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Prayer and Parable (A prayer for Some of What was Lost) (Essay Sample)


Paul Maliszewski's stories are often filled with men who have conflicting ideas of what it means to be a good boyfriend, fiancé , husband, or father. What does society tell men about what it means to be a man? What do you think it really means to be a man? What do Maliszewski's characters tell us about masculinity? Discuss three instances of male characters in these stories, and how they either live up to or don't live up to the societal expectations of manliness, masculinity, or what it means to be a good husband, boyfriend, or father. You can either discuss three different stories with characters who face these issues, or discuss three characters who deal with these problems--and they all might be in the same story. (Examples: Thom from "Okay", The Admiral from "Prayer for What They Said", the husband or the fiance from "Prayer for an Answer".)


Prayer and Parable
Author’s Name
Institutional Affiliation
Instructor’s Name
Prayer and Parable
A prayer for Some of What was Lost
Gender socialization is the process through which men and women are educated on their roles, norms, behavior, value and beliefs as members of society. different social settings attribute gender roles and expectations in the most intense period of socialization that is through childhood. As a result, adult comply young ones to act by instructing their conduct and behavior especially when surrounded by other genders (Clare, 2012). This is elaborated through the stories in the book Prayer and parable. The narrator is clearly influenced by his father figure and her behavior shifts in response to an adult in the particular setting. The narrator who is depicted at an adult stage, reflect his actions during childhood and wonders why he behaved in the given manner. Through the story A Prayer for some of what was Lost the narrator recounts the countless times he was forced to change his behavior and how this remains a memory.
What it means to be a Man?
Society emphasizes the idea that men have to show courage and take position in different subjects as superiors. As such, from a young age men are taught to dominate society and take positions of power. In the book prayer and parables, the narrator by playing with a girl is considered to be girlish even through it is a play. To be a man describes an ideology embedded in the context of ‘manning up’ as living to the exceptions. Thus, the definition of being a man grapples with the idea of masculinity and dominance from both social and political point of views. It refers to the ideology of limited spaces for being a man as a whole. As such, when we define the term to be a man, we are quickly inclined to assume that being a man is to be aggressive, loud, determinant, violent and dominant. This is expressed in different occasions in the book, prayer and parables. Nonetheless, being a man is often defined by gender presentation, how one performs maleness and masculinity.
What it really means to be A Man
Clearly, society puts too much pressure in what it means to be a man. There are a number of unnatural and negative pressure that limits men from achieving their inner emotions and needs. Valentine (2015), examines what it means to be a man and explains that of all the men surveyed they expressed concerns on being a man as reflective of how society sees them. To this accord, being a man translates to acting like your bigger brothers, uncles or father. There are little skills employed in the nurturing skills that determine what or who a man is. In the present society, the girl child is nurtured to be a woman, she is added with social privileges that help to set her apart from the male child. This allows the girl child to work on her emotions, reactions, words and skills. However, being a man, one is left to self-education as a means of being a true man. A term that has been coined to ‘manning up.’
As such, being a man is directly related to nurturing the next generation in understanding what is right and wrong. Unlike the ideology that men should evaluate and copy from the existing examples, it would be beneficial to allow men to make choices on who they are, what they would like to do and how they want to do it. Being a man is acting on personal emotions, tolerating others and helping when the need comes. Being a man is not to reject your emotions, it is to ask for help when in crisis, acting on emotions, embracing the difference that is present in society and rejecting toxic masculinity. Basically, it is to stop bias and judgement inequality and start uplifting those around you.
What does Maliszewski's Characters Tell Us About masculinity
The characters from the book Parables and prayers align with societal expectation of what it means to be a man. The description made by the narrator points to the fact that a man should not attract attention and seek to dominate. As mentioned by Clare (2012) he cut his way through the gathering to get to the kitchen. The reference being deployed by the fact that he was to act as unobtrusive. To this accord, the boy has been taught to be dominant and the male figure that does not comply to rules. The ideology is further characterized when it is mentioned that he met a man and a woman who complimented on how big he was becoming. The element of being big describes being a man as being masculine and demanding authority. As the pet crab grabs to the hand of the man, he carries on and denies any help offered to him. Therefore, he lives t

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