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A Critical Analysis and Literary Criticism on Gender and Representations

The world is changing at a quicker pace, a factor that is prompting researchers to critique and interrogate some of the commonly discussed topics. Gender and representations are among those topics raising concerns and heated arguments among modern populations. For instance, there are diverse perceptions and beliefs about feminism, what it entails, and how the contemporary world handles those topics. The scholar, therefore, critiques several sources revolving around the subject using critical analysis and literary criticism to interrogate their information and expound their take on the topic. A critical analysis involves evaluating another person’s work, thus engaging in the text and understanding it better (Singh 1). Contrarily, literary criticism consists of the study, analysis, and evaluation of a source to ascertain the consistency and validity of the presented information (Thamarana 381). Essentially, the two techniques will ensure the researcher analyses and critique the texts exhaustively, enabling readers to understand the texts better.

Butler, Judith. Gender Trouble: Feminism and the Subversion of Identity

In chapter one of the journal, the author talks about the feminist debates and what it takes to define gender in contemporary times. The author divides the text into three sections to handle the topic exhaustively. The first sections interrogate feminism, sex, and gender distinction. The second part talks about psychoanalysis, prohibition, and the formation of the heterosexual matrix. In contrast, the last part discusses subversive bodily acts. The three parts discuss feminism, articulating its relation to the female gender. For instance, in the first part, Judith expresses that womanhood, the central concept of feminism, was initially understood at a distinctive scope, characterizing women in more stable and abiding terms (Judith 23). Recently, individuals have used a more liberal criterion to categorize and understand feminism, which goes past the sex status. As a result, society perceives women as more than subjects of feminism and a symbol to distinguish a person’s sex or gender.

Analysis, The author organizes the source sequentially and provides all the information about the topic. For instance, she uses clear illustrations and simple phrases to understand the text easily. Furthermore, Butler uses headings and subheadings, making it easier to tract a specific concept and understand it. The author also uses relevant vocabulary to describe the broad idea of women and articulate it to feminism using outside sources to substantiate the claims. The core points of the paper are further arranged coherently and revolve around sex, gender and desire without digressing. Essentially, Butler uses the source to disseminate the target groups’ knowledge effectively. The author targets individuals in the 20th century, especially politicians and psychologists, articulating how womanhood and feminism are not concepts about being born into, but a person has to become their persona. The source is undoubtedly unbiased, and she appeals to the audience by requesting them to remain open-minded.

Butler, Judith. Performative Acts and Gender Constitution: An Essay in Phenomenology and Feminist Theory.

Summary The article further tackles the feminism theory topic, using phenomenological traditions to expound more on gender constitution and female acts. For instance, Buttle asserts that most individuals and philosophers perceive humans as mundane, exemplifying their realities to social agents through language, symbols, and language. As a result, those scholars understand and judge womanhood based on the phenomenological traditions, thus believing that women must identify with particular acts and adopt the identity to become a predetermined person. However, Buttler’s thoughts complement Simone de Beauvoir’s reiterate that womanhood and feminism are identities instituted over time and that embracing the gradual growth enables a woman to grow past the personality coined on a specific gender (Judith 530). What bothers Buttle is the ability of society to unwittingly relate the female fender to feminism without basing it on a more heterosexual scope. Essentially, she bases her arguments on the idea that women should not wait for an expression of womanhood or feminism but should handle the growth and determine their personalities.

Analysis Buttle organizes the source sequentially, introducing the concepts and then describing them exhaustively. Further, she organizes the work in subheadings, making it easy to track the flow of the content and understand it better. The author uses descriptive rhetoric to present readers’ facts, opinions, and persuasions. As a result, any reader can follow the text and understand it clearly. Buttle presents the concepts clearly, using a single paragraph to represent each idea independently and clearly without risking ambiguity. The text does not show any sign of biasness, and the author presents the arguments distinctively, highlighting her opinions and other people’s work. For instance, she uses other sources in the field to validate her claims and challenge other people’s views. Additionally, she highlights the authors of those sources in the form of footnotes for any scholar to research more on the topic and avoid conducting research malpractices. The source appeals to women and psychologists, prompting them to be more open-minded and approach the concept of feminism theory in a broader scope.

Connell, Robert William. Masculinities.

Summary In the book’s third chapter, Connell interrogates the gender concept, explicitly focusing on masculinity. The author highlights how social scientists within the twentieth century have failed to produce coherent research findings but instead generalized the masculinity concept. As a result, scholars and researchers have continually picked a single trait or feature that is masculine and extrapolated it to all men. The practice only presents a cultural account of the male gender and does not expound on masculinity (Connell 67). Further, the author highlights that for researchers to interrogate the masculinity concept, they must relate it to feminism since most cultures, including American and European, treat the two ideas relationally. Connell acknowledges the diversity in gender relations affecting both sexes and highlights those political and social drivers that incentivize the concepts. Social scientists should focus on an enormous scope when reaching about masculinity to get the historical perspective and enough. As a result, they will correlate the two genders and get a precise articulation of masculinity without any biasness.

