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Question: Analyse the interaction between the narrator and Adam in 'She Unnames Them'.

What kinds of gender ideology are reflected in this interaction? Please remember that gender ideology refers to the ways of defining men/women, their relationship to each other, and the value associated respectively with what is considered masculine and what is considered feminine.

Answer: In the text, not much is directly said between the narrator and Adam. But even from the little interaction, it is clear that man considers his supremacy over woman. He claims to have been bestowed with greater powers by God which includes the ability to name every creature. The narrator seems to challenge this power imbalance and thus establish equality. The gender roles established through this interaction are the following: Man: Man is shown to be dominant and confident. He has power over every other individual to name them. Man is shown to have the power of reason and debate as is shown by narrators dialogue that I had been prepared to defend my decision Woman: Her name is derived out of man and defines her subordination. It is considered her role to cook and do housekeeping as is evident by mans indifferent dialogue as a reply to her statements, O.K., fine, dear. Whens dinner?

Their relationship according to the discussion is of mutual benefit. The different viewpoints mentioned are as follows:

Womans role in their relationship: While handing back her name, she is shown to be anxious (the sentence, resolutely put anxiety away) which shows that she is fearful, uncertain of mans response and that she cares about his impression of her. She also calls her name a gift and that she did not want to sound peevish in returning it. This shows her gratitude towards man for his care and protection. Mans role in their relationship: He is so self-centered that he totally disregards womans rebellion. He doesnt even bother to turn around and face her, too preoccupied with his self-important business. He has very selfish motives for the relationship. He considers it her responsibility to cook and housekeep and even when she says about breaking all ties, he responds coldly saying, O.K., fine, dear. Whens dinner? The dialogues in the conversation also seem to highlight what roles are inherently considered gender specific. For example, the responsibility of housekeeping and cooking are more related to women while protection and domination are considered masculine. Caring and Considerate nature are feminine characteristics while man is considered to be more selfish. And, Power to debate is shown to be typically masculine. The text through this conversation wishes to emphasize that gender inequalities are as artificial as are names and were implemented by men only to serve themselves. Woman wishes to end this culture and show that she is capable of independent existence.