Compare the ways in which the relationship between men and women are presented in your chosen stories, look at how men treat women and how women react. Explaining in the process who you most sympathise with. .
In this essay I will discuss and compare the differences and similarities in relationships in two short stories. In doing so I will consider the influences of the social, historic and economic contexts presented in both stories. The texts I have chosen are Turned by Charlotte Perkins Gilman written in 1911 and The Fury written in 1961 by Stan Barstow. .
The first point I would like to raise concerns the fact that fifty years separate the publication of Turned and The Fury. The authors offer different perspectives, which are reflective of their time. This provides present day readers with a valuable insight into the circumstances that determine the relationships of the characters in their respective eras.
The fact that the authors are male and female adds interest to the task of comparing the two stories especially as they share a common source of conflict: a husbands infidelity. Charlotte Perkins Gilman offers a feminist account of Marion Marroner’s response to her husband’s affair. While in my view Stan Barstow portrays Mrs Fletcher less favourably and portrays her husband as being the final victim of a vindictive and weak wife. .
The short opening paragraph of Turned introduces us to a distraught Mrs Marroner. The author uses a third person narrator as a voice for the heavily descriptive vocabulary which almost simultaneously describes the privileged Boston’ setting and the trampling intensity’ of the turbulent, struggling mass of emotion’ that the main character is trying to cool’, stiffen’ and control’ in vain. Mrs Marroner’s grief is magnified by adverbs such as bitterly, chokingly; despairingly’ and convulsively’ that suggests she has recently lost a loved one, possibly her husband, as there is no mention of a Mr Marroner.