Gender Stereotypes In Brooklyn Toibin

1000 Words4 Pages
‘In this text, it is the men who are the decision makers.’ Do you agree? Colm Toibin’s novel Brooklyn depicts the transatlantic journey of its heroine Eilis Lacey, and all the exhilaration and turmoil that come with her migration experience. Set in a place and period where male members in the patriarchal society are the decision makers. Toibin portrays there is uncompromising religion ethos and traditional gender expectations in both Enniscorthy and Brooklyn. Although while the broader social context may be unsympathetic to women as decision makers, the text does present strong, proficient female characters who make important decisions. Toibin portrays this prominently within characters of Eilis and Rose Lacey. The conservative, traditional…show more content…
Essentially, Eilis’ immigrant experience in Brooklyn is characterised by a sense of loss and nostalgia. Plagued by homesickness and the “weight of loss”, she “hated the house” and struggles to adapt. Father Flood’s comment, “you’re homesick, that’s all” represents the expectation that sadness emerges from migration and that, eventually, familiarity will triumph over sadness. Father Flood makes it his responsibility to enrol Eilis at Brooklyn College to study bookkeeping, convincing her by saying that ‘ it would keep [her] busy and.. [she] would get a good qualification.’ He believed he had the authority to ‘pull strings [at] most places’ and ‘breaking all the rules’ to get the best college first. When Eilis begins to build a relationship with Tony, Rose makes an informed decision to acquaint Father Flood about this. Eilis felt ‘almost sorry that she had told Rose’ and was aware that she must have asked Father Flood to meet Tony and inspect what his character was like. Father Flood therefore had the authority to preside whether Tony was suitable for Eilis. Although after meeting Tony he decides that Tony was a ‘solid man’ who seemed ‘respectable and decent.’ The roles illustrated by the men in the text, particularly Father Flood, reflect the authority of fabricating decisions by male members of the
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