When I Was The Greatest: Gender Theory

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Gender theory Applied to The Last Flight and When I Was the Greatest
Gender can have a huge impact on how the reader interprets and understands what they are reading. How genders are portrayed and stereotypes can make all the difference in literature. By applying Gender Theory to novels and texts, readers can better understand the importance of gender. The definition of Gender Theory is: “The portrayal of a particular gender in a literary piece and the effects of that portrayal” (Davidson). Gender Theory can be applied to the novels The Last Fight By Julie Clark and When I Was the Greatest by Jason Reynolds to interpret and analyze the meaning of the novels to a deeper level. When Gender Theory is applied, several points can be supported, …show more content…

In the article “Gender stereotypes”: “Traditionally feminine traits include nurturing actions [...] and feminine manners, while male traits are regarded as strength, aggression, and an outgoing nature”. This links males and females with different types of emotions and composers based on those emotions. When Noodles and Ali get busted for going to the party by John, he tells them: “I ain't got enough mad for both of y'all, so since you my responsibility, I'm gonna save all the mad for you” (Reynolds 102). This shows that John is using his aggression to be a father figure and set an example for the boys. John cares for the boys and he portrays that through his aggression and strength as a role model to them. When Doris is talking to her Jazz and telling her that she has plenty of good qualities, Doris tells Jazz: “You love first, and that’s always a good thing” (Reynolds 48). Jazz is supporting the female stereotype because she is said that she will love first. It shows that she is more willing to show kindness and love compared to others. This outward compassion for the female stereotype separates it from the outward aggression of the male …show more content…

Many plot elements occur because of Noodles, who is very hot-headed and doesn’t have the best judgment. According to “Effects of Parental Absence on Male Adolesants” by Lee A. Beaty: “Deficits which can be linked to early father deprivation might be [...] susceptible to subsequent interventions. The connection between these dysfunctions and problems such as [...] socially maladaptive behaviors is rather easy to conceptualize”. This shows that the lack of a father figure has an effect on young males and Noodles is a great example of this. When Noodles tried to start a fight for a free haircut, Ali states: “I already knew what he was doing. He was pulling the same crab he always pulls. I stood up to make sure he didn’t do nothing crazy” (Reynolds 84). This shows that Noodles’ hot-headedness tends to get him into trouble and Ali is used to it. Noodles most likely acts this way because his father left and the effect it had on him. Noodles’ short-fuse is one of the main reasons why the characters get into many different predicaments. That is why it is a sensible choice for him to be an adolescent male due to what the research describes. Genders of characters are chosen for specific reasons and it can be backed with logical reasoning and

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