Gender, By George Lamming And Mini Series Of The Past, Present And Future

Gender, By George Lamming And Mini Series Of The Past, Present And Future

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Like many novels and mini-series of the past, present and future, gender is always a subject that is to be explored. To begin, in The Emigrants written by George Lamming, we see the recurring theme that gender is represented through the view of the superior or more important gender, and of the lesser but somewhat still important gender. The men in The Emigrants, are highly valued, viewed as the ones fighting the war, who should be looking for training an education, to provide for their wives, and for themselves. The women are seen as lesser, sometimes as objects but also valued, as they provide support to the men. They are represented with a contrasting view. In the beginning of the novel, we see that the men are highly respected; “the soldiers went on talking, informal and at ease,” (Lamming, 11) this line shows the respect that was given to the soldiers, they are allowed to be relaxed while the women are off to the side crying with broken hearts. We see this respect represented in the line “Some of the men in the crowd removed their hats, and everything seemed for a moment impressively still. It was a very correct silence, dignified, without restraint.” (Lamming, 11) which suggests that without the respected men, nothing would have seemed “impressively still” or with a “correct silence”. Compare this to Small Island, the BBC mini series, where the men are similarly valued. The men in Small Island are the fighters, and the heroes, enlisting themselves in the fight, therefore decorated with the same amount of respect as the men from The Emigrants. They are also expected to provide for their families, and their wives, an almost selfless act (thus giving them more respect), which also helps in demonstrating how the women are seen a...


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...t journey to England seem less significant than it was supposed to be. For many of the characters in the novel and the mini series, travelling to England meant receiving an education, some training and experiencing a “better break”. “It mattered to be in England.” (Lamming, 107) shows us that the journey is significant because of the use of the word “mattered”. We also see this significance with the lines, “There was also unemployment, a housing shortage. […] These were not important, for what mattered supremely was to be there, in England. To be in England.” (Lamming, 107) this demonstrates that the journey to England is significant because it meant going to England, starting fresh and hopefully have a better life. Education and training, love and marriage are simply just extra “arguments” that pushed the characters to experiencing the journey to the Mother Country.

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