Gender Roles and Relationships in Literature

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Gender Roles and Relationships in Literature Literature has played a key role in the reflection of certain aspects of society, namely the roles of men and women in relationships and how they deal with each other. It has served as a means to teach, inform, and entertain the reader on the different types of relationships which exist and the consequences which may arise. Literature has also helped us take a closer look at ourselves and how we interact with each other on different levels, and has also shed light upon how each of us carry out different roles in our relationships with significant others. The different ways couples have been portrayed in literary works shows that all relationships are not created equal and that as we enter the dating/matrimonial game, we are all dealt different cards to play with. As reflected in different works of literature that deals in relationships between men and women, the roles they play can have positive and negative effects regardless whether the male or female assumes the role as dominant figure in the relationship. Throughout the history of mankind, in many cultures, males have been the dominant figures within their society. They have been the head of the households, governors of the people, and the movers and shakers in making advances in science, technology, as well as a multitude of other avenues which have helped the human race get to the next level. This has also been the case in literature, for the most part. However, this is not always the case. Different societies have always had their own standards in regards to gender roles. According to Elizabeth Corrigal and Alison Konrad’s Gender Role Attitudes and Careers: A Longitudinal Study, “gender role attitudes refer to beliefs concerning behaviors, responsibilities, and activities appropriate for women and men.” Normally, or should I say, traditionally, in

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