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Masculinity In Carl Sandburg's 'Slut Lullabies'

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Carl Sandburg’s poem, Chicago, gives a rough and rugged sense to the reader about Chicago. Masculinity flows throughout most of the poem, whereas women are portrayed as weak. In contrary, Gina Frangello shows the strength of women in her short story Slut Lullabies. She is able to show us the power of women and how the main character is able to push past any challenge as well as many stereotypes about women. Also, within that story, she gives examples of how ignorant men are because they do not understand what consequences their actions may bring.
Throughout the poem Chicago, Sandburg describes the city within masculine and hardworking words. In the first stanza, he describes it as “Hog Butcher. . .Tool Maker. . .Stacker of Wheat”. This gives
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He is somewhat stereotyping men by giving them this strong and buff image as though they are the support of Chicago. In the second stanza, he begins to describe the woman as “wicked” and says that he has “seen your painted women under gas lamps luring the farm boys”. This line is describing prostitutes and how they are painted, wearing a lot of makeup, and they try to charm farmers. It gives the woman of Chicago a negative light because he is saying that they are very promiscuous. In lines 10-11, he describes how he has seen “on the faces of women and children” the “marks of wanton hunger”. This is another example of how he is demeaning women as helpless and weak within his poem. He never describes the men as being hungry and starved, he only mentions that the children and women are the ones who are hungry and helpless. In line 14, Sandburg again gives the reader an image of a “tall bold slugger”, giving more description to the tough and rugged man. In Sandburg’s line that says…show more content…
No matter who tries to destroy her or ruin her future, she manages to push past it and continue on with her life. When Emily describes how her mom would look out the window and look like “mini versions of my mother’s friends” and she “ached for me to be one of them so I could have a good life” (4). This added to the stereotype that women get about having to be pretty in order to marry a wealthy man and just do nothing with their lives. That’s what Emily’s mother wants for her and wishes she would follow. Her mother also shows another stereotype when Emily says that her mother “had never been that interested in what went on under my skin” (7). Her mother only cared about the outside because that’s what she thinks matters. Later on throughout the story, as Emily was leaving the bar, she managed to stay strong and tough, even though Sera had stolen her boyfriend. This gives a positive light upon her and how she doesn’t act how the stereotypical media portrays a woman who has been cheated on. She walks out and is able to control herself and stay somewhat calm. What had been the most shocking was after George raped Emily, he “fell asleep on the floor, clutching me” (14). This shows the ignorance of men and gender roles and how after everything he had done to
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