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Gender Bias in Literature Men Fix ThingsGirls Have Dolls -Shirley B Ernst I have thought about many different ways to organize this paper and have come to the conclusion that the best way to approach the topic is on a book-by-book basis My perceptions of the gender biases in these books vary greatly and I did not want to begin altering my views on each so that they would fit into certain contrived connections What interests me most in these stories is how the authors utilize certain characters within their given environment Their instincts and reactions are a wonderful window into how the authors perceive these people would interact with their surroundings and often are either rewarded or punished by the author through consequences in the plot for their responses Through this means we can see how the authors expect their characters to behave in relation to their post in the world We must be very careful as readers to judge these biases based only on evidence within the text and not invent them from our own psyche due to the individual world we know In Louis Sachars award winning book Holes we see gender biases in many characters The first and most obvious bias in this book can be found in the way Sachars characters address Mr Pendanski one of the staff members at Camp Green Lake Many of the boys refer to him sarcastically as mom and it is not because of his loving nature Mr Pendanski is neurotic about things the boys consider trivial and he has a tendency to nag them Because Mr Pendanski is portrayed as the antithesis of Mr Sir who simply drips testosterone others view him as a female for his weakness The fact that Sachar allows his characters to equate weakness with femininity or more accurately motherhood shows a certain bias towards the supposed strength that innately accompanies masculinity This attitude is only furthered by the fact
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