Liz Murray's Breaking Night

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The application of a gendered lens while reading Liz Murray’ Breaking night opens up new possibilities for under-standing homelessness that move beyond the mainstream. It facilitates the understanding that although it’s a horrible situation for everyone, men and women both, homelessness affects people of different genders in different ways. From thorough analysis of the book, the gender of an individual appears to be a critical factor in explaining the various responses to homelessness, effects of homelessness, crime and violence as a result of homelessness and the emergence of the unique contradicting stereotypical image of a woman. Men and women tend to make different choices in life – seeking help or not, taking risks or not, focusing on financial security. In Liz Murray’s Breaking Night, homeless women tend to seek help faster and make it a result of their own will. For instance, Liz’s mom adopted Ron, Leonard Mohn and Brick, as friends or lovers, for monetary assistance and shelter even when she was in a relationship with Peter…show more content…
As Liz Murray shares after she had decided to end her relationship with Carlos, “my thoughts fixated on the people in my own life, and how they defined my options”(Murray, 235). Her realization that she is dependent upon others showcases the severity of her experience. The fact that Liz’s survival depended upon various individuals shows the level of frustration that must have developed as she acknowledged her incapability to enforce the changes she wanted in her life. Simply, she was powerless. Likewise, so was Jean Murray. “With daddy in prison, Ma had trouble managing her mental health while caring for Lisa at the same time” (Murray, 25). Jean Murray had to temporarily forgo her own daughter because she couldn’t manage life by herself; she needed her Peter Finnerty to help

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