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Bernard Ashley's Gender Equality - Paper on Story

  • Date Submitted: 11/28/2012 11:00 AM
  • Flesch-Kincaid Score: 68.8 
  • Words: 647
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Bernard Ashley makes you think more deeply about gender equality in his short story, “Equal Rights”, in many ways.   This story covers a range of different people of various ages that show how each individual character can contribute to the discussion, “Equal Rights”.   As you read the story, we will soon establish what characters are against “gender equality” and what characters are for “gender equality”.
The opening words are in uppercase letters and sound quite threatening.   The newsagent comes across as quite aggressive and makes the reader think it will be about a serious and possibly frightening topic.   There are two boys in the shop who are pretending to be looking at sweets, but instead they are looking at smutty magazines.   The newsagent may know exactly what they are doing but he doesn’t do anything about it.   Does he think that it is ok for young boys to look at smutty pictures of women?   This is degrading women and encourages the reader to want equality for men and women.
“Couldn’t he recognise business when he saw it?”   At this point we do not know if the narrator is male or female but we can tell from this quote that the character is confident and has a voice.   This quote makes us instantly like the character.
“Reliable paperboy required”.   This quote shows us that the newsagent does not want or expect a girl to enquire about the job.   Also, this shows us that the newsagent is against gender equality.
A man with a briefcase is also in the shop.   His briefcase symbolises that he is a business man.   He has a career and is a stereotype of the “typical” careers man.   Later on in the story he is referred to as “Briefcase”.   This shows us that a briefcase is a stereotypical manly object.
“Six, if you like”, this shows us that the narrator is hardworking and reliable.   The narrator really wants this job and is able to get out of her “comfort zone”, in order to do the job.
“I’ll give you a chance”, this suggests that the newsagent isn’t happy...


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