Literature Criticism on How I Meet My Husband by Alice Munro

9 September 2016

He reveals to her that he plans on leaving, but promises to write to her. When the other women are told by the local gossip, Loretta Bird that Chris has left, Alice Kelling verbally abuses Edie under the mistaken impression that Edie and Chris has sex. Mrs. Peebles protects Edie, and Alice leaves too. Edie waits day after day at the mailbox for Chris’s letter, which never comes. At the end of the story, Edie tells how she was courted for two years, engaged for another year, and then married to the mailman.

This story shows that women are being discriminated by man and this story support the feature of undermines feminism. According to Michael Ryan, 2007, feminism came into being as a school of literary and cultural study in the 1970’s. It is concerned with how women’s live have changed over time and it asked what about women’s experience is different from men’s.

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For example, Edie as a women has been given a hope by the man, Chris Watters, that he promise to write to her a letter. Edie hope for a caring and concern man that will give her a good life in the future.

At the end of it, the result is that Edie married to the mailman after Chris leave her and she start a new relationship with other man, the mailman. This storyline tells us that women’s live have changed over time and it asked what about women’s experience is different from men’s. Some of the feminists stated that women’s experience is the result of an essential ontological or biological difference of identity while the others claimed that it is the result of historical imprinting and social construction.

This statement says that the real world of society in the late century has experienced that women are being discriminated by the man. The women have been stated as no responsibility and role towards the society. In Alice Munro short story, How I Meet my Husband, Edie is characterised as a normal and non-working women which have no role in the society as a leader or important person. In the past, women experience that they are being manipulate by a man just like in the short story that I have read. In the story “How I Meet my Husband”, a young girl named Edie is a victim.

The writer shows that Edie is portrayed as a very naive teenage girl who falls in love and make a false judgment of what love is all about. This suggests that her judgment of love is very shallow. Chris is a man character in the story and he is undermines the oppression of women. For example, Edie easily give herself up to Chris by letting him to take the advantage of her. After Chris leave Edie, Edie keeps on waiting for the fake promise letter from him. However, after some time, Edie finally realise that the letter will never come and stop waiting.

From this evidence, we can see that this story support that human culture has always been male- denominated. Edie have to surrender waiting for a reply from Chris and married the mailman. Male-denomination have forced Edie to change her life and continue her living. At the heart of feminist theory, it is the belief that society is wholly patriarchal, organised, controlled and ruled by the male sex, in the interests of men and with the aim of subordinating women to men in all areas of life, work and culture(Ryan M. ,2007).

As a part of male domination, women were forced to give and accept every condition where male can denominated in the society. In my point of view regarding the short story “How I Meet my Husband”, I agree with the statement above that women were forced to give and accept every condition where male can denominated in the society. Edie as a woman character in the story is the victim of a man. Edie need to wait for a long time for Chris and at the end of it, she also accept the truth that Chris won’t look for her anymore.

From the feminist lens, according to the story of ‘How I Met My Husband’, these theory is viewed from two different perspectives that is the reinforcement of feminism and undermine feminism. In a traditional gender role, men will be showed as a rational, very strong, protective and decisive whereby women will always be shown as a weak, emotional, nurturing and submissive. In the story ‘How I met My Husband’, the character of Edie is portrayed as an uneducated, naive young woman who fall in love and make a false judgment of what love is.

The young women, Edie in the story show that the writer undermines feminism. Edie is described as a weak, hopeless and making a wrong decision about something. Apart from what we see on how all the character is being portrayed, female character is given negatives features. Women are seen as silly, emotionally unstable, judgmental, nondependent and weak. However, men in the other hand, are portrayed as strong, clever and successful, shows on how much the men are given the good features compared to women. In the story, the character of woman such as Edie, Alice Kelling, Mrs.

Peebles, and Loretta Bird are shown as silly,emotionally unstable, judgmental, nondependent and weak. Edie is portrayed as an uneducated, naive young woman who fall in love and make a false judgment of what love is. She is described as a weak, hopeless and making a wrong decision about something. Mrs. Peebles is portrayed as a lazy woman, who does not know how to cook or do the house work and she easily to believe that what other people said to her especially from Loretta Bird, the town gossiper and noisy neighbour.

Besides that, Alice Kelling is portrayed as woman who depends a lot on her fiance, Chris Watters. She willing to drive from the city to suburb just to convince Chris to marry her. It shows that women have an unstable emotional and nondependent. From this evidence, we also can see that the story of “How I Meet my Husband” shows that man has denominated the society. Women are being oppressed by the society and the application of feminist criticism and theory in the story is relevant to describe how women experience their life in the story.

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Literature Criticism on How I Meet My Husband by Alice Munro. (2016, Sep 14). Retrieved November 18, 2019, from https://newyorkessays.com/essay-literature-criticism-on-how-i-meet-my-husband-by-alice-munro/
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