In “Circumstance” a short story written by Harriet Prescott Spofford their is a gender role where the woman is dependent on the man

In “Circumstance” a short story written by Harriet Prescott Spofford their is a gender role where the woman is dependent on the man. The main character, the protagonist is in the wilderness on her way back home when she is attacked by a creature in which later she is saved by her husband.
Before reading the article the author suggests the woman as being a “damsel in distress” needing a man in order to be saved but that is inaccurate. The unidentified woman’s actions actually save herself as well as her family’s. Both her and her husband view and conquer nature in many different ways. For the woman coming back from a sick neighbor she is taken by a vicious beast, instead of falling for the stereotypes she fights back in the only way possible and sings which in the end saves her. According to the story, “while the beast listened he would not gnaw” this means that through her singing she was able to buy herself time from death.
As for her husband being seen as very masculine he finds his wife and kills the beast also known as the indian devil. “The woman, suspended in mid-air an instant, cast only one agonized glance beneath,but across and through it, ere the lids could fall, shot a withering sheet of ?ame,a ri?e-crack, half-heard, was lost in the terrible yell of desperation that bounded after it and ?lled her ears with savage echoes, and in the wide arc of some eternal descent she was falling;-but the beast fell under her”, according to the text.
In the end, there is a consequence for their actions such as the destruction of their home and the murdering of their neighbors. This upsets both the woman and her husband but gives some clarity in the end for the circumstances they were just put through, “For the rest, the world was all before them, where to choose”, according to the story.
In conclusion, the author upon writing this short story included gender roles to show how this would affect society’s reaction to nature. The man being very careless with wilderness can be associated with society as a whole. While the woman on the other hand not being able to save herself she can be seen as becoming one with nature in the moment. This symbolizes how we humans can unite with the wilderness.


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