Monday, January 28, 2019
The Characters’ Conformation to Social Restrictions in the stories The Gilded Six-Bits and The Waltz
In the stories The favorable sextuplet-Bits by Zora Neale Hurtson and The Waltz, by Dorothy Parker, the of import de noneations queue themselves acting under the sozzled neighborly constraints that society projects on them. Their gender, race and degree all prescribe how they see themselves and how others see them, and therefore how they moldiness act. Missie whitethorn, Joe and the narrator of The Waltz argon all puppets to formula, although non always conscious of it. Through this essay I will demonstrate the sociable restrictions and rules that existed for people of color and women in the previous(predicate) 1900s, with evidence from the text.The Gilded Six-Bits is a moving story of frustration and greed. In the home of a poor young subdued couple in the s discoverhern states is where our scene cultivates place. As we stripping out, Missie may is an attractive black newly married homemaker who takes pride in her husbands hard utilization and in her own break awa y around the house. Her husband who works at a fertilizer company adores her, and puts her on a pedestal and up to now expects her to stay in her habit as a subservient homemaker.As is demonstrated in the story, Missie May struggles with her social restrictions and expectations. Firstly, the color of her skin decrees of what class she is. She is of color, meaning she is lower than yet the lowest white folk and similarly dictates what part of town she must live, at what level she must marry, and where she is to work, exclusively most importantly, it defines how other (white) people treat her.Not only is Missie May black, alone also a adult female. This puts her at a double disadvantage, since even white women were still struggling to be recognized as precious human macrocosms at this time. White women were dear achieving the vote and had just immaculate proving to the world that they were valuable commodities, during the First World War, when they were made to do mens room jobs to keep society going. Opinion of women at this time is very low. Womens main place was still to marry and have children.In The Gilded Six -Bits, the first example of role playing is during Missie and Joes little game. Every Saturday Joe throws ash grey dollars onto the floor where Missie stands, and then she must catch him and go done his pockets to find the coveted candy kisses. This is a fun routine they go through with(predicate) every week when Joe is paid, and both parties look forward to it. Missie May goes through the motions of the game Nobody aint gointer be chunkin money at me and Ah not do em nothin, she shouted in mock anger. (p. 1439)Hence, the first role Missie plays is as a predator in a friendly game with her husband. Although society doesnt chaffer what she is supposed to do in that instance, it is her husbands expectations that are imposed on her. Joe insists on playing this game every week, and therefore she must play her character with him every time. Although it is just a game, it is very representative of their relationship in that he requires her to take her role as he takes his.Next, we see Missie in her predictable role, as a wife and as a woman. We examine from Joe that Woman aint go no championship in a mans garb nohow. Go away. (p.1440) And later he puts her in her place by denouncing the situation that she is hungry You aint hongry, sugar, Joe contradicted her. Youse jes a little empty. Ahm de one whuts hongry. Next, Joe gives Missie an order that insults her since she sees how to do her businessHave it on the table when Ah git out de tub. She resentfully comes sticker with her declaration that she is indeed an excellent wife Ahm a real wife, not no dress and breath. As you can tell, Missie accepts her role as a woman and as a wife, and also accepts her subservient role with her husband. She follows the go along lines he sets for her. An interesting observation is that the rules differ as soon as they enter the h ome. During their little game, Missie and Joe are equals, only if as soon as they set foot in the home setting, Missie becomes servile and Joe becomes demanding.Joe is the hard running(a) husband, who brings home the money and supports his wife. He treats his wife well, and adores her and yet expects her to be obsequious. Ahm satisfy de way ah is so long as ah be yo husband, ah dont keer bout slide fastener else. (p.1442). He is proud that she is very attractive and treats her as an object and feels he owns her. Ah aint never been noewhere and Ah aint got nothin but you. (p.1441) Joe also feels the need to parade Missie around to depict off what hes got Go head on now, honey and put on yo clothes. He talkin bout his pritty womens Ah want im to see mine. (p.1442)Another instance of keeping in the role of a lady is when Joe refuses to give Missie a minute dowry of the tater pone Nope, sweetnessenin is for us men-folks. Yall pritty lil frail eels dont need nothin lak dis. You too sweet already. (p.1440) I interpret this to mean he doesnt want her to take more(prenominal) because it isnt lady-like to have seconds and he wants