The Myth Of Gender Roles

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The myth of gender roles plays a pivotal role in This Boy’s Life- A Memoir by Tobias Wolff. Specifically, the myth of masculinity shapes much of the actions and experiences that occur. Toxic masculinity is commonly described as socially-constructed attitudes that describe men as being violent, unemotional, and sexually aggressive. The rules of masculinity that are implied in the memoir include displays of physical dominance such as fighting against others, use of weapons for power and control, domestic violence, and trying to win at everything. Sexual virility is discussed as bragging about sexual conquests and talking crudely about women around other men but generally trying to be hyper sexual. Another, key aspect of masculinity is to not show any emotion as others will perceive you as being weak which leads characters being unable to express how they feel about themselves and their conflicts. Males are taught to not get mad but to get even; this means retaliating by stealing or other means in order to get revenge. Within the memoir, Tobias’ perception of masculinity and his idea of what man should look and act like is demonstrated through Roy. Qualities that include being: “an expert hunter, conventionally handsome, [a mechanic or handy in general], does not need to talk more than needed, having a tattoo”(14). The myth of masculinity pigeonholes males from This Boy’s Life- A Memoir by Tobias Wolff by making them believe that they must act in a certain way in order to be
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