Free Essay

Societal Expectations

In: English and Literature

Submitted By lina1962
Words 1789
Pages 8
Societal expectations for acceptance. The way individuals choose to carry themselves in everyday life is affected by societal expectations. These societal expectations are sort of an unofficial guideline by which individuals live their lives. Whether it’s gender roles or just wanting to be accepted by others, people feel the need to “live” according to these guidelines. As time progresses so do the “guidelines” and if the individuals cannot keep up with these norms, they can be left behind or deemed as an outcast. Gender roles seem to be the most common. From the day a child is born societal norms are placed on them. For example a young boy’s room will be probably be blue and filled with sports items, while a young girls room will be pink and be filled with dolls and a play kitchen set. These small details, along with expectations, begin to shape their role in society. “Barbie Q” by Sandra Cisneros is a perfect example of societal expectations. In this short story Cisneros introduces two young girls who are playing with their Barbie dolls. The girls go into great detail when describing their dolls and the outfits the dolls are wearing. One can conclude that the girls are poor when the main character tells the reader that they only have one outfit for their dolls. They even had to make a dress from a sock because they could not afford other outfits. This is further illustrated when the girls begin describing how they will play with the dolls. Everyday the two girls play out the same story with the two Barbies fighting over an invisible Ken doll. One day when walking through a market, the young girls discover a set of dolls that have been damaged by a fire in the toy warehouse. Although the dolls are not clean and still smell of smoke, the girls do not mind. As long as they can dress their Barbies with the outfits and continue to play with them they will be happy. The main character in Barbie-Q, the narrator, is the young owner of one of the Barbie dolls. She pays very close attention to detail when describing both of the girls’ Barbies. When telling the other girl how her Barbie should act, dress and interact with the other Barbie, she is acting out society’s expectation. This is evident when the narrator tells the other girl “Your Barbie is roommates with my Barbie, and my Barbie’s boyfriend comes over and your Barbie steals him,”(Cisneros 244). The Barbies will be fighting over a boyfriend. The young girl most likely acting out from what she sees in her environment. The girl also states, “Because we don’t have money for a stupid looking boy doll when we’d both rather ask for a new Barbie outfit”(Cisneros 244). From this line one can assume that the girl is more worried about getting another outfit, and making her Barbie doll look the best it can look, rather than getting another doll to play with. These girls are less fortunate and don’t have enough money, and this may be the reason why she states this. Another reason she may say this is because she wants her doll have the newest outfit and look the best it can. Overall the girl’s actions and way she speaks all seem to be a result of what society has taught her. The main character places a lot of value in her dolls and portrays them as perfect beings. As she plays with them and describes them, she is thinking about her own self-image and what society is expecting out of women. It taught her how women should dress, act and the type of life they should live. A Barbie doll is considered to be the “perfect girl” to many people in society. Barbie dolls have the perfect hair; make up, outfit, smile, etc. However, in reality, people are flawed. Towards the end of this story, the young girl mentions all of the dolls’ defects after the warehouse fire– a melted foot and smelly hair, but these imperfections do not change the Barbie dolls’ purposes. The doll can still be dressed up and played with. Therefore, while society places these stereotypes on how women should dress and act in the “perfect way,” in the end the young girl realizes that no matter how many physical imperfections a person has, it does not change who they truly are.
At the end of the story the girl in “Barbie-Q”, comes to the realization that one must fight these societal expectations. People may often wonder what the “We”, or society in this case, will do. “Barbie Q” and an essay by Amit Marcus can be used as examples of how someone will deal with these societal expectations. Amit Marcus states in his essay, “Dialogue and Authoritativeness in “We” Fictional Narratives, that “We” fictional narratives usually challenge the norms and values accepted by the group. In “Barbie Q” by Sandra Cisneros this can be seen. The narrator seems to challenge the “norm” of what is expected out of women in society by the use of “we.” Although this short story brings forth most of the problems associated with societal expectations, it also helps give insight on how people should deal with these expectations. Marcus describes three types of “We” in his essay, the authoritative, internally persuasive, and