Analysis Connell commences the chapter by prompting readers to take a historical dive into the concept of masculinity, thus tracking the idea’s gradual growth. Furthermore, the take presents a research gap, social scientists’ inability to research the topic extensively, which is the basis of his paper and validates the chapter’s purpose. His introductory part defines what cultures refer to masculinity, starting from a broad perspective and narrowing it down. Further, the author divides the text into subheadings, presenting all the contexts cultures use to categorize masculinity, including social, historical, and political. The author uses narrative rhetoric, explaining what cultures and societies perceive masculinity in prose form. The ideas are arranged seamlessly, flowing from one paragraph to the other. Although the author is opinionated, he incorporates his peer’s views on the text, validates the work, and removes aspects of biasness. The author appeals to his audience to consider the two genders, thus ascertaining what masculinity comprises and does not.

Rubin, Gayle S. Thinking Sex: Notes for A Radical Theory of The Politics of Sexuality.

Summary In chapter nine of his book, Rubin explains the representation of sexuality among modern societies. For instance, like other human activities, sexuality is dominated by conflicts of interest and political involvement, which result in inequities, internal politics, and modes of oppression (Rubin 143). The author further reiterates that societies pass over specific heritages that influence generations repeatedly, thus affecting their perceptions either negatively or positively. For instance, organizations have had a negative connotation of masturbation, premature sexual interest, excitement, and releases since the nineteenth century. These schools of thought have impacted even modern societies, including sex law acts. Similarly, the ancient ideologies have greatly influenced public perceptions of gay communities and homosexuals. Essentially, Robin bases his text on the idea that sexuality is political, and depending on the perceptions of those in power, societies promote or suppress specific sexuality precepts. Further, Rubin uses the ideologies to draw the relationship between sexuality and feminism. Therefore, organizations will always lean on the perceptions adopted in their cultures and passed over in generations.

Analysis, The author organizes his work, beginning with an introduction, then gradually expounding on the topic and then summing up the chapter. He further provides topic definitions, acknowledgments, notes, thus offering more insights into the presented information. Rubin additionally uses extensive information from peer authors, thus providing a well-researched paper representing views from different viewpoints. The author uses descriptive rhetoric to present the arguments. The style offers ideas precisely, using a simple vocabulary that many individuals can comprehend. As a result, the source passed its information effectively to the intended audience, leaving no room for misinterpretation or ambiguity. Rubin addressed modern societies, guiding them on how to utilize their perceptions of sexuality and feminism for the greater good of humanity.

Foucault, Michel. The history of sexuality: An introduction

Summary Foucault presents an analogy of sexuality and its gradual changes over the years. For instance, societies in the seventeenth century were more progressive in calling sex by its name and incorporating vocabularies around sexuality across many contexts. However, he states that as years went by, those vocabularies were expunged from daily conversations, and societies highly filtered statements, keenly choosing which languages to use in which platforms (Foucault 42). However, regardless of the initiatives to root the bourgeois concepts, individuals still promote the ideologies, although not explicitly expressed. Such developments have been due to the repressive hypothesis, whereby societies have found ways to filter sexuality and promote the bourgeois culture. Further, the prohibition of sex perceptions’ promotion has led to the eruption of unorthodox and unprecedented sexualities among modern societies. Essentially, Foucault argues that preventing the advertising of certain perceptions attracts more concern for the subject, and communities devise ways to offset the existing barriers.

Analysis The source provides a clear account of the progressive growth of sexuality across centuries, keenly noting the changes, how they happened and what contributed to them. The outline is advanced, based on the timeline starting from the ancient practices in the introduction and highlighting the modern approach in the concluding part. The author uses narrative rhetoric, proving all the source’s facts continuously. He further interrogates other sources from like-minded authors and scholars of contrasting opinions. As a result, the author validates his work and presents information from all sides of the discussion, thus avoiding biasness. The source’s target audience is modern societies, aiming to teach them the evolution of sexuality and highlight some significant ways the concept has changed over time. Essentially, the author appeals to the community to use the peak of sexuality propagation in modern times for exemplary purposes.

The analysis and criticism present a clear picture of various authors’ thoughts on gender and the representation of ideologies. Often, authors ascertain a close relationship between feminism and masculinity, and that researcher must consider the two to establish an accurate representation of each. Additionally, both concepts are not merely based on the sexual categorization of each person, but people grow into the persona they wish. The analysis also shows that power influences people’s perceptions and whether promoted or denied, they always reach the next generations. The authors use various rhetoric styles to present their arguments clearly and concisely. Furthermore, they integrate other people’s work into theirs for validation, viewing both positive and negative perceptions of other authors on their opinions, thus evading biasness. Additionally, the authors arrange their work clearly in subheadings, and also presenting a single idea in a paragraph, and properly citing the resources. The analysis and criticism help the scholar understand the concepts better.

Works cited

Butler, Judith. Gender trouble: feminism and the subversion of identity. (1999).

Butler, Judith. Performative acts and gender constitution: An essay in phenomenology and feminist theory. Routledge, 2020.

Connell, Robert William. Masculinities. Routledge, 2020.

Foucault, Michel. The history of sexuality: An introduction. Vintage, 1990.

Rubin, Gayle S. Thinking sex: Notes for a radical theory of the politics of sexuality. Routledge, 2007.

Singh, Ajit. Critical Analysis and Writing the Critique. Available at SSRN 3838393 (2021).

Thamarana, Simhachalam. A Critical Overview of Literary Criticism and Its Relevance to Literature. International Journal of English, Language, Literature and Humanities 3.9 (2015): 381-393.


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