Lord Of The Flies Gender Analysis

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Society develops its own cultural norms and standards placed on gender. Gender roles impact our everyday lives and are reflected in works of art and literature around us. A great example is Julius Lester’s article, Men: Being a Boy. Lester illustrates his childhood struggles of being a boy who did not fit the expectations society places on males. A more popular text that also applies gender stereotypes is Lord of the Flies by William Golding. The story follows a group of young boys who survived a plane crash during World War III. The boys descend into complete savagery throughout the novel, giving readers lessons and morals to think about. Both works apply gender (male) expectations, however, Lord of the Flies does this more subtly. With the …show more content…
Society tends to assume men should be brave, take risks, and deny pain. Lester recalled in his article boys like him are expected to be courageous and ask the female/s to dance or to go on dates. He also had “tears brimming in [his] eyes, but [refused] to fall” because he didn’t want to be seen as weak or feminine (Lester). Although the British boys in Golding 's novel did not encounter situations regarding girls and relationships, the idea of mental masculinity is in both works. Masculinity is a culturally defined word, typically meaning strong. Boys are not supposed to cry or be afraid. In Lord of the Flies, littluns began to cry or fear a beast on the island but were ignored. The older boys claimed “he was dreaming” and the island “couldn’t have a beastie, a snake-thing” (pg 36). In another key moment, Simon gave Piggy some meat after Jack was horribly cruel and refused to give him any. Simon´s kind deed was immediately shut down by Jack, and no one defended Simon or Piggy. Society´s definition of masculinity makes boys like Piggy and Simon believe fear, kindness, and tears are for the weak. They 'll also believe that they must fit in that mold to be accepted in civilization. Although that is not completely true, these ideas have all easily influenced boys, particularly the ones in Golding 's novel. Those mental expectations of them began to drive them to the edge and become …show more content…
However the ill effects are more noticeable in Lester 's article. As a child, Lester doubted his sex and was bullied because of his lack in ‘masculinity’. Boys today can relate to Lester’s situation/s where they are pressured to take initiative and be strong, such as asking a girl to dance or being able to play sports. Simon and Piggy were also bullied and ignored because they were not masculine. Jack and the hunters were pushed to be intimidating alphas by society’s standard of masculinity. With society’s pressure on men to be physically and mentally strong, the youth are put into narrow labels that tell them how they should behave and who they should be. These factors all rose to the peak of barbarism and destruction in Lord of the Flies by William Golding. Even today on a global scale, humanity suffers from the cultural expectations of males and females. Society needs to stop putting gender stereotypes and labels on people, particularly young boys and girls who can be easily influenced. The lives of Jack, Piggy, Simon, Lester, and many others, were changed forever because of a culturally defined standard that should be torn

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