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Representations of Masculinity and Femininity in MiguelStreet It has been said about VS Naipauls novel Miguel Street that One of therecurrent themes is the ideal of manliness Kelly 19 To help put into focus whatmanliness is it is important to establish a definition for masculinity as well as itsopposite femininity Masculinity is defined as Having qualities regarded ascharacteristic of men and boys as strength vigor boldness etc while femininity isdefined as Having qualities regarded as characteristic of women and girls as gentlenessweakness delicacy modesty etc Webster The charcters in Miguel Street have beeningrained with the pre- conceived notions of the roles that Trinidadian society dictates formen and women Naipaul not only uses these notions to show the differences of thesexes but takes another step in telling anecdotes of characters showing their anti-masculine and anti- feminine features This will lead to the discovery that our definitionsof masculinity and femininity prove that those characteristics apply to the opposite sex inwhich the women often act like men and the men often act like women All of this willbe discussed through looking at both male and female characters in the book as well asthe boy narrator of the book Finding examples of manliness are found with great ease considering that 12 ofthe 17 stories in some way deal with the theme of manliness Thieme 24 It doesnt takelong before the first example a carpenter named Popo is introduced In the chapter titledThe Thing Without A Name we are told that Popo never made any money His wifeused to go out and work and this was easy because they had no children Popo said Women and them like work Man not made for work Naipaul 17 This attitudeimmediately makes Popo stand out from the rest of the men of Miguel Street Hat acharacter that will be discussed later deems Popo as a man- woman Not a proper manNaipaul 17 because Popos wife makes all the money From this
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