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The Position of women in the 1930s and 1940s is an important part of understanding the story A bird in the house Women made great strides in the twenties gaining the right to vote Among other statutory rights This seemed to be the beginning of the idea that women were indeed afforded the same rights and priveliges as men1 Perhaps planting the first seeds of a liberated consciousness Amelia Earhart became the first woman to complete the atlantic crossing single-handed Feats of this magnitude opened the door for many other women to follow their dreams The women in this novel represent three generations of Canadian women In the 1930s to 40s Their views all differ enormously I will focus mainly on examples of their position using the short story A bird in the house to demonstrate these differences There are four women featured prominently in this particular story Grandmother MacLeod a staid woman who is presented as being very traditional and proper Noreen a young woman who at first seems very provincial and perhaps a little narrow minded Beth the mother of Vanessa is a woman who seems on the cusp of self discovery but who seems somehow muted due to the expectations of others And finally perhaps most importantly we come to Vanessa Vanessa has the attributes of both her mother and grandmother She is very inquisitive for her age and seems to inwardly question everything while outwardly she presents a very independent demeanor The story starts with Vanessa deciding to forgo the annual remembrance day parade She harbors a contempt for it which seems to be a result of part childhood tendency and part avoidance of a world of strange men she wishes not to be a part of Her grandmother discovers her playing frivolously in the hallway and reprimands her sternly At this point she realizes her grandmother is saddened by the memory of her son who was killed in the great
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