Gender Roles In In Broken Places, By Michele Phoenix

1818 Words 8 Pages
Ever since the beginning of time, people have always been controlling and have been making rules so that in a culture every one is the same. This makes a culture uniform and together to be able to be stronger because everyone is alike. However, there are times when people must break free and become their own person to explore the world and achieve greatness. As in the book, In Broken Places by Michele Phoenix, the story is set in Germany. Many immigrants, such as a mother named Shelby and daughter named Shayla are faced with the strict nature of the German culture. Shelby had just moved to Germany with her daughter Shayla from America. The mother daughter duo is forced to assimilate to German cultures and is faced with many obstacles. Despite …show more content…
Men are supposed to provide for the family, if they do not it is considered unmanly and shameful in the German culture. This is partially because of World War 1 and World War 2. The men went to war to protect their country and family. It is the man’s duty to take care of the family financially and physically. The culture enforces men to take this responsibility and if the men cannot take care of the family they are judged by the community. In Shelby’s situation, she makes more money than her boyfriend Scott. German families are very traditional. They also think that the men make the money for the family. If the women make more money than the men it makes him look cowardly and weak proving that because of this mindset, German men have a lot of responsibility just for being a man. When Shelby teaches at her school many students say, “Dad went straight to his office everyday” (Phoenix 36). Shelby then realizes that it will be hard to date Scott in this culture. Regardless, Shelby proves to the German society that women and men can equally provide for the family as she and Scott work together and become stronger than the critiques. Moreover, when men went to war, another expectation was that women were left to take care of the house and children where Shelby must again stray from this assumption as she works as well. Hitler even made a law that …show more content…
She must do what is necessary for her and her daughter even if that means to not listen to the German traditions and cultures. Consequently, leaving her with no friends or support in the beginning, but ultimately lead her to find supporting and caring friends such as her boyfriend Scott. Her journey of hardship and education in the German society build Shelby to become a strong and determined person which help her at her job, with her daughter and her relationship with Scott. With her new knowledge of the culture she is able to introduce some of the traditions to her daughter Shayla and also keep her American roots. This proves that even though a person moves to a new area, they can still keep parts of them and expand themselves as well. We are all diverse and different people and with multiples cultures which we can share with the world and others. Though at the start it might be difficult but we must push through and keep going in order to keep the world an accepting place for

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