The purpose of this book is to show the challenges of being stuck in a social class limbo. This book shows how there is a constant struggle between where you were, where you are, and where you are going. Alfredo Lubrano tells his own story and the story of others like him. Through his various interviews, he was able to show the hardships people faced while climbing the social ladder.
Simone De Beauvoir in The Second Sex suggests that to resolve the tension between bad faith and authenticity, people must regard women as subjects and not objects. They must also collectively fight against the idea of womanhood in order to remain authentic to themselves.
Vic Lang, one of the central characters, is arguably most affected by the constraints society places on gender — succumbing to romanticised ideologies.
By allowing social status, skin color, and money to be the main defining factors of a person’s worth, that person struggles to live an open and ambiguous life. A woman cannot define precisely who she is and what she represents until the moment of her death, though she is constantly surrounded by criticism and the stereotypes of society. If a man or his community have already decided that he is superior, worthless, or content when he has only lived a portion of his life, he will struggle to maintain this rigid identity for himself, resisting even small or positive changes in himself.
In the short story “Initiation” by Sylvia Plath, Millicent Arnold is a narcissistic teenager undergoing her initiation into the most prestige social group at Lansing High. Despite being aware of the risk at losing her best friend, Tracy, Millicent eagerly seeks the opportunity to be part of a close-knit group and as a result, she is mistreated and forced to conform to the group’s narrow standards. Plath explains how being part of a social group does not necessarily help one grow individually, but rather assimilates them into what is portrayed as esteemed social status. As Millicent goes through the downgrading initiation process, she discovers the value of friendship and realizes that being associated with a certain group will not help her achieve confidence in her true self.
The blossomed butterfly, finally freed from its lecture filled, finals stressing, late night partying, early morning madness cocoon, is ready to take on the world head on with so much energy and bravado. Its eagerness to make a mark in like, but expresses a conceited sense of entitlement, as though the world revolve around it. The butterfly or butterflies are the college graduates entering the workforce. They reveal their expectations on how their lives will be centered on finding themselves as they pursue individualized goals and fulfillment. These goals, however, are naturally unrealistic, In David Brooks article, “It’s Not About You”, he explains this discrepancy, on how college grads enter an unstable job market that will require them to forget self-fulfillment until they spend at least a decade finding their prominent role in life. Brian Williams article, “ Enough About You” correlates with Brook’s article. It illustrates how technology shows individuals what best interest and suits them. How the media exaggerates the success of others, making one want to emulate that success without facing the hardship of the journey to that success. Due to this, individuals such as college grads are wrapped in their own personal “bubbles” and will never achieve the true purpose of life.
In a world focused on material possession, the routine of an everyday lifestyle becomes dependent on the haves owning more than the have nots. The United States culture tends to make trends and popularity an everyday necessity to fit in. Through playful sarcasm, Jennifer Price illustrates the way the American culture thrives off of acceptance and being bolder to not suffice but ultimately prosper. Price characterizes the culture using a plastic pink flamingo to reveal the foolish, carefree, and materialistic mindset the Americans possess.
In a social environment, a community’s perception of a person greatly impacts an individual. In The Awakening by Kate Chopin and The House on Mango Street by Sandra Cisneros, we see two different societal perceptions of life through the female protagonists, Edna and Esperanza. Both Cisneros and Chopin use their protagonists to highlight how much of an effect society has on an individual. Through them we get a glimpse of communal impact on the protagonists as individuals, the developmental mindset of the characters, and how each character responds to societal perception of what’s acceptable and what’s not, as each embark on their own “awakening.”
