The Boy Essay

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Semansky's essays and reviews appear regularly in journals and newspapers. In this essay, Semansky considers ideas of identity in Hacker's poem.

Human beings are not "essentially" female or male in any kind of set manner. Rather they become aware of their gendered identity in specific situations, when they are called upon to behave or think in a particular way, or when certain words position them as male or female. Hacker's poem explores the territory of gender and self-recognition, as its narrator inhabits one gender, then another, in response to the words and worlds in which she finds herself.

It seems natural to categorize people according to their sex, and one commonly hears statements describing certain kinds of behavior as "male" or "female." Indeed, conventional feminism is rooted in the notion that all women share something that sets them apart from men. It is this "something" that sanctions much...

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This section contains 1,409 words
(approx. 4 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy The Boy Study Guide
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Poetry for Students
The Boy from Poetry for Students. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.