Social Expectations of Women

1131 words 5 pages
Kimberly Griffis
Eula Thompson
English 101
Tues/Thurs 9:30

The Effect Social Expectations of the Nineteenth Century Had on Women Living in That Time Period

The behaviors and desires of women the nineteenth century were impacted strongly by the social expectations of their time. Kate Chopin's character, Louise Mallard, from "The Story of an Hour", Emily Grierson from "A Rose for Emily" by Willliam Faulkner, and the character Roselily from Alice Walker's Roselily are all examples of women restricted by the time they live in. Women in the nineteenth century were expected to get married and to take care of their husband as well as cooking, cleaning, and looking after their children. Women were expected to put aside their dreams and
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The story "Roselily" as a little more modern than "The Story of an Hour" and "A Rose for Emily" but the expectations that Louise and Emily had to fulfill are still much the same for the character Roselily. Roselily had her children with different men and broke the social expectation that women are not supposed to take lovers. As a southern women, she was expected to have her wedding in the south even though her new husband disapproved of it. Women were also expected to marry within their religion, but Roselily married a Muslim man, and she would have to sit apart from him in church. Roselily does not go into the marriage blind and knows what is expected of her as a wife. She is afraid of the confinements that will be placed on her as a wife but she is sacrificing the freedom she has for the well-being of her children. During the ceremony, Roselily's mind starts to wander and she begins to think about whether or not she really loves this man. She knows that her husband will conform her into the wife he wants her to be, and she will allow this so that her children can have a better life. Many women in the nineteenth century had to marry men they didn't love and allow their husbands to mold them into a different person. She will have to leave the simple, southern ways she has known her entire life when she moves to Chicago with her husband and will have to begin acting more like a northern woman. In these three stories, the women are faced


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