Quotes

Download PDF PDF Page Citation Cite Share Link Share

Last Updated on June 19, 2019, by eNotes Editorial. Word Count: 467

The following quote is from Frank Delacorte, a man being interviewed by Arlie Hochschild, and it sets the tone for why this book exists.

See eNotes Ad-Free

Start your 48-hour free trial to get access to more than 30,000 additional guides and more than 350,000 Homework Help questions answered by our experts.

Get 48 Hours Free Access

I look at myself as pretty much of a traditionalist. It's the way I am inside. I feel the man should be the head of the house. He should have the final say. I don't think he should have the only say; my father was the head but a lot of times my mother got her way. But I feel like this is my role in life, and I dno't see any reason to want to change it.

Hochschild's novel, The Second Shift, is about women who work normal 9-5 jobs during the day, and come home to clean, cook, and child rear at night. The main point of the novel is that men are not faced with this particular burden. Even though the world has changed and women are doing more work than ever before, men continue to be seen as the breadwinners and women as the home-keepers.

Homework Help

Latest answer posted December 4, 2017, 2:20 pm (UTC)

1 educator answer

Middle-class men often expected their wives to "help" support the family while they themselves expected to "help" at home; and they often supported their wives' work, often thought it was "good for her," and a woman's "right if she wanted it."

In the Delacorte family, Carmen (the wife) needed to work for economic reasons, possibly due to the fact that the family was Hispanic and lower income, and Frank had a harder time finding union work.

Frank did not link his desire to be "the man of the house" with the need to compensate for racial discrimination, a link I sensed in a few other interviews with minority men.

This section from the novel paints a complete picture of the story:

In the history of American fatherhood, there have been roughly three stages, each a response to economic change. In the first, agrarian stage, a father trained and disciplined his son for employment, and often offered him work on the farm, while his wife brought up the girls. (For blacks, this stage began after slavery ended.) As economic life and vocational training moved out of the family in the early nineteenth century, fathers left more of the child-rearing to their wives. According to the historian John Nash, in both these stages, fathers were often distant and stern. Not until the early twentieth century, when increasing numbers of women developed identities, beyond brief jobs before marriage, in the schoolhouse, factory, and office, did the culture discover the idea that "father was friendly". In the early 1950s, popular magazines began to offer articles with titles such as "Fathers Are Parents Too" and "It's Time Father Got Back into the Family". Today, we are in the third stage of economic development but the second stage of fatherhood.

See eNotes Ad-Free

Start your 48-hour free trial to get access to more than 30,000 additional guides and more than 350,000 Homework Help questions answered by our experts.

Get 48 Hours Free Access
Previous

Analysis