Essay on Examining Gender Roles in Man and Superman

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Through a character analysis of Jack Tanner and Ann Whitefield, Carpenter examines the sexual purification displayed in Shaw’s play; “The mainspring of the plot is clearly Ann Whitefield's relentless desire to bear Jack Tanner's children. […] Ann's climactic seduction of Jack and her resultant climax are set squarely before the footlights, […] depicted in a shrewdly inoffensive manner, however: one implied by Shaw's description of the play as a dramatic "distillation" of sexual attraction” (Carpenter 71). Through symbolic allusion, Shaw is able to hint at sexual gratification between his characters without upsetting the general Puritan public. Shaw uses sexual puns throughout his comedy to conscientiously examine the sexual desires of his …show more content…
Let me go:I can’t bear it.
TANNER. Nor I. Let it kill us.
ANN. Yes: I don’t care. I am at the end of my forces. I don’t care. I think I am going to faint. (Shaw 205-206)
This intimate moment between the two characters demonstrates Shaw’s ability to portray the climax of the sex act on stage by disguising the sexual fulfillment as a heated conversation concerning the strong romantic emotions that each character feels for the other. By stating that he has discovered the existence of a “father’s heart”, equal to a “mother’s heart”, Jack Tanner shows that the pursuit of marriage and the desire to procreate is not innately feminine or masculine but rather an equal emotion among humans. Shaw showed the pursuit of a sexual desire in a raw light that pushes the audience to experience their own emotions and to realize that all people experience these emotions. Emotions are easily pushed aside and labeled as an unimportant “feminine” experience when they are actually one of the few things in life that links every human regardless of culture, gender, sexuality. When people are able to experience and understand their own feelings they gain an improved perspective of themselves and the people around them. In this scene Shaw completed his task of writing a romantic play based on the exploration of the character’s sexual gratification. Dukore examines how Shaw utilized sexual desire to motivate the actions of his

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