"Gender equality is greater than a goal in itself" (Kofi Annan). Evidently, the issue of gender inequality and the submissive role of the female in a marriage still persist in the current modern society. Men historically are brought up to fight and take demand, while women are anticipated to obey and support their family. Such submissive role of women is deeply rooted inside our society that many women accept the health of being unequal. In "The Palm, " Colette supplies the visitors with a deep insight in to the gender tasks in the twentieth century, uncovering the probability of gender inequality during its writing. "The Side" pertains to a story of a young, newly married bride-to-be and her sleeping husband. By studying her husband's hands, she eventually comes to the realization that the organization of marriage is merely simply another step towards inequality.
Colette's descriptions of the personas illustrate the prominent role of partner in a relationship and the imbalance of ability between them. At the start of the storyplot, Colette details the marriage to be "kidnapped" as a result of wife's "adolescent" time (Colette). While the husband sleeps pleasantly, the wife is awake, "[bearing] the weight of the man's brain" and making sure his continuous rest. In concern with waking her sleeping partner, she further sacrifices her own comfort and luxury within an exchange for her husband's need: "The arm twisted again, feebly, and she arched her back to make herself lighter" (Colette). Even when sleeping, her husband's dominant role in the family exercises the power over her specialist and at exactly the same time regulates her reactions and body activities. As the partner shifts her attention and appears adoringly on her behalf husband's hand, she all of the sudden discovers the primary actuality of her weakened and powerless body: "It's so big! It really is bigger than my complete head" (Colette). Such incredible realization provokes her initial fear on her husband's supreme vitality and authority. Knowing the fact that her entire body, by comparison, is so small and very small, she feels susceptible as though the side itself symbolizes dominance and control over her body system.
In addition to the unequal syndication of vitality in the partnership, the hubby is physically dominating as well. Men are usually larger than women in both size and appearance. In contrast to the young wife's "slim, adolescent back, " the partner is referred to as having bodily big and powerful arm: "The light, . . . spilled up against the hand, and made every contour of the skin clear, exaggerating the powerful knuckles and the veins engorged by the strain on the arm" (Colette). By characterizing the spouse so powerful being, Colette further exaggerates his powerfulness and compares him to a monstrous creature: "The thumb stiffened itself out, horribly long and spatulate, and pressed securely against the index finger, so that the hand suddenly needed on a vile, apelike appearance" (Colette). As noticeable above, the husband's physical supremacy symbolizes the potential abuse of electricity and expert, which causes gender inequality.
Beside the amount of physical supremacy the partner has over the complete relationship, the partner finally realizes her partner gets the potential to do injury. As the better half bravely keeps off her dread and is constantly on the study her husband's beastly side, "the audio of passing car" disturbs his sleep (Colette). She pieces his hand "offended, reared again and tensed up in the condition of a crab and waited, ready for struggle" (Colette). These monstrous, terrifying movements startle her as she pieces "the hands, disturbed by the bad aspiration, . . . grabbed a fistful of the sheet, dug into it with its curved fingertips, and squeezed, squeezed with the methodical pleasure of any strangler" (Colette). The man reacts to the bad desire with assault and defensive behavior. This type of reaction represents the dominating role in the relationship. Clearly, the spouse has the utter power over anything; if she ever challenges his expert, he could easily damage her.
Ultimately, the hands symbolizes the unpleasant truth. The truth of knowing the husband's complete domination over the relationship forces the partner to live in the shadow of her spouse. In the twentieth century, gender inequality was quite typical within the population. Majority of women were often expected to play the subordinate role in a married relationship. Knowing that such communal norm in those days was impossible to escape, very often, really the only defense these women possessed is to go on and bravely allow the role of distribution. In fact, Colette's explanation the wife's approval and her start life of "duplicity, of resignation, and of a slowly dedicated diplomacy" suggest her wakeup call and her expelling realization of the real matrimony (Colette). The side will there be and the gender inequality will still persist in the population; therefore, she'll have to conquer worries and move forward by not turning back.