Looking back on this story, I can see that I may have perhaps jumped the gun with my previous analysis. I knew that the time period did not allow me to expect anything less than what I was presented with, in regards to the gender portrayals of the story. What I did not realize, however, was the exaggeration of the narrator.
After listening to the lecture, I can certainly agree that the narrator seems to like the sound of his own voice an awful lot. When even talking about general things, he says, “Those disasters which break down the spirit of a man, and prostrate him in the dust, seem to call forth all the energies of the softer sex…”, and that’s only half of the sentence. But the words don’t really matter here. Not in the sense that we think they do. After all, if the narrator is just talking to hear himself talk, that’s not really saying anything important at all. The narrator George is also exaggerating to the greatest degree, because it’s far easier to drone on and on if you oversimplify and overemphasize certain ideas, as the narrator has done here with the relationships between man and woman. I can now look at the story without being so put off by the way the woman Mary is portrayed.