“Fake it ‘til you make it,” is a mantra that both inspires uncertain individuals to attempt something new and a battle cry for those who refuse to accept the reality of a situation. Whether it be in the acknowledgement that one needs help or that you shouldn’t have seventeen cats, the fear of hurt or loss is often too great to accept the cold, hard truth. Unfortunately, many are not alerted to the greater danger of avoiding personal growth and forming realistic, healthy relationships. Both Judith Guest and Arthur Miller use their respective literary works ‘Ordinary People’ and ‘Death of a Salesman’ to illustrate that not addressing who we are as individuals and remaining unaware of reality will only lead to unhappiness, dysfunction, and
With no means of solving this feeling of insanity, she grabbed her yellow, spiral bound notebook and began doodling. (Call To Adventure)Slowly, but steadily, this doodling became writing, writing about nothingness and yet... in its own way everything. She wrote about her favorite tv show, her classes, her friends till somehow she transitioned to world problems and... somehow that was what was bothering her. The world. The world where girls could not walk home alone. The world where children were sold for profit. The world where women are given less of a worth. Soon, this lengthy essay was minimized to a paragraph. A paragraph with emotion, and heart woven into it. Spencer decided this paragraph meant so much to her and that this short compilation of words strung together, needed to be published so that the world knew she was upset with it. In her own adolescent way, that made sense to her. (Refusal To Meet The Call) Yet, as a seventeen year old she could not quite press publish without worrying about what her peers would think. (Meeting the Mentor) She worried and contemplated till, “bzzz bzzz,” Spencer’s phone vibrated, indicating a call from her
All characters in the novel are living in a man’s world; nevertheless, the author has tried to change this world by the help of her characters. She shows a myriad of opportunities and different paths of life that woman can take, and more importantly she does not show a perfect world, where women get everything they want, she shows a world where woman do make mistakes, but at the same time they are the ones that pay for these mistakes and correct them.
In 2017 our thoughts and actions are guided and molded in large part by social media, reality television shows and pop culture. Without realizing the extent to which constructed reality and self-curated life exhibitions shape how we see the world, we form perceptions and establish standards of what our lives should look like based on stories and photos posted on Snapchat and Instagram and find ourselves reflexively belting out song lyrics that directly contradict our values. Joan Didion, a unique and relatable but brilliant author, seems to have an understanding that the challenges she faced as a freshman in college in the 1950s would still be relevant and problematic for college students almost 70 years later. In Didion’s essay, “On
The stand-alone series “Black Mirror”, features an episode titled Nosedive directed by Joe Wright. In the show, a seemingly ideal woman named Lacie Pound lives in a status-obsessed world, and struggles to express herself. At first, Lacie is described as this merry, popular, and fun person to be around. But then we see that Lacie tries to fit in with everybody else, and struggles with that objective. So she begins to have courage in herself to say and do whatever she wants, even if society disagrees with her defiance. In the end, Lacie is finally able to find her voice and express her individuality, even though ultimately she is put behind bars. Therefore, Joe Wright suggests that even though social hierarchy is valued in society, it does not promote one’s self expression or individuality. In other words, Nosedive displays the negative impact of social standings on people who are not a true fit with what society views as perfect.
In the chapter of her book The Second Sex entitled “the Woman in Love,” Simone de Beauvoir characterizes the romantic ideal of the relationship with a man as a woman’s purpose as a form of self-deception (translated here as “bad faith”). The self-deception de Beauvoir describes is based in the thesis of The Second Sex. This is the idea that women have been deceived into believing that they are second-class humans. Western culture, according to de Beauvoir, teaches us that women are missing some elusive element of the self that endows men with freedom- a concept essential to the existentialist definition of the conscious being. Therefore, a woman can never find fulfillment as a thinking person as
Lastly, “femininity” refers to behavioural activities or interests that are assigned to the female sex, such as cleaning and cooking (Beauvoir, 617). Although many critics have read her text and become confused due to her stylistic choice to fuse her voice with the voices of famous men, it can be said that the text ultimately leads the reader to begin to question what society sees as a woman (Zerilli, 1-2). Despite Beauvoir’s The Second Sex appearing to recognize the oppression of women throughout the world without giving an actual solution, I will argue that Beauvoir’s evaluation of each “natural” aspect of female oppression allows readers to recognize that the only thing holding themselves back as a woman is society’s unnatural definition of their body, relation to men, and personal freedoms. Of course, when it comes to one's freedom, it is difficult to obtain when your body feels like a