disorienting discourse. “Barbie Q” takes on the authoritative discourse and creates rigid boundaries between the discourse of the speaker and the discourses of others. The authoritative “we” fictional narrative is either unconditionally accepted or completely rejected. In the case of “Barbie Q”, the young girl dictates by using “we”, and her words are unconditionally accepted. Despite not being written in first person plural, it cannot escape the “we” discourse due to its subject matter. The narrator gives her thoughts and no other character speaks throughout the story. She controls the situation when she speaks of the Barbies and how they will be playing with them. No other character’s insight is given and it is assumed that the “other” accepts the information given.
The authoritative “we” fictional narrative facilitates the author in making a point about women and societal expectations in the public world. It is targeted to the public world in order to “challenge the norms and values accepted” by most individuals regarding women. The use of authoritative “we” makes the short story more powerful by using the “we” to represent all women. The narrator’s idea of how women should act and dress is represented through the Barbie dolls. She holds the Barbie dolls to a very high standard of perfection. When looking at the Barbie doll she sees what is expected of her and this is in direct relation to what society expects of women. The narrator feels this is the image that she will need to live up to, until she has the realization at the end of the story. When she sees the damaged Barbie doll she accepts her own identity and disregards societal expectation of what she needs to be. It is here that we see the “we” go against the norm. The same “norm” that she held herself to be is no longer there. After reading the short story, “Barbie Q” by Sandra Cisneros and the essay by Amit Marcus, one could conclude that no matter what society dictates as “normal”, the individual will always have the choice to create their own identity and do what they want.
The question many wonder is why do we live according to these expectations? Of course many of the expectations such as gender roles, are done unconsciously. Individuals have been put into these roles their whole lives, so it’s almost second nature to them to act and think the way they do. Not everyone however unconsciously follows these guidelines. Humans are naturally social beings and are seeking acceptance from others. This may be a reason why many feel the need to follow these expectations. Take for example the poem “Constantly Risking Absurdity” by Lawrence Ferlinghetti for example. Ferlinghetti opens the poem by saying “Constantly risking absurdity and death whenever he performs above the heads of his audience” (1-5). He is comparing the life and work of an acrobat to that of a poet. He explains the risk of falling and failing. To the acrobat it would be the risk of falling to his death but to the poet it would be the risk of pouring his heart and soul on paper with the hope that others will be able to relate or see it in an inspiring way. “Death” refers to the audiences failing to understand. In reality both the acrobat and the poet are looking for the audience’s approval and they would go to great lengths to achieve it, even if means looking stupid and absurd. The poet’s and the acrobat’s real purpose of entertainment is for personal reasons. In both cases if the audience is pleased then both the poet and the acrobat have been successful and accepted. The lines “For he’s the super realist who must perforce perceive taut truth” (19-21) best exemplifies the search for the truth to life’s inner meaning. Individuals are on a constant journey to the truth of one’s self. On the journey of inner self-truth one will always find obstacles and dangers on that road. From the rope the reader can see the risks the acrobat and poet are taking to see the truth about humanity. One wrong move and they become vulnerable to other’s judgment and disapproval. Ferlinghetti suggests that one’s success is measured by the audience’s approval. If the audience approves then he will have achieved the “truth” and “beauty”. The “truth” is his own personal understanding of humanity and the “beauty” is the audience’s understanding and appreciation. If he has received their approval and understanding then nothing stands between his personal goals and achievements. In “Constantly Risking Absurdity” it can be said that the poet and the acrobat symbolize the individuals in society and the audience represents society in general. Individuals on a daily base live their lives based on societal expectations and seem to be looking for this acceptance from others. In “Barbie Q”, the girl has also conformed to these societal expectations. The narrator and her Barbie doll are so closely linked that their identities begin to come together as one. The Barbie represents her in a way and according to the narrator if the Barbie doesn’t look its best it will be rejected. The same goes for the individual in society, if they do not act or look a certain way they will most likely be seen as an outcast.

