The Sound and the Fury

The Roles of Southern Women in a Changing Society

In the postwar South, the relationships between men and women were beginning to shift. Gwendolyn Chabrier writes, "While the prewar South was traditionally a patriarchy, at the time of the war and particularly afterwards, that paternal system was undermined" (Chabrier, 66). But although ideas of gender were changing, the transition from traditional ways of thinking to altogether different viewpoints is not an easy one. In the Compson family, we are presented with two greatly contrasting images of women. Caroline is the traditional southern womansubmissive, domestic, dependant on men. Caddy, however, has transcended boundaries set for women in the past, by disregarding the importance of maintaining the innocent virgin image that a woman must uphold until marriage. However, neither woman is able to reconcile their way of life with a changing society. Caroline's attempts to recreate the past fail, and Caddy is banished from her family because of her refusal to conform to the family's image of a woman. In a time where traditional Southern thought is losing its importance, yet before a set of ideas emerge to serve as a replacement, women are torn between the traditional mores of the past, and the emerging, still...

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