Portrayal Of Gender Inequality In John Updike’s Novel A&p, And The Hills Like White Elephants By Hemingway

April 27, 2022 by Essay Writer

In the literature, it’s love that is always appreciated and praised by the people and in this writing love is one of the themes. The other theme in this writing is gender discrimination, this thing is like cancer as it was damaging human relationship in the past history and is still harming people’s lives. It is a strange feeling to see that love is valued and worshipped by lot of people in this world but love can only be created by both of the genders, by gender discrimination and inequality those love making genders get separated.

It is stated in both of the stories of John Updike’s A&P and Hemingway’s The Hills like White Elephants, by an undeniable truth as a message to the readers that equality between both genders is not possible as one gender will always remain strong than the other one and this is the similarity between both the stories.

In John Updike’s A&P, according to the story men are portrayed as submissive to the women because of the sexual attractions. For instance, when the three girls entered into the A&P store only wearing bathing suits and got everyone’s attention in the store, including Sammy. Though, every single man’s eyes were on them. Girls leave men in a complete submissive state by walking through the islands in small outfits, with confident attitude and attractiveness. One of the three girls, Queenie, she realized about the whole unwanted attention which they were getting from the opposite gender in the store, this attention was all because of their sexual attractiveness.

The manager of the store got offended by the outfit of the girls and told them that they had to be properly dressed, when people visit a store as according to the store policy, this type of dressing is not allowed. This was the moment when Sammy told his manager, Lengel that “I quit” and left the store, he did this to impress the girls. Sammy went behind the girls to apologize on the behalf of his manager but the girls were gone and because of this little misunderstanding, human relationship suffered like relation of Sammy with the store manager after the argue, when the girls left the store. The sad part is that the girls were gone and the heroic scene which Sammy created in the favor of the three girls in the store was not known by the girls.

In Hemingway’s The Hills like White Elephants, in this story both the characters showed their stereotype roles. Like other relationships, all the decisions were made by man, based on his own thinking and desires and are obeyed by the girl. The man controls her decisions, her thinking and moreover her life but also wanted her to be happy. The man wanted the girl to get an abortion because he does not want to handle this huge responsibility and also wants the freedom to remain the same forever but he also wants her to be willing for doing this as her own decision.

This inequality between genders was in history and is still going on but no one could change that because it’s not a single person job, as it can only be changed if every single men should start giving equal respect, rights and freedom to their wives, sisters and daughters because these little things can cause a serious damage to the human relationships. When the man said “I don’t want anybody but you. I don’t want anyone else” this statement made it clear that there will be someone, unless the girls doesn’t get an abortion. The intensions of the man were clear that he does not care about the girl and human relationships, as the girl was still not aware about his selfish intensions and was willing to do anything the man asks.

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