The Canal Essay

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Kelly is an instructor of creative writing and literature at two schools in Illinois. In this essay, Kelly argues that the independence of thought shown by Betty Miller marks this as a story against gender stereotyping.

From the perspective of the twenty-first century, Richard Yates's short story “The Canal” offers a look at the post-World War II years that is both familiar and revealing, particularly in the ways that Yates treats the subject of gender relations. There is a tendency in the early 2000s to over-generalize the roles of women in the 1950s, to see their place in society as auxiliary at best, and Yates's story plays to that perspective by focusing on the men. Still, his female characters are not just extras in a drama that hardly concerns them but are indeed primary forces in giving meaning to the war story (or stories) that are considered in...

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This section contains 1,485 words
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Buy The Canal Study Guide
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