Gender Roles In The Bell Jar

1785 WordsSep 25, 20178 Pages
The world can be a rather difficult place. From the physical and mental illnesses, poverty, and the abundance of different cultures, ethnicities, languages,and races, how can it not be a difficult place? With the great level of complication in the human life, it is normal to want to feel secure and follow a type of lifestyle. With a difficult world, it is also easy to have the need to feel powerful, and to do that, one will need to make others feel inferior. The terms ‘superiority’ and ‘inferiority’ are seen ubiquitously in terms of gender. A man is often paired off with words such as ‘strength’ and ‘authority’, all things great and superior. Whereas a woman would usually be compared to words such as ‘dependent’ and ‘small’, all things…show more content…
This clearly shows the traditional gender roles because it was made clear that Buddy, a male, was born with the capability to read people, giving him more power. Another simile was used to describe Buddy’s personality. As Esther began to have second thoughts about not going down the slope, Buddy saw this and “his arms chopped the air like khaki windmills”. The choice of words negatively impacts Buddy’s personality. Buddy was just persuading her to come down with hand motions but through the word choices such as ‘chopped’ and ‘windmills’ it made the action seem more harsh and mechanical. ‘Chopped’ refers to cutting down on something with extreme and quick force. This translates that Buddy’s personality was on the extreme side and quite forceful. This again shows the traditional gender roles as Buddy is described as a forceful person, which can be referring to both strength in the physical aspect and strength in persuasiveness. Buddy was also compared to the “ split-rail fence behind him-- numb, brown and inconsequential.” All the adjectives and the noun used to describe Buddy were negative. ‘Split’ is rarely used positively because it explains a sense of multiple pieces and not just one whole. To be ‘numb’ is to not have any sense towards any stimulation or emotion, which in this case would mean that Buddy is a dispassionate being. The last term of ‘inconsequential’, meaning ‘without significance’ shows how un-valued Buddy’s character
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