Gender Conflicts In Black Green's Black Swan Green

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While the plot of Black Swan Green principally depicts a male protagonist, Jason, and his development despite pressures imposed by other male antagonists (Wilcox, Mr. Nixon, his father, etc…), it is the female characters in the novel that inspire Jason to resolve his conflicted image. In the era of this novel, and even now (though depublicized by gender equality movements), the development of boys was considered to be radically different than that of young woman. Boys were supposed act cool around bullies(Ross) and older cousins(Hugo), play violent social games and smoke. Unfortunately for Jason, his “Inside-You”, the person that he really is, does not align itself with these socially acceptable practices. Instead, he elects to write poetry,…show more content…
This unavoidable conflict between who Jason is and who he 's is supposed to be, is what drives his struggle in the novel, a struggle only perpetuated by his male “superiors”. It is only with close connection to, and wisdom from, female characters that Jason is able to eventually clarify himself and make his “One-You” clear. While the men of the story, like Mr. Nixon and Uncle Brian, focus purely on achievement and success, women look at Jason from a more balance perspective. It is Mme. C, for example, that first verbalizes the conflict that Jason carries within himself. She says, “If you are not truthful to the world about you and what you are, your art will stink of falsenesses”(154). Mme. C calls upon Jason to reveal Eliot Bolivar to the world. She means for him to realize that, unless he finds the strength and the courage to shed his developed false image, his poetry, the thing he cherishes most, the figurative encapsulation of Jason, will inevitably lose its value. His falseness, in a sense, plagues the beautiful realities of his poems, which are symbols for Jason’s self. In many ways, Mme. C is Jason 's call to reality. In a…show more content…
When it comes to his family, Jason aligns his ideals with and draws his inspiration almost entirely from his mother and Julia. While certain scenes present the father in a tolerable light, the chapter ‘Souvenirs’ stands as a symbol for the discourse in their father-son relationship. Jason’s dad is actually far to similar to his son, as shown by the quickness with which he shirked from an altercation with his boss, to serve as a proper role model. In the later half of that same chapter, however, Jason recounts “I had no idea mom could be so bulletproof”(193) when depicting how she stood up to the spoiled, highschool thieves. Far more than just a juxtaposition to the father’s frailness, the mother’s action serve as an idealized metaphor for Jason’s own struggles. By watching his mom stand up to people of a higher, privileged class, Jason is meant to be inspired to reject torment from the ‘elite’ of his own grade school microcosm(the bullies). Though rocky at the start of the novel, the relationship between Jason and his sister Julia develops with the plot and, upon conclusion, she also reveals herself as a role model and advocate of Jason’s “Inside-You”. In a way that echoes the actions of her mother, Julia too stands up to an arrogant authority. She tells Uncle Brian that “I intend to study law in Edinburg, and all the Brian Lambs of tomorrow will have to do their networking without me”(52). A beautiful exemplar for Jason, Julia refuses to let the popular beliefs of others
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