The poem Those Winter Sunday by Robert Hayden brings out the theme of gender and sexuality brilliantly. This paper is going to feature the issues of gender and sexuality in the society in reference to the poem. Gender,in this context, means differentiation between masculine and feminine, while on the hand, sexuality is the capacity for sexual feelings. Generally, gender and sexuality have different stands, numerous questions are being asked on the same while in numerous cases the relationship between the two cannot be traced. What is taught is practiced as little as understood as ever. It is evident that the present cultures are more preoccupied with sex and sexuality; immense social pressures are escalating everyday around sex.
The poem brings out a determined father, who had things done as a man. The first line of the first canto reads, Sundays too my father got up early to put his clothes on the blue back cold (Line 1). Thisreveals a man who had control of everything in his house; his son was able to count on him. The father in the poem did not care if his son appreciated any deeds he did to him; his acts on his son was unconditional.
The poem stages the conflict of ability between a son and his dad. The roles of genders are aspects everyone can relate to, whether we fall for it or not. The setting of poem occurs in the early 1900s, where roles of gender were distinguished, unlike what is happening today. However, it is unclear why Robert Hayden decided to use the relationship a father has with his son instead of taking us through mother- son relationship. Maybe it is what he experienced in his real life. There are no second chances in life; favors are to be returned promptly, the man in the poem is full of regrets on how he treated his father who happens to have passed on.
In the poem, it is clear that the girl child has been neglected and concentration centered on the boy child. The father in the context despises the perception of people that it is okay for boys unlike girls to look dirty and full of mud. He desired that his son appears neat. Speaking indifferently to him (line 10), who had driven out the cold (line 11) and and polished my good shoes as well (line 12). The relationship men have with God for ages have been said to be weak, compared to the intimate relationship women have with the Lord. The father in the poem is seen having his appointments on a Sunday morning. This is weird, in that Sundays is that one exceptional day of the week that is designated for relaxing and going to church, the dad does not only wake up early, but also have the courage to get into the cold weather before the sun arises. A low tone has be used to out unveil the poem; this is a proof that men are also soft hearted and influenced with little acts; this tells how men can get influenced.
Women, compared to men, portray great traits that brand them to be responsible, unlike men who are brought up to be irresponsible. The father in the poem is so lenient on his son; he doesnot to like to see his son stretch his hands to get things done. The kind of parenting one is offered counts so much on how one will behave when he/she grows up. The man in the poem who is now a grown up man appears as an irresponsible man owing to how he was brought up by his father; this is evident when he regrets that he should have helped his father conduct various functions. Women unlike men are perceived to be soft and are not to be associated with any kind of hardship; the son in the poem is a lazy individual and full of fear to conduct any procedure. The poem is an illustration of how men can be irresponsible, for ages now mothers have been associated with home chores but Hayden paints a picture of a man who does everything to see to it that his family is in order.
Apart from the being so supportive, the dad in the poem extents his love to his own, what did I know of loves austere and lonely offices? (Last line). Regard to use fairy tales; the poem was not fantasized by the author maybe because Robert wanted to sound real. Use of fairy tales in poems helps in building the imagination of the audience and boosts the cultural literacy of audience. Fairy tales elevates the thinking audience unlike other forms of literacy. Unlike fairy tales, myths use false opinions.Myths play an instrumental role in poetry. It gives a poem the kind of structural focus it deserves, a thematic direction of a poem is built on myths. Integration of myths in a poem gives room for the establishment of character, mood, and imagery. Myths unlike other modes of poetry are more interesting and entertaining. With the use of myths, poems will have a permanent impact on its audience. With methodology, the audience can relate to the events happening in the poem with the occurrences of the real world. Myths work well when the intentions of a poet are to pass certain moral lessons and thoughts.The speaker in the poem desires that every young man should be a go getter and outgoing, he dreams that the act of spoon-feeding men stops. He is a victim of his own circumstances; he is not proud of the kind of man he has become. His thoughts remain with him; men are ungrateful personalities that do not appreciate every act done to them, with cracked hands and that ached from labor in the weekday weather made banked fires blaze. No one ever thanked him. (Line 2) With the kind of attitude portrayed by the men, the man did care to return any favor his father did to him. The son in the context is not proud of his father, instances in real life exist when sons emulate their fathers, and sons become what their fathers are. The characters in the poem are in two different worlds. The way they view life do not rhyme, their ambitions do not match, the son is too blind to a level where he cannot connect to the hard work portrayed his father by emulating his fathers acts. Women in the poem have lost their roles, not in any context of the poem are women seen conducting various functions.
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