Reinforcing And Redefining The Narrative Of The Giver

1281 WordsApr 4, 20176 Pages
Reinforcing and Redefining the Construct of Gender in The Giver Can a society truly function without the social normative of gender? Lois Lowry begins to explore this idea in her text The Giver. This fictional society contains binary oppositions which paradoxically reinforce and redefine the gender norms. Gender is reinforced by the visual manifestations of girls, assumption of gender based on sex and alternative behaviour towards women. In opposition of these elements gender is redefined by the fulfilment of occupational roles of individuals and parental behaviour within a family unit. Together these elements question the perspective and construction of gender within the text. The concept of gender is present in this text by the…show more content…
Infants born by Birthmothers are given a new name and handed by the Nurturers to its new family unit which occurs during the annual ceremony of Ones (24). Each family will receive a child in which sex they do not already posses within the unit. Further in the text Jonas states that solitary child within the family unit receiving the new infant "[Beam] with pride to receive a little brother or sister"(24). Looking at these passages through a close reading analysis, with specific emphasis on word meaning, the audience is informed that this society perceives gender and sex as the same thing. This is simply incorrect. The terms male and female describe the "biological attributes in humans" and gender is the "socially constructed roles, behaviours, expressions and identities" of an individual ( Canada Government ). These two definitions are different in meaning but are used interchangeably within the context. This society assumes the gender of a child based on sex in order to maintain its systematic approach to raising children. This transphobic society reinforces the traditional construction of gender by associating individuals with the sex given at birth therefore creating a cis-normative environment. Another norm within the text is the association of fragility and women. Male identified characters, including Jonas and the Giver, underestimate the capacity women have to handle physical pain. Within the text, the reader is

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