In the Zoo Essay

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Trudell is an independent scholar with a bachelor's degree in English literature. In the following essay, Trudell explores the feminist implications of Stafford's short story, arguing that it retains a traditional understanding of gender roles.

"In the Zoo" is a story about confinement and oppression, and a number of characters including Laddy, Mr. Murphy, and the sisters find their spirits constricted and their joys inhibited. Laddy is denied his weekend hunting trips and freedom of movement, Mr. Murphy is robbed of his pet monkey and his sense of justice, and the girls are made to feel guilty about a wide variety of pleasures ranging from maintaining friendships to dating to acting in plays. The elements that are confined and suppressed in the story share a common characteristic, however: they are very often related to masculinity. Stafford dramatizes the control and suppression of elements she associates with men...

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This section contains 1,616 words
(approx. 5 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy the In the Zoo Study Guide
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In the Zoo from Gale. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.
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