The Altar Of The Family Analysis

1242 Words5 Pages
English Essay
Texts used : The Altar of the Family and At Seventeen

Traditionally, society views males as strong, aggressive, dominant and unemotional individuals while females play unimportant and demure roles within society. Sheila Morehead’s “At Seventeen” and Michael Wilding’s “The Altar of the Family” challenge this idea of masculinity and gender roles, “The Altar of the Family” especially does this as the protagonist of the short story is a young boy, David. David is constructed to challenge the stereotypes of masculinity and through this the author is able to push the message that being a man doesn’t mean you need to conform to these gender stereotypes and not conforming to the stereotypes doesn’t result in being a failure as a person. “At Seventeen” and “The altar of the family” are constructed to make you agree that being masculine doesn’t require conforming to male stereotypes. Both authors use characterisation, point of view, descriptive language and conflict to convey this opinion.

Characterisation in both texts help push the idea that manhood isn’t just about being strong, emotionless and almost robot like. David from The Altar of the Family completely flips masculinity on its head by being a “damn grown boy playing with dolls” this quote tells us that David is different than his normal male counterpart but also asks the reader the question of what defines manhood and if playing with dolls is a non-masculine thing for a male to do. David also is insulted
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