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The submissive role that many women assume in marriage is a familiar controversy among most societies a role so common that it is often expected of a female to live under the thumb of her husband Why with all of the advances in equal rights and the recent progression of female participation in the male-dominated work force does this role of passivity remain so current among society These roles are ingrained into each of us at an early age Men are raised to lead and take charge while women are taught that their place is to keep the peace The submissive role is so familiar many women fear changing the situation Sidonie-Gabrielle Colette author of The Hand understood the expectations of being female in a mans world because she had assumed the role of the oppressed wife several times She could write about the reasons women comply because she understood and had also been a victim From the beginning of her piece Colette sets the tone by telling the story of one young bride She shows her audience the typical uneven distribution of power within the relationship of a married man and woman The woman in The Hand lies awake in bed frozen still in fear of waking her sleeping husband Her arm supports the mans head and although he may not consciously force this authority upon her somehow it has been imprinted into the womans mind His arm which lies beneath her back twitches as she halts any desired movement Im so heavyshe says I wish I could get up and turn the light off But hes sleeping so well 163 She does all she can to satisfy him and keep him content even at the expense of her own comfort The woman accepts that she must sacrifice sleeping with the light off or sleeping at all because she must not wake her husband from his comfortable rest Colette also uses vivid descriptions of
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