Paul Theroux's 'Shaping Into The Ideal Man'

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Michelle Chavez Prof. D. Hasell English 1301- (29154) October 9, 2014 Shaping Into the Ideal Man In Paul Theroux’s “Being a Man,” Theroux proclaims his dislike of being a man, and the stigma that comes with it. Theroux declares that being a man revolves around being manly, and proving one’s own manliness. He finds the word “manly” to be insulting, due to the hidden meaning behind it. He describes his inner turmoil over the mold society has shaped men into, and does not feel the need to conform to society’s standard of being a man. Theroux’s story defines the concept of being a man as destructive, restrictive, and a social hindrance. Theroux believes manliness is destructive towards a man’s ego. Theroux insists that being manly separates men from women, and insists on superiority. This causes men to think of women as puzzles, and a constant annoyance. Theroux also mentions that femininity implies needing a man as “witness,” and “seducer,” but masculinity is solely reserved for men. Young girls are urged to please adults, while boys are allowed to behave like animals. This insinuates women must remain as decorative pieces and on constant alert to a man’s inadequacy. Due to this, Theroux believes it denies men a “natural friendship”…show more content…
He uses the president as an example to amplify the deliberateness to please. Theroux describes the president’s cowboy attire as a sign of his own insecurity, and the persona he is expected to display. Theroux also suggests that sports furthermore contribute to boys becoming social misfits, and harmful to society in the future. Theroux remarks that he found sports to be “wasteful,” and “humiliating,” and found them to be far worse than marijuana. The pedestal athletes are placed upon, will affect boys who do not find sports to be appealing to reflect on themselves, and believe there is something wrong with

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