Women have long struggled and battled against men in an attempt to obtain equality. In the story, “The Lie,” the character Sylvia Remenzel portrays many of the qualities in a stereotypical female that women for generations have been trying to prove wrong. Her thoughts and actions, plus the possible opinions of females reflecting upon her character, and the fact that this character was written by a male will show the neglect by which the role was depicted.
To begin, Sylvia’s questions throughout the story are naive and juvenile. For example, “I wonder how many Remenzels have gone to Whitehill,” and “You think those people will like those rooms?” Questions such as these are simply put and rather unnecessary because they only take up space and disrupt the flow. The question concerning the number of Remenzel family members who have gone to Whitehill has a pretty obvious answer. Her husband in the book even thinks so, That’s like asking how many people are dead in a cemetery. To have a female character ask questions that are seemingly simple is putting them back, and placing them in a group outside those with intelligence. The second question concerns a new wing being built onto Whitehill where a group of Africans will be staying. By calling the Africans, those people, gives the impression that she doesn’t see them as equals to herself. In the time period that this story was written, (during the 1970s), the issue of racism was partly over. This character was not trying to be rude, but she did not have the intelligence to think differently. That alone is a very degrading way of thinking, such as giving women less power of thought than men. For example, Mr. Remenzel sees no problem with the Africans attending the school, when he says, The rooms aren’t for them, they aren’t going to be segregated. By observing these thoughts of Sylvia, one might see the lack of intuition and observation put upon her. These are all examples of the possible feminist view placed upon her.
Next, the actions that Sylvia performs show her incomplete personality when it comes to being unique. Her role follows the example that females should be seen and not heard, also, that they are to stay at home and take care of the children. These are qualities that women have been fighting to remove from the minds of society.
Analysis of Tone in Chapter 25 of The Human Comedy
Analysis of Tone in Chapter 25 of The Human Comedy
Chapter 25, “Mr. Ara,” begins with the gathering of neighborhood boys in front of Ara’s market. August Gottlieb, Ulysses, Lionel, and other youths of Ithaca have just taken part in the theft of an apricot from Old Henderson’s tree. Standing in front of the store, the boys revere the apricot as an item of sacrament. August, the boy who physically plucks it, is held in high regard for his bravery and efficiency. Although the apricot is hard and green and far from ripe, it has a deeper meaning to the young boys of the small town. The fruit is an item obtained in spite of the possible danger of getting caught by Henderson; it is considered an extremely well earned keepsake. The boys value it more than any other item at that moment. To them, it symbolizes courage and brave will for risking their reputations in order to obtain this savored item. The apricot is admired with respect and gratification. As August holds it in the palm of his hand, he is described as a religious leader, since he is one who committed the Biblical sin of stealing and has come away clean. A respected ruler is established due to the single, brave action of a young boy.
Later, Mr. Ara comes out of his shop and asks the boys to leave. After they are gone, his toddler son walks over and asks for an apple. Ara sympathizes with the young boy and he seems to share a silent sadness with him, a negative nostalgic feeling of a cold and oppressive past. As the boy takes a bite of the apple, he decides that he does not want it. A little annoyed, Ara consumes the rest of the apple so as not to waste it. However, he finds the apple unappealing and does not finish it himself. Overall, Ara is somewhat perturbed by the…
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…escribable sadness that lurks in the air around them. The way the young child will not be satisfied sends his father into a frustrated resentment of modern society. People take too much for granted in a place of hope, privileges, and freedom while war drags on in another country, ten thousand miles away. The appreciation of youthful innocence is thus juxtaposed with selfishness and an inability to be satisfied, which seems to create a double tone that creates a contrast about the reality of humanity. Sometimes we can never be content with what we have until something is lost or sacrificed. In youth and innocence, satisfaction and the appreciation of the world around us seem to come more easily, perhaps because life has not yet been tainted by greed. It may be part of human nature that, as one grows, his desires become more complex and thus more difficult to satiate.