An analysis on the mid-twentieth century American male and female poets’ views on gender as reflected in the use of symbols, methaphors, and similes

Susanto, Audry (2003) An analysis on the mid-twentieth century American male and female poets’ views on gender as reflected in the use of symbols, methaphors, and similes. Masters thesis, Widya Mandala Catholic University Surabaya.

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Abstract

The relationship between language, thought, gender, and culture has encouraged the researcher in conducting this study. The research is intended to describe the mid-twentieth century American male and female poets' views on gender along with the similarities and differences between them and the influencing factors behind them. The data of the study are limited only to the symbols, metaphors, and similes used by the American male and female poets in representing the psychological and social characteristics of men and women. As the basis of analysis, the theories on the relationship between language, thought, culture, and gender are presented in the second chapter. Furthermore, the literature theories on poetry and figures of speech are also reviewed. To equip the researcher with knowledge on the background of the analyzed poems, the characteristics of the mid-twentieth century poems and historical facts on the mid-twentieth century American gender concept are also included. In analyzing the pragmatic and semantic meaning of the symbols, metaphors, and similes, the researcher employed the composite approach consisting of the exploratory, descriptive, and explanatory stages as the research design. Furthermore, as the research techniques, the researcher used the content analysis, discourse analysis, and practical literature analysis. By employing those techniques, the analysis was done in three stages as proposed by Miles and Huberman (1984:21). They are the data collection reduction stage, the data display stage, and the drawing conclusion stage. As a result of the analysis, it can be seen that there are similarities and differences between the mid-twentieth century American male and female poets' views on the psychological and social characteristics of men and women. On one hand, the male poets positively view men as having psychological characteristics of being aggressive, strong, rational, and dominant. They also try to maintain the superior status and extra-domestic roles of men in their description of the social characteristics of men. Whereas in describing women, the male poets describe them as being psychologically passive, parental, sensitive or easily hurt, emotional, and submissive. They consider women as being inferior and having domestic capacities. On the other hand the female poets view men as having psychological characteristics of being aggressive, strong, rational, and dominant yet in a negative way. It is because men are considered to be insensitive. The female poets attempt to change the society's image on the superior status and extra-domestic roles of men. It is done by describing women as having psychological characteristics of being aggressive, strong, and rational as men, though they still posses their sensitivity to the feelings of others and parental nature. The female poets also try to show that women should be considered equal in their status and extra domestic capacities. Nonetheless, they cannot ignore the social facts that society still regards women as being passive, emotional, sensitive or easily hurt, and submissive. The similarities and differences occur as men and women bring their own 'cultural world' in their linguistic behavior. The male poets show the tendency to exercise power and be dominant by describing men as being superior and women as being inferior. Whereas, the female poets have the tendency to strive for equality and solidarity in their linguistic behavior by describing women as being equal to men without degrading them. Furthermore, the similarities and differences can be seen as the reflection of the patriarchal concept held by American society and the rapid changes occurring during the mid-twentieth century period due to 1960's feminists' struggle. The dynamic changes of the gender cultural concept invite pro-contra arguments from the poets, which are reflected in the use of symbols, metaphors, and similes representing men and women. Finally, it is expected that the result of this study can contribute theoretically and practically to English Department students and EFL teachers in the field of CCU, Sociolinguistics, Discourse Analysis, and Literary Appreciation. For society or laymen in general, they can learn to have a better cross-gender communication.

Item Type: Thesis (Masters)
Uncontrolled Keywords: Culture, symbol, metaphor, similes, gender, psychology, social, characteristics, view, and poetry
Subjects: English Education
Divisions: Graduate School > Master Program in Teaching English as a Foreign Language
Depositing User: Sri Kusuma Dewi
Date Deposited: 29 Aug 2016 08:37
Last Modified: 29 Aug 2016 08:37
URI: http://repository.wima.ac.id/id/eprint/5629

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