Sexist Stereotypes Of Men And Women

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The sexist stereotypes of men and women significantly enforced their roles in the Vietnam War. While the draft excluded women, protecting them from war’s brutality and tragedies, men were forced from their homes to be enlisted in the army. In Tim O’Brien’s The Things They Carried, a platoon is comprised of struggling young men whose lives are challenged each day. On the other hand, women blissfully live in the states, provided with complete comfort and security, both of which the soldiers are not able to acquire. There is a tremendous discrepancy between the lives at war and in the states. Those who are not exposed to the world outside their own have an inability to empathize with the emotional baggage that the soldiers carry. Throughout…show more content…
O’Brien’s use of Martha’s carelessness manifests a representation of society’s abandonment of the soldiers. Society left the soldiers without support like Martha does to Cross by not inquiring more about the war. The same case pertains to Dobbins and his girlfriend. One day, Dobbins receives mail where “his girlfriend dumped him. It was a hard blow. Dobbins went quiet for a while, staring down at her letter” (112). Like Martha, Dobbins’s girlfriend does not sympathize with the pain of the soldier. She is unable to consider the relentless brutality that Dobbins is confronted with at war, and discards the idea that she may be his motivation to keep fighting and to stay alive. Instead, Dobbins’s girlfriend breaks up with him as he continues to fight for survival. Dobbins’s emotions are not taken into account, so his girlfriend carelessly moves on with her own life, leaving Dobbins alone. Losing this direct connection to home results in a loss of security which is what society did to the soldiers, so they were ostracized and left to fight and cope by themselves. The representation of the lack of society’s support continues to be seen through women’s insensitivity towards the soldiers’ pain by prioritizing their lives even after the war. After telling Kiley’s story about slaughtering the baby buffalo, O’Brien
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