her to keep her slight figure so he can show her off.His possessive attitude changes when he catches Missie May in bed with Otis D. Slemmons. His attitude towards her changes immensely. She no longer has marital duties, but still must maintain the cleaning and misrepresenting. This makes her more of a break ones back than a wife, because she is supposed to do these things as a wife, but erstwhile the intimacy is gone, what is left is the bare bones of being a wife, which is to cook and to clean for the husband.After she is caught in bed with Slemmons, Missie laments her loss of menial dutiesIt was day. zipper more. Joe wouldnt be coming home as usual. No need to go open the front door and sweep off the porch, making it nice for Joe. Never no more breakfast to cook no more washing and starching of Joes jumper-jackets and pants . No more nothing, So why get-up? (p.1444)I find it very interesting that as soon as her husband finds out about her affair, she mourns not the loss of trust, or total times, but she mourns the work that she did for him. She laments that she can no longer serve him the way she used to. Missie May took her role as being a wife very soberly and when she thought there was no need for her services anymore, she decided there wasnt a lot to live for, which is quite shocking. Missie May was so involved in her role with her husband, that she had no other identity.He had both chance and time to extinguish the intruder in his helpless condition half(prenominal) in and half out of his pants but he was too weak to take action. The shapeless enemies of humanity that live in the hours of Time had waylaid Joe. He was assaulted in his weakness. Like Sampson awakening after his haircut. So he just subject his mouth and laughed. (p.1143)This last scene describes a time when Joe does not cont end how to act or what to do. There is not a specific protocol for poor blacks or rich whites of what to do when one catches ones wife cheating. He is not sure what he feels or whether to laugh or cry. He is not clear as to what his role in this situation is. Does he kill the intruder? Does he beat his wife? Joe is caught in a brutally complicated situation, where society has no specific guidelines to follow. Fortunately, Joe, being the good soul he is, hits Slemmons, and comforts his wife, not following convention in the least with those actions.The narrator in The Waltz by Dorothy Parker takes a risible look at womens etiquette in society. The Waltz is about a woman who is narrow downped in the conventions of her high class society. She must conform to the rules of her status. In this case, she is asked to dance by a man whom she detests and does not want to dance with. For pages, she condemns the man with whom she dances while outwardly enjoying herself. The narrator (whom we shall refer to as bloody shame) ironically points out how women are supposed to be passive and receptive to men. The rules of convention dictate that she must not only dance with him, but exempt his clumsiness and invite him to continue dancing with her, all the while, inside raise his every word and motion. There was I, trapped. Trapped like a trap in a trap. (p.1463)Although Missie May and Mary differ greatly in their social class and their race, they share a common bond of both being women in the early 1900s. Here we have Missie May, at the very hobo of the social totem pole, being a black woman, and then we have Mary, who is of the highest social ranking, and incredibly, both suffer from the constraints of society. In the next quotation, we see the two facedness of Mary the contradiction between her thoughts and her actual speechOw For Gods sake, dont kick, you idiot this is only second down.Oh, my shin. My poor, poor shin, that Ive had ever since I was a little girlOh, no, no, no. Goodness, no. It didnt hurt the least little bit. And anyway it was my fault. Really it was. Truly. Well, youre just being sweet, to say that. It really was all my fault.Die he must and die he shall, for what he did to me. I dont want to be the over-sensitive type, but you cant tell me that kick was unpremeditatedbut when it comes to kicking, I am appal Womanhood. When you kick me in the shin, smile. (p.1463)Mary apologizes profusely, and is always saving the mans embarrassment, always cradling the mans ego. This high-class woman is expected to stay mute about her opinions and stoop to benignant the man. Even though she is not serve a man at a time as Missie May serves Joe, Mary is in a sense serving under male societys laws. She serves men by not outwitting them, by not broadcasting her opinions and by smiling. Mary is just as servile as Missie May in that she obeys a man based society.The three characters discussed in this essay, from The Gilded Six-Bits and The Waltz , all deal with the challenges of their roles in society differently. Missie May accepts her role graciously, until she lashes out and has an affair, Joe gets caught in a moment when he does not know what to do, and therefore laughs, and Mary talks to herself, but never exposes her inner thoughts. No yield the class, race or gender they all found ways to struggle with the roles society had imposed on them.