The Role Of Femininity In The Road By Cormac Mccarthy

757 Words 4 Pages
Historically, masculinity has always been considered to be far superior to femininity. Whether you are speaking of biblical or medieval times, feminine characteristics have always been looked down upon. In recent decades women have started to become equal to men. Thus, The Road is a blow to this entire movement. The Road by Cormac McCarthy is a novel that shows femininity to be inferior to traditional masculine roles, which are portrayed as strong.
In the novel, femininity or female characteristics are associated and interchangeable with weakness. These female traits displayed in the novel either hold the protagonists back or endanger their lives. In contrast, the masculine characteristics are displayed as heroic and brave. A key example of feminine weakness derives from the depiction of the boy. He has numerous female typical
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McCarthy choosing to have the wife commit suicide makes women inferior to men for two different reasons. First, a woman willingly departing from her child goes against the very nature of femininity. By doing this McCarthy makes clear that a woman 's method of caring for her child is far inferior to a man providing for him. Ridding the wife of her most important feminine trait is proof that femininity equates to weakness in this novel. In not allowing the wife to care for her child, McCarthy obliterates any hope for gender equality in The Road. Secondly, the wife could not be described as a strong character. A strong character would fight through despair and find a way to survive. However, strength is a typical male trait and, as such, could not be attributed to the wife. Instead the wife is weak, she leaves her husband and child to the desolate world because she cannot handle it. This is a clear case of male characteristics being superior to femininity. The wife 's suicide demonstrates that this apocalyptic world is too much for any traits, but traditional male

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