Gender Roles During The Second World War

908 WordsMar 2, 20164 Pages
During the Second World War, Britain experienced a steady shift away from the traditional gender roles harbored by their predominantly male controlled society. Women were treated as second-class citizens. Gender inequality was prominent throughout Britain during this time, and like many other woman, Nella Last’s sole occupation was as a mother and housewife. Although Nella mentally opposed some gender inequalities during the Second World War, she agreed with some expected societal roles for woman: primarily being mothers and housewives. By remaining occupied with housework and volunteer service, as well as her continual hesitation or withdrawal from expressing her thoughts to her narrow-minded husband, Last returned to her stagnant and dull existence as a housewife, which ultimately became her place of torture and peace. Although Nella showed some opposition to traditional gender roles during the war, she continually withheld her feelings and opinions, and therefore never truly committed herself to seek change—ultimately embracing her life’s sole purpose; as being a mother and housewife. This is seen in 1943, when making her husband desert. She reflects on how much he has changed since the war began: Originally, he was utterly indifferent to her cooking and potentially hostile when asked for his opinion. After seeing the misfortunes of others, he became more appreciative of her efforts in cooking and tending to the house (Last, 232). Last was thrilled by his newfound
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