Hints about writing an intro. for a discussion of short stories in terms of gender bias:
1. Tell the readers that short fiction is a genre that conveys emotion through conflict.
2. The story will be told uniquely by each author.
3. It concerns itself with personal feelings about a subject.
4. When looked at individually, a “gender bias” can be seen.
5. Different sexes will relate material and relate to material in a different fashion.
6. Provide a thesis for this assignment that deals with our two works, its two authors, and its different treatment of subject matter that reflect a difference in gender and the handling of emotion.
NOTES ON “CAT IN THE RAIN”—Written by Ernest Hemingway, a male.
1. Told from a third-person point of view—like a camera lens.
2. Description is sparse—bleak, simple—periodic sentences. (Subject – verb)
3. A war monument is depicted in the midst of a garden.
4. Husband and wife are cold, sterile. She is “the American wife”
5. She is receiving little attention from husband—he is preoccupied with reading/alone.
6. She is interested in a cat out in the rain and will go and look for it.
7. He will go—but rather reluctantly.
8. She is fascinated by the hotel-keeper: his description is cold, serious, mature, odd—she likes his demeanor about facing his work. She likes his “big hands.”
9. When she returns—she begins to act more feminine—but husband doesn’t care.
10. She vents about what she wants—a cat, longer hair, romantic dining, and fine things.
11. The husband wants her to be quiet and read with him. The cat is brought to the room at the request of the hotel-keeper.
NOTES ON “SWEAT”—Written by Zora Neale Hurston, a female.
1. Delia works hard cleaning laundry for the “white folks.”
2. Her husband, Sykes, plays a nasty trick on her by putting what she thinks is a snake in her laundry basket of clothes.
3. He thinks it’s funny—she is deathly afraid of snakes.
4. After calming down, she notices that the item that scared her is the bullwhip used to drive his team of mules home.
5. We then learn that he detests her cleaning clothes for “white folks,” but she reminds him that this is how his belly has been filled all these 15 years.
6. We also learn that there is another girl, younger and prettier that has come into the relationship. We also learn that he has run off on her before and even beaten her.
7. But Delia has become strong—perhaps through the help of Church.
8. We learn from the men-folk that Sykes is no good, tearing women down and moving on. Now he’s working on a new gal—Bertha—who has been in town 3 months, and he has been paying her room charge.
9. He finally moved a huge rattlesnake in a box into the house. Delia asks him to remove it, but he refuses. She confesses her hatred for him and confesses that she has had enough of his physical and mental abuse.
10. One night when Delia stays longer at church to witness a “Love Feast” service—Sykes lets the snake loose in the house. And then the consequence:_____________________________
Hemingway, Ernest. “Cat in the Rain.” Literature for Composition. Edited by Sylvan Barnet, William
Bruto, and William E. Cain. 10th Edition. New York: Pearson, 2014. 693 – 95. Print.
Hurston, Zora Neale, “Sweat.” Literature for Composition. Edited by Sylvan Barnet, William
Bruto, and William E. Cain. 10th Edition. New York: Pearson, 2014. 705 – 12. Print.