Men and Masculinity Quotes Page 1
How we cite our quotes:
The men had moved off up the road to sit in the dark and smoke out of the range of the noise she made. (10)
Here we have a very clear separation of genders. Are the men in the house? Nope, they're up the road smoking so that they don't have to deal with all that girly stuff (like the excruciating pain of childbirth). We get a sense of their callousness and their lack of sympathy. We also notice (at least in hindsight) that the husband isn't with them…
"But her screams are not important. I don't hear them because they are not important." (18)
Nick's dad is a doctor who gets down to business. Does he let a little thing like screaming distract him? Oh, shmoop no. He is a manly man who doesn't feel feelings. Okay we're exaggerating a bit, but the idea is that fortitude is being able to just turn your emotional responses off (and you'll notice that Nick is just about the only one who does express concern for the Indian woman).
Later when he started to operate Uncle George and the three Indian men held the woman still. She bit Uncle George on the arm and Uncle George said, "Damn squaw bitch!" and the young Indian who had rowed Uncle George over laughed at him. (25)
Look at all the different ways that the men react to the Indian woman's pain: they diminish it ("her screams are not important"), they physically restrain her, they call her a bitch, and they laugh. It's like they all have to deal with her suffering by not acknowledging it. Also, you might want to think about her husband's reaction in light of these ones.