Unsuitable Job For A Woman
April 30, 2019
Unsuitable jobs for women
James in the story "An Unsuitable Job for Woman" portrays the themes of gender and class. the central character of the story Cordelia Gray inherits the private detective business at the age of twenty-two. The society fails to accept her bold decision of keeping the detective agency open by telling her that the job is unfit for her. The author of the story has captured the class prejudice and gender stereotypes for explaining how they undermine the independence and liberty of the females. at a very young age, she witnesses the reality of the gendered society when people disapprove her decision of doing something different. The social prejudices act to discourage her from her decision of becoming detecting.
The role taken by Cordelia reflects her decision of rejecting social and gender stigmas. She refuses the suggestions or criticism of the people against her spy profession. this depicts her deviance from the traditional female character. She does not fear to take a non-traditional role and her act indicates her stand against the conservative society. she thus constructs herself as a capable and competent professional for performing her duties efficiently. She is a young woman, lacking experience in the detective profession and is unaware of the male competitive world. However, her decision of taking an indifferent role brings her to a situation where she directly encounters gender bias. She realizes that survival for females in the male-dominant world is difficult that has discouraged females throughout the years from entering such professions CITATION Kat101 \l 1033 (Watson).
The society was inclined to view crime fiction from the male lens. James in the novel used a different strategy for creating the realistic themes of gender discrimination and its implications on the people. the rejection of society to Cordelia's profession depicts that people were inclined her to see her taking the traditional role of a woman. James has created the characters of Cordelia and Warshawski to show that women have the ability to enter a competitive world. The gendered setting becomes visible when “the first policeman to arrive was efficient but young, not yet experienced enough to hide his shock and distaste at the sight of violent death nor his disapproval that Cordelia should be so calm” CITATION PDJ72 \l 1033 (James). The attitude of the officer towards Cordelia depicts that he wanted to see her in fear and distress. However, she managed to control her emotions and appeared to be calm at the murder scene. The role of the girl detective proves that she is strong to deal with murder incidents. They are equally capable of standing with the males and performing brave tasks. the two women enter in the world of murders, mystery and mayhem where society has only viewed males. The approach adopted by the author of the story depicts his interests in transforming crime fiction. The attempts and efforts of Cordelia and Warshawski depict that they both have chosen a dangerous life that later entangles them in the net of self-destruction. After putting their lives in the harm they struggle to search for justice.
The characteristics and the role of two women depict that they take modern roles. Their courage makes them competent for the jobs of private detectives. The choice of career disconnects them from easy and ordinary lives. But they remain passionate and aims at solving the murder mystery. The bold characters of the young girls indicate that they make a conscious choice for challenging the gender stigmas of society. The reason for them to choose such life is to prove that they are no less than males. Both girls continue to pursue their career goals and aim at reaching the high levels of the detective profession.
In the start, the readers underestimate the skills of Cordelia due to her gender and youth. however, her engagement with different detective cases illustrates her skills and intelligence. Her scepticism and decisive power make her a perfect detective. Her traits and decisions depict that she is not less than her male colleagues. The ability of the young girl to face challenging situations is against the traditional gender ideology of feminism. The personality analysis of Cordelia indicates that she has broken all the traditional and social stigmas that constraints her to a simple life. She is even more capable of performing the detective job compared to the males. Cordelia’s exclaims, “l was his partner. It says so in the note. I'm twenty-two. Bernie was the senior partner; he started the business. He used to work for the Metropolitan Police in the C.I.D. with Superintendent Dalgliesh” CITATION PDJ72 \l 1033 (James). This indicates her ability to standing with the males and taking leadership roles. the young girl proves that she is better than taking the role of a mere secretary.
The story reflects James intentions for raising gender consciousness in society. the author attempted to create a practical and more influential role of women for challenging the typical ideology of combining them to homes. The story portrays that the girls are competent to enter any field or profession because they are not lacking in intelligence or power. Through Cordelia, the author changed the gender and class stereotypes of society during ninety-seventies. The personality analysis of Cordelia indicates that she has broken all the traditional and social stigmas that constraints her to a simple life.
James, P D. An Unsuitable Job for a Woman. Faber and Faber, 1972.
Watson, Kate. "Family Discord." European Journal of English Studies 14.2 (2010).
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