tradition, the only role a Jewish woman had in her life was to take care of the family, and to make life easier for her husband or father. Thus, women were not given the individual freedom to decide a life of their own. This is evident when we find

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