A Persons Personal Gender Identification



Throughout her interaction with the patriarchal side of society—as represented by Dufferin Street, which her house faces, it is implied that Almeda is in some way incomplete because she is unmarried, and psychologically a little unbalanced because of her inclination to do things that are not appropriate to her gender, appropriate and genteel like doing embroidery or crochet or making jam. Even the doctor who treats her for her insomnia, suggests that she should not read too much and that if she did a lot of housework, it would help her. Despite the fact that most of the doctor’s nerve medicine has been used to treat married women, he still feels that Almeda’s troubles would cease if she chose not to remain single. Almeda’s instinctive rejection of the masculine view of the world is symbolically shown in her preference for the bedroom that overlooks the back-street (Pearl Street). It is dispossessed and the poor—those not considered important by respectable society—who live here. (Note, the name, Pearl is feminine, while the front street, Dufferin, is masculine). Almeda’s need to express herself sexually is also explored in the description of how she feels for Jarvis, and even in her reaction to the animal sounds that come from Pearl Street one night. Almeda is, however, stopped, by her own self from responding to Jarvis, after she sees how callously he treats the woman, whom she finds lying by her back gate, hurt and wounded. He nudges and pokes her as if she were a thing without feelings, and sends her packing—where she “belongs” (s) (p 66, 123).