The Other Wife is a short narrative written by Sidonie Gabrielle Colette. Colette is credited for disputing stiff attitudes and premises about gender functions. “The Other Wife” is about a Gallic blue blood and his 2nd married woman has a brief brush with his ex-wife in a eating house. The story’s point of position is 3rd individual omniscient. An analysis of how France twentieth century gender functions influence the multiple personalities of a hubby. married woman. and ex-wife. Gender functions have played a major portion in society.
Harmonizing to the book “The Psyche of Feminism” “A gender function is a theoretical concept in the societal scientific disciplines that refers to a set of societal and behavioural norms that are considered to be socially appropriate for a specific sex” ( Pebbles 101 ) . France’s society in the twentieth century rooted the thought that adult females are subservient to work forces. It has merely been in the past one hundred old ages that some adult females have started to hold the same rights as work forces.
Womans have fought for rights that set up the same societal. economic. and political position that work forces have. Colette addresses the issue of gender inequality in France in her short narrative “The Other Wife. ” She references Alice’s hat. “A good Catholic adult female in France ne’er walks around with her hair down or without a chapeau unless she is selling something” ( Pebbles 222 ) . Womans are instructed to have on chapeaus. Not to make so is to disgrace her caput.
The adult male is considered the caput of a adult female. A adult male is placed in subordination to Christ who is his caput. “The adult male is besides the authorization under Christ doing the adult female subordinated to the adult male and under his authority” ( Pebbles 306 ) . The laterality of the male over the female is displayed in the public eating house. Colette establishes a complete feminine individuality that goes against the traditional Gallic definition of muliebrity. The ex-wife or the other adult female has pale tegument. bright hair and bluish eyes. “Pale tegument was prize because adult females with porcelain tegument were valuable and considered more beautiful” ( Hayes 110 ) . Pale tegument besides represented wealth. “Those who were affluent plenty non to labour out-of-doorss could demo off their richness by being pale” ( Hayes 110 ) . She besides wears white. “White is an unnatural colour for a Gallic adult female French adult female to wear” ( Pebbles 116 ) . Her white garb represents all of her possibilities because white is a combination of all of the colourss. She is traveling against what a good Catholic adult female does.
The ex-wife is remaining at the hotel by herself. She is boldly lounging back smoking her coffin nail relaxing. She is portraying manfully features. The first married woman is confident and has a strong demeanour. Alice the current married woman of Marc is naive and submissive. Pebbles uses some bible quotation marks to discourse feminism. She used 1 Timothy 2:11”A adult female should larn in soundlessness and full entry. I do non allow a adult female to learn or hold authorization over a adult male. ” Alice allows her controlling hubby order what to eat and where to sit in the eating house. Alice is describe as a blond lady with dust-covered tegument. bluish green eyes. and to a great extent breasted. “The stylish silhouette in the early 1900s was that of a confident adult female with a full thorax and curry hips” ( Levi 194 ) . A girdle was used to accomplish this expression. Alice wears an all black outfit. Black is absent of all colourss. The black shows limited possibilities in her current life style. Harmonizing to the storyteller she has mutable eyes. Marc foremost mentioned that her eyes looked green against the bluish sky.
The storyteller describes her eyes as blue. Her eyes illustrate her future emotion of enviousness towards the ex-wife. Alice big clemency hat foreshadows something is traveling to go on. Mercury is the Grecian God courier of the Gods. Mercury is besides in the thermometer. which tells the temperature. Its silvern colour reflects everything. Alice says that she is non uncomfortable but her attitude and actions shows otherwise. “Alice fanned herself testily. and cast brief glimpses at the adult female in white” ( Lim. Spencer 526 ) . Superficially considered. Alice’s state of affairs should do her happy ; she. after all. is the “new” married woman and has. in a sense. triumphed over Marc’s “other” married woman but she leave the eating house perplexed. “She kept looking. with enviousness and wonder. at the adult female in white. this disgruntled. this hard. this superior…” ( Lim. Spencer 527 ) Alice becomes a small haunted with the other married woman. because she. at last. is divested of the demand to indulge a adult male. to be subservient to his wants and caprices. Alice has a feeling of green-eyed monster towards the other wife’s achievement of puting herself free. Marc is described as a commanding gentleman.
The storyteller states that he has a regular face. with thick hair with white strands here and at that place. He has abruptly good cared for custodies. Throughout the full narrative we can see that Marc. the hubby. attempts to take control of the state of affairs in the eating house. He does this by fastening his clasp on Alice’s. taking where to sit. telling their nutrient. and noticing on Alice weight addition. “And you’ve put on weight since you’ve been traveling… . It’s nice up to a point. but merely to a point! ” ( Lim. Spencer 525 ) The writer devoted a batch of this short narrative to the nutrient and feeding. Marc telling Alice’s nutrient shows his authorization. He does non order her nutrient like a hubby who merely knows what his married woman like. He displays his wealth by adverting his chauffeur and by the manner he ordered the nutrient. “My chauffeur will be holding tiffin besides. good be go forthing once more at two o’clock. Some cyder? No. I don’t trust it… Dry champagne” ( Lim. Spencer 525 ) . Marc ‘s presence intimidates the server. The server was sweating and overworked. Marc did non state hullo to the server or acknowledge him. He merely gives her two options Marc is superficially in control because Alice allows him to be.
Marc evens contradicts the storyteller. “Gazed at the colorless noon sea. at the pearly white sky…” ( Lim. Spencer 525 ) . “ And the bluish H2O makes your eyes look green” ( Lim. Spencer 525 ) Marc is unfastened with Alice and does non lie to her. He tells her that his first married woman was in the eating house posing by the window. He besides expresses his failure to fulfill his first married woman. which led to their divorce. He is unfastened with his married woman and tells her that his ex-wife is sitting by the window. He shows how he is a gentleman by showing this to Alice. Marc does non esteem Alice. He besides tells Alice that he was unable to fulfill his former married woman. “I merely didn’t know hot to do her happy. that’s all. I didn’t know how” ( Lim. Spencer 526 ) . To him a married woman is a trade good. “Many really affluent work forces have a frequent inclination to handle the adult females in their lives as their possessions” ( Ladimer 79 ) . Women should remain at place. take attention of the childs. and makes certain the place looks nice. Marc wants a adult female by his side to look reasonably. and fundamentally be another ownership. another physical object. When he loses one he goes back to the market asks for a new married woman that is less smart. sooner pale tegument. but she has to hold bluish eyes.
The eyes are Windowss of the psyche. The eyes are a metaphor for self-fulfillment. The narrative is drama and the characters are realistically complex. The two married womans are foil characters. The other married woman is a soundless character in this narrative. we merely catch glances of her. but it is adequate to recognize the power she had left on the hubby. Alice thinks this other adult female is superior to her. The adult female in white is called the other married woman in the rubric alternatively of the ex-wife. This shows the connexion this adult female has on the twosome. The last word superior reflects back over the whole narrative and so over the whole imagined life between Marc and this adult female in white. There is a enigma about her and another enigma in the manner one adult female regards another adult female who is connected with the same adult male. The two adult females portion an unobtrusive bond.
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