Private Lies Themes

This Study Guide consists of approximately 24 pages of chapter summaries, quotes, character analysis, themes, and more - everything you need to sharpen your knowledge of Private Lies.
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Gender Roles

In many of her short stories, Mason examines the way that men and women relate to each other in a time when gender roles are undergoing transition. As Kenneth Millard writes, "Since the successes of feminism in the 1970s, women have begun to exercise more control over their lives and move towards greater autonomy and independence as they strive for forms of personal fulfilment less dictated to them by old social pressures." In "Shiloh" for example, the story opens with the wife, Norma Jean, lifting weights to build her biceps, while her husband Leroy, an injured trucker, is learning needlepoint and crafts. "Private Lies" also explores the changing landscape of gender roles and the need for women to express themselves in new ways.

Donna, Mickey's first wife, is a good example of the change occurring for women during the time since her pregnancy with Mickey's child. As...

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This section contains 827 words
(approx. 3 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy the Private Lies Study Guide
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Private Lies from Gale. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.
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