ENG 2800 Final Paper - Gender Roles A Cultural Phenomenon Gender roles have been in the spotlight lately throughout the late 20th and early 21st

ENG 2800 Final Paper - Gender Roles A Cultural Phenomenon...

This preview shows page 1 - 2 out of 6 pages.

Gender Roles: A Cultural Phenomenon Gender roles have been in the spotlight lately throughout the late 20 th and early 21 st centuries, but gender role issues have been a prominent problem for countless years in many different societies around the world. One work of art that highlights gender roles is the film Orlando (1992) , which was directed by Sally Potter and adapted from Virginia Woolf’ s novel, Orlando. Woolf’s Orlando was published in 1928 and tells a tale where the plot spans over 300 years to show case gender bending throughout history. While critics claim that Orlando remains the same person when he changes into a woman, he in fact develops a whole new personality and a different way of seeing the world when he is female through the use of parallelism seen from Orlando living life as a male versus living life as a female. In Orlando, there are several time changes ranging from the 1600’s up to the 1900’s within England. Several scenes delve into gender role responsibilities to portray the different levels of dynamics seen through a male’s perspective versus a female perspective. Through the first half of the film, Orlando is portrayed as male and participates in activities that are considered traditionally masculine such as becoming a diplomat in foreign affairs and fighting in a war, which is seen in the 1700 time period entitled “Politics.” Then, through the latter half of the film when Orlando is portrayed as female, some of the time periods are appropriately titled “Sex” (1850’s) and “Birth” (1900’s). Although these may seem like stereotypical associations for women, in this case, they perfectly describe Orlando as a female. The female sex quite literally is the vessel for a woman’s reproductive system and in turn, a child is born. Birth in this case is not strictly limited to just the birth of Orlando’s child, but the birth of a new Orlando who has finally broken free of traditional gender role positions. Orlando changes sex half way through the film (in the 1700’s) to represent how women are treated as incomplete characters

  • Left Quote Icon

    Student Picture

  • Left Quote Icon

    Student Picture

  • Left Quote Icon

    Student Picture