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Women searches for ways and means to be appreciated in response to obvious inequality to the relevant worth of existence. The current research aims to expound, through the novel as the backdrop, the apparent unequal role of women compared to men during the historical frame, particularly in the 1930s. II. Status of Women’s Roles in Society in the 1930s A. Brief description of women’s roles The discourse written by Moran clearly illustrated the roles of women in society during the 1930s. This time period was depicted as the Great Depression, where “worldwide economic collapse following the stock market crash in 1929, in which unemployment remained high for an extended period and many businesses failed” (Investor Words, par. 1). Therefore, despite the spur of enlightenment of women towards the promotion of equal rights through the passage of laws depicted in the 19th Amendment in 1920s, the economic slowdown and financial crisis delayed the persistent and determined focus to fight for equal rights. As Moran averred, “the 1930s brought apple-sellers to city street corners and breadlines to urban charity houses. In a depressed economy, unemployment figures escalated and federal forces concentrated on bringing Americans back to work. Or, more accurately, bringing American men back to work. For society viewed working women as un-American money grubbers, stealing jobs from men who needed them to support their families” (par. 3). B. Perceived Inequality of Women’s Rights Prior to efforts to fight for equal rights, women were rarely given the opportunities to be properly educated, to vote, to work or be employed, among others. The fact was validated in the article entitled How Does the Representation of Women Change Between 1930-1960 On the Covers of Vogue? The article revealed that “the 1930s were a less vibrant decade for women, seeing the depression, which meant that all women were encouraged to return to their homes whilst men returned to jobs that were becoming scarce. All their roles and responsibilities were taken away from them. the economy could not deal with the growing number of men returning to work. Any women who married therefore gave up her right to work. This meant women had to spend more time at home doing the domestic jobs that would normally be considered the women’s ‘job’” (How Does, par. 5). The setting was typically exemplified by Curley’s wife, who is left spending most of her time hanging around with the workers. rather than having something productive and rewarding done according to her skills and abilities. C. Effects of Inequality of Women The study conducted by Amartya Sen on the Many Faces of Gender Inequality has attested to the continued existence of inequality felt by women the world over. The author categorized inequalities in gender according to seven types, to wit: (1) mortality inequality (“high mortality rates of women and a consequent preponderance of men in the total population” (Sen, par. 3). (2) natality inequality (the preference accorded to male children over female). (3) basic facility inequality (opportunities for education, cultivation of one’s talents, and participation in social functions). (4) special opportunity inequality (pursuing higher education and delving into more professional training).
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