Explore the Ways Walker Constructs Gender Roles to Show Male Dominance and Female Oppression.

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In the light of Bertens theories about feminism and gender, explore the ways Walker constructs gender roles to show male dominance and female oppression. In Bertens theories it is written that the representation of women in literature was to constitute acceptable versions of females and to legitimate feminine goals and aspirations. The acceptable woman was perceived to be bound to her marriage partner and through him, happiness and fulfillment in life was accomplished. In ‘The Color Purple’ Walker constructs some of the female characters to portray the perceived acceptable version of female behavior however through the epistolary form, the letters are in-depth with feelings and emotions that could question the ‘happiness and fulfillment in life’ that females obtain through marital status. Walker also includes female characters that are deviant to the norms of society and through the deviant behavior constructed in female characters it could be argued that dominance is acquired through behavior rather than biological nature. Walker uses the female character of Celie to portray how in the culture of America and Africa some women were abused and undermined. “He never had a kine word to say to me.” Walker structured the narrative of Celie to have spelling mistakes and ungrammatically correct sentences to convey how common it was for girls to be uneducated. It also shows how female oppression started at a tender age as the character of Celie was a child, therefore young and innocent but still a victim of female oppression. The use of the pronoun ‘He’ could effectively represent men in general as being the main instigators of female oppression this then raises male dominance. In the novel walker uses the step father to further portray how family supported the oppression of their daughters and helped to limit aspirations. The verbal abuse “she ugly,” mentally affected the
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