CHANGING GENDER ROLES IN ANNE TYLER'S NOVELS
An International Refereed e-Journal of Literary Explorations August
Anne Tyler was born in Minneapolis, Minnesota, in the United States ofAmerica in 1941. Much of her work centreson family relationships and ordinary small-town characters bound byprescribed roles. In 1964 at the age of twenty-two Tyler published her fi rstnovel, If Morning Ever Comes. In 1988 she won America's most prestigiousliterary award, the Pulitzer Prize, for her novel, Breathing Lessons. The aim of this paper is to depict the male caretaker of the family in two of Anne Tyler's novels If
... Tyler's novels If Morning Ever Comes and Saint Maybe.AnneTyeler handled these two novels in a different manner.Comparing her all other works ,these two novels presents the resposibilties of a male role which is not their task. In the first novel If Morning Ever Comes Tyler's main character is male .Ben Joe Hawke's life and story emerge from a world of women .The home he has left remains occupied by eight of them: his mother, his grandmother, and his six sisters (one moved away to marry but has come home because she left her husband). Ben Joe is a very convincing character. Ian Bedloe in Saint Mavbebecomes a caretaker, a nurturer and a surrogate mother. Being a young man in his family he takes new role in order to perform the traditional duty of protecting the orphaned children. The mistake he committed that activates him into the female role and his love for the children that eventually affirms it. Ian Bedloe in Saint Maybe, we can observe the shift from himself to his brother's orphaned children whom he takes under his wings. His decision is initiated by his consuming guilt that he is responsible for the suicide of both his brother and his sister-in-law.Ben Joe and Ian Bedloe representingthe male nurturer of the family.Being an adult they never give up the family and family members.They take the responbility of the family.Eventually, the orphaned children got the parents and learn to be patientin Saint Maybe.The same way, the young man in If Morning Ever Comes plays the role of father and solves the problem of his sister besides he gives shelter to his father's another family members.Thus these two characters scarifices their life inorderto protect their family members.