- Published: November 19, 2022
- Updated: November 19, 2022
- University / College: University of Virginia
- Level: Bachelor's Degree
- Language: English
- Downloads: 15
The American Literature Sherwood Anderson’s “ Hands” The tells the readers about a tragedy of a hidden passion, when a man Wing Biddlebaum, whose real name is Adolf Meyers, escapes from his town because of his affection with schoolboys. He was a teacher and for his intention to touch boys, people in his town wanted to hang him. Hands symbolize a bird wings’ quiver and Wing Biddlebaum cannot pacify his hands, like he cannot pacify his passion. He is imprisoned in the socially worn out stereotypes, which prevent his passion from release. His sexual orientation is veiled by the author in the following lines: “ He wanted to keep them hidden away and looked with amazement at the quiet inexpressive hands of other men who worked beside him in the fields, or passed, driving sleepy teams on country roads” (Anderson, p. 803). Therefore, the author considers a socially acute theme of homosexuals. Currently, people are not oppressed by the social bounds; they feel much freedom and liberty in comparison with the times, when this story was written (1916). Therefore, the critical concern of this short story is about a human need for freedom of choice, which is also important for the contemporaries. Nevertheless, a masterfully veiled controversial theme of same-sex love evokes the deepest feelings and emotions of the readers even nowadays.
Susan Glapsell’s “ Trifles”
This story evokes eternal theme of the role of a woman in the society. It was written in 1916 and it was appropriate for the women at that time to sit at home and be a good housewife. The author chose rather intimidating background of a wife’s murdering her husband. The readers guess about this fact only hypothetically, but the strongest proofs are those “ trifles” found in her kitchen. A place of the play was intentionally chosen by the author, because it was a place for a woman’s existence at that time: “ Nothing here but kitchen things” (Glapsell, p. 792), – these offending words diminished a role of a woman in the society. Mrs. Wright is criticized for her housekeeping skills, though men did not have any relation to housekeeping problems at that time. Women in the kitchen notice a lot of trifles, which are decisive for accusing Mrs. Wright of murder of her husband. They find a dead canary and it can be interpreted as if Mrs. Wright’s husband ruined her soul and for that she killed him. Moreover, a problem of childless families also occurs in this play: “ Not having children makes less work – but it makes a quiet house” (Glapsell, p. 806). Therefore, Mrs. Hale and Mrs. Peters discuss a desperate emotional condition of Mrs. Wright and unveil psychological burden of the woman. Therefore, men and women in the play reflect unfair social positions of the women in the beginning of the 21st century. Moreover, it should be noted that this social appeal for the modern audience can remind the modern women about their roles, which are often diminished even nowadays.
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