My Life With The Wave Essay

My Life With The Wave Essay

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At a young age, gender is taught to have associations with different visual cues. Femininity is fragile, wispy, small, weak, grey, negative, and needs to be taken care of like a child. Masculinity is strong, constant, large, with standing, bright, positive, and has the need to be worshiped. Wonder Woman is the strongest example of diverging from the feminine norm yet Superman still swoops in and “rescues” her because that is how females need to be dealt with. Like damsels in distress. In My Life with the Wave, publication in 1949 when gender roles were most prominent in society, the gender associations are clearly marked out. The wave is a female thus she is negative and the man is male thus he is positive. In The Missing Piece, produced in 1976 when gender norms were coming into question, plays on the societal patriarchal hierarchy that is taught at to associate small weak things with femininity(the missing piece) and big strong things with masculinity(the circle).By comparing the gender roles in My Life with the Wave and The Missing Piece, it highlights how literature reinforces the negative connotations that individuals develop about gender roles in society and literature.
In both literary pieces, there is a common theme that the females of each piece are the weaker sex and are prone to violent emotional reactions. “She became humble and transparent, clutching my feet like a small animal, calm water...But she would also become black and bitter. At unexpected hours she roared, moaned, twisted. Her groans woke the neighbors. (Paz, 16, My Life with the Wave)” In the first part of the quote, he sees her as something he has to take care of, like a weak link in the chain of their relationship. He associates her with a small anima...


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... Males are depicted as large and strong. In a children 's book, this association is automatic based on what they have seen in the relationship their parent’s have. At an early age, it reinforces the idea that females are small fragile creatures while males are big and strong. it starts the basic idea that men have power over women based on their size and strength.
In conclusion patriarchal hierarchy and gender role association is still much in the dark ages. Although these pieces were only published 30 years apart there is no evidence that the hierarchy had any kind of evidence of ever disappearing from books. As it is patriarchal hierarchy is in a children 's book which introduces the idea of man has power over a woman early on in a child’s developmental stages from what is considered a literary classics. Patriarchal hierarchy and gender roles child 's’ play now.

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