William Kadash 5 Oct 2014 Dr. Bertram, HUM 300
Whos 'Got the Power?
My essay is comparing the theme of masculinity being an indicator of the power a
woman has in a relationship. In both the short story by Hemingway, and the poem by Adrienne Rich, the reader can see that when a man has "masculinity" he controls the power in the relationship during the era in which these are written.
Masculinity can be defined as the possession of the qualities traditionally associated with men. These qualities are typically defined by a society's norms and gender roles. In the early 1900s the role of women was that of the weaker sex, which in turn led to women being dominated by men. SInce women were seen as a weaker sex, men had to express "masculine" qualities in order to keep their dominance over women. What would happen if a man expressed cowardliness qualities in a relationship or marriage? Would he lose that dominance over the woman? Would the woman have more power in the relationship? The theme in both the short story The Short Happy Life of Francis Macomber by Ernest Hemingway and the poem Aunt Jennifer's Tigers by Adrienne Rich answer these questions. Both are written in the early to mid 1900s, and both present this idea that masculinity has a profound consequence on the power in relationships. These authors are both suggesting that a women's power in a relationship and/or marriage is heavily influenced by the husband's level of masculinity.
In the early reading of Hemingway's short story the reader gains the knowledge that the main character, Francis Macomber, showed "unmasculine" or "cowardly" character traits while on a hunt in the plains of South Africa. During the hunt, a wounded lion needing to be killed lingered in the high...