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Gender Roles in Two Versions of Poem “The Giving Tree”
At times, people’s responses to seemingly simple questions reveal their outlook about the complex aspects of a society. The poll results between the ‘boy’ and ‘girl’ version of the poem “The Giving Tree” reveal how gender plays a role when people judge the actions of individuals.
In both the ‘boy’ and ‘girl’ version of the poem, the trees, and the boy and the girl act in exact same ways. However, it is surprising that people’s outlook regarding their actions is different. People are harsher on the ‘girl’ in comparison to the ‘boy’ in some situations based on her predestined gender role in the society. It is expected for a ‘girl’ and the ‘boy’ to have some traits in their personalities and act in a certain way in the society. Hence, the number of votes in the poll point toward the fact that the readers dislike their actions when the characters seem to divert from their preset gender roles.
Gender plays a crucial role when people judge the actions of individuals owing to predetermined gender roles in the society. People have different expectations for both of the genders and for that reason, the same action is considered right for one and wrong for the other. At times, people are aware of their bias in these expectations but they regard it as a natural phenomenon to set different standards for both the genders.
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