A Boy's Life By Aaron Devor Analysis

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The issue of gender, its roles and norms, is a prevailing theme in intellectual works of writing such as Aaron Devor’s “Becoming Members of Society: Learning the Social Meanings of Gender,” Hanna Rosin’s “A Boy’s Life,” and Tanwi Nandini Islam’s Bright Lines.
Aaron Devor’s essay “Becoming Members of Society: Learning the Social Meanings of Gender” thoroughly explains with unbiased and compelling evidence how gender roles are the product of socialization. According to him, they are the result of lessons taught and instilled in the minds of children so early in life. The story of Brandon Simms, a lively eight year old boy, challenges the argument presented in Devor’s account. While Devor advocates the development of gender identity based on
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“The personal I” is the way in which Brandon sees himself. “In…self-portraits, the ‘I’ was a girl. Often with big red lips, high heels, and a princess dress...often, he drew himself as a mermaid with a sparkly purple tail, or a tail cut out from black velvet” (548). Even when teachers divided the class into boys’ and girls’ teams, Brandon would stand with the girls because that was the group he identified with. “The social me” mirrors the way society sees Brandon. In society, he wouldn’t be considered a member because he fails to adhere to the norms of being muscular, dominant and…show more content…
One example took place after the family’s arrival in Bangladesh. Ella joined Rana to run his errands. On their way to Banani, Ella took note of the commotion on the streets. She states, “Men were everywhere. There was hardly a woman on the street…everyone was hustling something, selling Nokias or produce, laying bricks or pitching bamboo ladders, or driving baby taxis and rickshaws, trying to evade aggressive drivers” (203). Here, the gender norms and expectations are being adhered to. Men are the ones doing the heavy and hard tasks such as laying bricks and driving. Their lifestyle and actions mirror the norm that expects men to be strong and hardworking. The absence of women on the streets demonstrates that they too are abiding by norms because they’re leaving the heavy-lifting for the men to do. The Tina character that Ella and Rana meet on their errands is an example of gender defiance because she is a transsexual woman. Her ambiguity makes her disobedient to the norms of the community. Despite society’s rules, she is content and
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