Luna Family Dynamic Analysis

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Gender Roles and the Effect on Family Dynamic in the Novel Luna
In the book Luna by Julie Ann Peters, the family dynamic is dysfunctional due to the prevailing societal norms that dictate gender roles and gender expectations. Luna is a novel about a transsexual teenager, his decision to transition, and the effects of this on his family dynamic. The gender role struggle is evident in Liam’s and Regan’s relationship with their macho father, Jack, who embraces society’s traditional gender roles. The gender role struggle is also apparent in the relationship between the father, Jack, and the mother, Patrice, who transitions from a stay-at-home mother to a working mother. Furthermore, the dynamic between Liam and his younger sister Regan also becomes
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Regan is the most supportive of Liam and his transition but she too has to grapple with the modern societal constraints of gender expectations from a very young age. We see this dynamic for the very first time early in the novel during a flashback when Regan and Liam are young children. While the two are playing house, Liam begs to be the mommy and he wants Regan to be the daddy. Regan is upset because this is a common occurrence. Every time the two play house, Liam always wants to be the mommy. He always cradles her Samantha doll and changes her clothes. Regan says, “That’s all her ever does when he’s mommy, dresses and redresses the babies” (Peters, 2004, E-Book p. 67). By the age of four or five, young children already have very strong gender stereotypes that have been shaped by parental influence as-well-as exposures in school and exposures to things like media and books. As a result, it is apparent that even at this young age there is tension in the relationship between Liam and…show more content…
The entire family is forced to live up to the traditional gender roles that they do not agree with which creates a great deal of dysfunction. As a result, Patrice feels as though she is drowning in despair trying to live up to the expectations of being a good wife and mother while setting aside her own wants and desires. She is trying desperately to remain neutral regarding Liam’s sexuality and to hold her family together. For many years, Liam has been hiding and suppressing his feelings to transition and only confides in Regan for fear of being a disappointment to his father. Regan is caught in between trying to be a supportive sister and confidant for Liam while also trying to navigate her teenage years and be an obedient daughter. Jack is battling his own demons and is in denial about Liam’s sexuality and the stability of his family. Jack is a product of his environment and of his upbringing. As the head of the family Jack is responsible for the dysfunctional family dynamic and he is the one who can shift the dynamic in a more positive direction if he so chooses
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