Representations Of Masculinity And Femininity In Miguel Street

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Representations of Masculinity and Femininity in Miguel Street      It has been said about V.S. Naipaul's novel Miguel Street that "One of the recurrent themes... is the ideal of manliness" (Kelly 19). To help put into focus what manliness is, it is important to establish a definition for masculinity as well as its opposite, femininity. Masculinity is defined as "Having qualities regarded as characteristic of men and boys, as strength, vigor, boldness, etc" while femininity is defined as "Having qualities regarded as characteristic of women and girls, as gentleness, weakness, delicacy, modesty, etc" (Webster). The charcters in Miguel Street have been ingrained with the pre-…show more content…
"Popo's Wife" sounds no different than Popo's tools or Popo's car.      Popo's wife leaves him, and this change affects him as well as how the other men look at him. Now "He smelled of rum, and he used to cry and then grow angry and want to beat up everybody. That made him an accepted member of the gang" (Naipaul 18). This even forces Hat to admit that Popo "is a man, like any of we" (Naipaul 18). This change makes him closer to the others, merely because he drinks and desires to beat up people. Later in the chapter he is sent to jail for stealing furniture, which upon his return, "He came back a hero. He was one of the boys" (Naipaul 21). Jail is yet another form of what makes a man more popular and more manly.      Morgan, the pyrotechist, differs from Popo in that he has 10 children. Morgan also beats his children regularly. But yet he is not well liked on Miguel Street. He is a tiny man, who tries very hard to be funny, but is only laughed at not laughed with. He is married to a Mrs. Morgan, a big spanish woman, who like Popo's wife is only identified as being someone's wife. One night, Morgan is caught by his wife sleeping with another woman. The fighting is heard by most on Miguel Street and they can see that Mrs. Morgan is doing the beating this time. She is heard saying, "Leave the light on. Come, let we show the big
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