In the relationship between husbands and wives is extended

In the story “If I Were a
Man,” the symbolism of the woman wishing she was a man despite being a
real woman in all senses also brings out the theme of feminism. The modern
woman wants to be empowered and desires to be independent and free of all the
definitions society has placed on her. Using the symbol of being in her
husband’s body gives her access to all that a man has especially the
independence and responsibilities such as managing money and she feels
comfortable in such a role. Charlotte uses this symbol to push the women
empowerment theme by showing that women do not have to stick to the socially
created role of staying at home but can go out and take on the world just as
men can.

Still using the symbol of the
relationship between Dulcidio and his wives, Eduardo Galeano shows the dynamic
of the relationship between men and women when the man is taken with the woman
and is now vulnerable.

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The symbol of Mollie entering her
husband’s body in the short story “If I Were a Man” is also used to
show the difference between the characteristics of men and women which make
each gender unique. Being inside the body of Gerald also gave her an insight into
what men think of women. The man is claiming that women have no mind to make up
and if they do, they will change it anyway which portrays the underlying
thinking of men and their perception of women. The view of the Episcopal
clergyman that if women have a mind to make up, they will overstep their limits
which are God-appointed, shows the struggle that the feminists will go through
to be taken as equals to men. If the mentality of men is that God created them
to stay within certain limits, therefore, going beyond those limits is a danger
to the male gender..

The symbolism in both stories goes much beyond the
literal meaning that comes to mind. In the story by Galeano, the literal
meaning which is the relationship between husbands and wives is extended to
bring out the view of the new dynamic of feminism in these relationships. The
fact that an educated and independent woman can bring down a man who owned
everything is demonstrated in the story through women empowerment bringing a
deeper meaning to the story of a lizard consuming his wives and getting
consumed in revenge. In the story by Charlotte Perkins, the symbolism of Mollie
entering into Gerald’s body is used to extend the meaning of the story beyond
gender roles set out to the fact that these gender roles have no place in
modern society and that women are capable of taking up the responsibilities
reserved for men. Both stories use symbolism to show the role of women
empowerment in the society.

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