Free Essay Sample: Gender Biases in The Sweat and Cat in the Rain

Published: 2022-02-21 02:12:47
Free Essay Sample: Gender Biases in The Sweat and Cat in the Rain
Type of paper:  Essay
Categories: Gender Zora Neale Hurston Ernest Hemingway
Pages: 4
Wordcount: 831 words
7 min read
143 views

'The Sweat' by Zora Neal and the 'Cat in the Rain' by Ernest Hemingway fall in the literary world of short stories or fiction. Short fiction is a genre that encompasses a story that is told in a single sitting. Each story is uniquely relayed and conveys differing feelings but lays emphasis on the subject of gender bias. Gender bias refers to the situation whereby one sex either male or female exults itself above the other. Both stories spin tales highlighting the evils associated with gender bias as is propagated by the male gender towards the female. Both accounts also evoke feelings of sympathy and one is inclined to empathize with the women who are undergoing the horrendous ordeals. Therefore, this essay will explain the aspect of gender bias and the difference in emotional variances between men and women. The essay will also exploit the importance of addressing gender biases and male chauvinism in the society.

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'Cat in the Rain' by Hemingway is a story revolving around an 'American wife' who gets little to no attention from her husband. The story begins with the couple on holiday in Italy. The country and the culture is both strange and foreign, it is expected of the two to be out and about, traversing the region and touring the expanse that they are within. This is not to be as the husband is deeply engrossed in reading and at some point indicates that the wife should "sit down and read something" (Hemingway, 110). The story is told from a third person point of view but the reader is able to deduce the desperation and the despair felt by the wife as the husband continually ignores her. The husband is cold and indifferent towards the wife who is quite bored and is seeking the husband's approval in an effort to make small talk. At some point, the wife is seen attempting to rescue a cat trapped in the rain, the husband feigning indifference is least concerned (Hemingway, 20).

'Sweat' by Zora Neale is a story about a black woman who has over a considerable period of time been married to an abusive man by the name Sykes. Sykes is menacing, cruel and hostile to Delia as this is her name (Hurston, 5). The husband is in great conflict with Delia over her choice of work which entails cleaning clothes and laundry for the white folks (Hurston, 5). It is ridiculous how fired up Sykes is about his wife's choice of profession yet 'for over fifteen years the same job fed and kept him well' (Hurston, 15). Sykes is also aware of his wife's fear of the crawlies and in particular snakes but still manages to pull pranks of the same and even bring home a huge rattlesnake. The climax of the story is when the same snake turned hostile and bit its owner; Sykes. It is also quite demeaning that after so many years of marriage, Sykes is still seeing a younger and prettier woman at the expense of his wife. All these atrocities are propagated on Delia the wife.

Both accounts are quite appealing and attest to the brutality of men against women and in so doing addresses the aspects of gender biases and male chauvinism. It is inhumane for a man to treat a woman as an object that he can use as he so pleases as it was the case with Delia. Sykes according to the story had a reputation for misusing women to his satisfaction and getting rid of them once he was through (Hurston, 40. The husband of the American wife, on the other hand, is not interested in his wife's feminine side and is seen to be supporting the boyish haircut spotted by the wife (Hemingway, 90). It is quite important therefore for the women to say a resounding no to gender discrimination and mistreatment from the men in their lives. Delia did not have to stomach Sykes for all those years. She should have let him know her stand earlier on. The American wife did not equally have to put up with an egoistic, self-centered fellow.

The above portrays the callousness involved when one gender emasculates itself against the other. Women are the emotional creatures and would interpret situations differently from men. Their response to things such as love, work, family and marriage partners is at times misconstrued as weakness. Men take advantage and mistreatment them for years without recourse, a practice which some have perfected and this includes the likes of Sykes. Women ought to, therefore, stand with one voice, one resolute action against gender bias and discrimination.


Works Cited

Hemingway, Ernest. "Cat in the Rain." Literature for Composition. Edited by Sylvan Barnet, William Bruto, and William E. Cain. 10th Edition. New York: Pearson, 2014. 693 - 95. Print.

Hurston, Zora Neale, "Sweat." Literature for Composition. Edited by Sylvan Barnet, William

Bruto, and William E. Cain. 10th Edition. New York: Pearson, 2014. 705 - 12. Print.

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