Gender Roles During The First World War Essay

1289 Words Aug 22nd, 2015 6 Pages
This takes place while Rivers is relaxing in the bath. He contemplates the war’s effect on the masculinity of the combatants and the way in which it has almost ‘unmanned’ them. He also considers his own position as a parental figure to his patients, a role that is often compared to that of the father but which had once been said to be that of a “male mother” and the connotations that this descriptions has. When looking at this scene we must first discuss gender roles and the ways in which they are portrayed nowadays and back in the First World War. Gender roles are the social and behavioural norms that generally govern what is appropriate for either a man or woman to do in a societal or interpersonal context. When we consider the prevailing view of male gender roles in western society today then we see a few common trends, in short, the role of provider and protector. These include things like being the main breadwinner for the family and being the dominant and primary protective personality over the household. These roles are changing remarkably quickly, with a study now showing that 63.3% of American house-holds have a woman as the major breadwinner and that it seems as though women may soon be allowed to fight on the front-line in the British army within a few years. These roles are still entrenched in the modern psyche and therefore their effect must have been even greater during the First World War. The male gender role not only involves the functions of the man, but…

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