Gender Stereotypes in Literature Essay

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There is no doubt that certain books children read are made especially for boys or for girls. Like any developmental form of entertainment, from toys to movies, children's books are often littered with hints that dictate whether they were originally meant for male or female enjoyment. Sometimes these hints can be as simple as the specific gender of the main characters, for example Carolyn Keene's Nancy Drew series calls for a female audience while the extremely similar yet sexually opposite Hardy Boys mysteries fall into the hands of boys, yet other times more important factors decide who the book will best be suited for. Gary Paulsen's Hatchet and Katherine Patersons's The Great Gilly Hopkins are books for a boy and a…show more content…
Hatchet's survival story, then, is two-fold. Because stereotypically boys are less focused on the emotional aspect of things, and boys raised on G.I. Joes as opposed to a game of “house” are less interested in domesticity, the adventure trappings of Hatchet serve to mask what is really happening in the story. When Brian crashes in the woods he has already been set adrift by the rift between his parents, has already been left as one that will have to survive on his own. Brian was comfortable in the security of his stable familial unit but now he is left alone in a new world, the untamed wilderness of a broken home. These aspects of divorce and infidelity, however, would hold no real sway over young male readers, so it is made real by the woods that Brian finds himself in. Everything he has to do in the woods revolves around a “home”. When Brian takes stock of everything he must do once he first crash lands, from building a “lean-to” (Paulson, p. 53) and not just eating, but hoarding and storing the “gut cherries” (p. 67) what he is really doing is rebuilding the home that he felt his parents separation has stolen from him. It is indeed only a few days before he comes to think of his new crude lodgings as home, but when he
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