The Haunted Valley By Ambrose Bierce

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Masculinity. When people see this word they tend to associate its meaning with anything that is associated to men. This leads one to wonder what defines a ‘man’. Why are we associating these traits to this ‘man’? What is so special about the ‘man’ that makes us associate these terms with him and thus associate masculinity with them? The United States society that we live in today may seem to be making people pay a steep price for masculinity, but one does wonder was it always like this? Actually no it was not. Today dressing up as a women or ‘acting like a girl’ reduces your masculinity and makes people view you in a negative light. Cross-dressing in general is frowned upon. Men are very in limited in what they can express and how…show more content…
The cross-dresser was an oddity. He was odd but not yet pathologized per se. This story illustrates the transitional stage between a time when sexuality was less of a public preoccupation to one where it became central to one 's position and acceptability in society. Our present day society has a set of rules and regulations on how men and women should act and express themselves. Since society has practically programmed generations to shed away from anything that could challenge those rules, many people tend to gloss over themes such as gender roles and masculinity in literary works. Upon first read, a few people will not acknowledge or recognize the significance of the pronoun changes which are the heart of this sordid story of sex and murder. The choice of pronouns is an operative point. Throughout the story, we see that there is a constant shifting of the the pronouns ‘he’ and ‘she’. Whenever one of the characters is talking about Ah Wee the pronoun changes for each character. When Jo. Dunfer talks about Ah Wee, he uses the pronoun ‘he’. When Gopher talks about Ah Wee he uses the pronoun ‘she’. This could either cause confusion for the reader or clarify the drama of the whole story. This depends on whether or not the reader will miss or ignore the cross-dressing theme of the story. This habit that people have, to ‘normalize the story, to

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