ERIC Number: ED366996
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1993-Nov
Reference Count: N/A
Teaching Gender Issues through Literature.
The issues of empiricism and theory-building can be used in practical terms to discuss how literary texts can be used to elucidate gender issues in the classroom. For instance, two literary texts written early in this century--Thornton Wilder's "Our Town" and Ernest Hemingway's short story "Up in Michigan"--can illustrate important principles of communication and gender. When, in Act II of "Our Town," Emily decides to "tell the truth and shame the devil," she communicates her perceptions of George by using something like a "clear message format" popularized in interpersonal communication textbooks. George's attempt to establish honest, open communication about their relationship counters current wisdom expressed by Deborah Tannen and Carol Gilligan about male and female patterns of communication. Likewise, Liz's verbal statements in "Up in Michigan" lead students to ask "Was Liz raped?" Does Liz's "no" really mean "yes?" Does she protest verbally simply to maintain some semblance of Victorian feminine decorum in the face of overwhelming sexual desire? This story embodies crippling myths about communication between men and women, and it challenges readers to say what they mean and mean what they say and act upon what is actually said. Thus communication should not be understood as an isolated discipline in the academy. (SAM)
Publication Type: Opinion Papers; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Communication Patterns; Hemingway (Ernest); Male Female Relationship; Text Factors; Wilder (Thornton)
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the Speech Communication Association (79th, Miami Beach, FL, November 18-21, 1993).