Similar Documents

Free Essay

Death of a Salesman

...The character's internal conflict of outward conformity versus inward questioning is manifested in the novel “Death of a Salesman” written by Arthur Miller, in which he portrayed Willy as a hollow salesman, constantly seeking wealth and fame in his life. Believing in his corrupted version of American Dream, Willy was unable to withdraw himself from his self deluded idea of societal conformity. Throughout the novel, Willy is in a constant state of mental dissillusionment. Containing a strong desire and obligation to fulfill his American Dream, he often contradict himself and thus trying to justify actions and events through nonsense justification. However, traces of Willy natural and subconscious inclinations also constantly show up in the novel. Therefore, as a result, Willy achieved virtually nothing in his life just like his belief in American Dream, which is surreal and intangible as well. Throughout the novel, the outward conformity and inward questioning of Willy often create contradicting tension. Willy often make contradicting statements from his previous assertions in order to conform his later statements into the standard of his American Dream. For example, Willy earlier stated that Biff is lazy, but he later denied Biff's laziness. He does so in order to retain his hope in Biff, wishing that someday he will achieve his American Dream through Biff. Another example of self contradiction is also manifested when Willy said that he will attain a more successful......

Words: 762 - Pages: 4

Free Essay

Death in Expectation

...Death in Expectation English 102: Literature and Composition Fall 2011 Writing Style: MLA Thesis Statement The protagonists in these stories become slaves to expectation which results in their untimely death. Outline I. Introduction II. Differences a. Mrs. Hutchinson’s attitude b. Paul is determined to find luck i. Ambitious ii. Driven iii. Appears Unhappy c. Differing states of sanity III. Similarities d. Little power e. Slaves to expectation f. Did not try to escape IV. The trouble with Mrs. Hutchinson and Paul g. Both characters fall prey to the expectations and pressures of society iv. Paul’s mother v. The towns people h. They both accepted the conclusion of the story V. Conclusion Intense pressure can inevitably bring forth unwarranted loss. Shirley Jackson’s “The Lottery” and D.H. Lawrence’s “The Rocking Horse Winner” each feature characters that face an early death as a result of either personal or societal pressure. The authors show many similarities as well as differences that are evident in the characterization of their protagonists. Despite their parallel endings, Mrs. Hutchinson and Paul display diverse personality traits as well as different states of sanity. It is, however, the similarities that outweigh the differences between these characters. Both exhibit an air of powerlessness to outside forces, while neither......

Words: 958 - Pages: 4

Free Essay

Tim and Funding

...Few memories as a failure on a major project from half a decade ago still vividly remains in memories. As a Research Assistant to Tim, it was my first paid job. Tim, an Engineer, worked in silos and had driver social style to his heart beat. He only communicated the expectations without delving in the details that he had in his mind. Even though the Office space was a closed knit space for 16 students, Tim seldom hung out with people to build personal relationships. He only interacted with others when there was a need. His lack of explanation on why the project was needed had left me wondering regarding purpose and design aspects of the new programming project. I struggled on how to effectively design the project and often sought help from other people, who recommended me that the project needed investment in new programming platform as old platform was incapable of achieving the project objectives. After making almost no progress on the project and wasting time in attempts to make old platform workable, I received a vehement email from Tim, stating that XYZ Inc. was deciding to scale back on funding, as no progress reports were submitted. I was shocked to learn that I was even expected to submit progress reports at the end of quarter on the undertaken project in which I had neither any clue nor communication. As an amiable person, I was too quick to reach an agreement with Tim on project deliverables. I had thought that I would be receiving friendly advice and guidance......

Words: 444 - Pages: 2

Free Essay

Job Preference for Hospitality Industry

...Foreign Literature The career factors used by Richardson (2009) are similar to the pre- and post-entry Expectations examined by Blomme et al. (2009). Blomme et al. found distinct differences in expectations of job content, development opportunities, work-family balance, salary, Performance-related pay and career opportunities. The authors argue discrepancies in what employees expect in the industry and actually experience may lead to negative consequences, such as turnover Richardson (2009) received completed surveys from 379 tourism and hospitality students (25% response) in Australia to measure perceptions of the hospitality industry. The author examined differences between importance and expectations of students on 20 career factors. The authors found discrepancies between what students perceived as important and what they expected in a hospitality career. Richardson concluded hospitality and tourism students do not expect the hospitality and tourism industries to offer them the career factors they feel are important. In addition, the author noted tourism and hospitality students do not have a clear idea of careers and working conditions in the hospitality industry. A study carried out by Chen (2000)    which analysed the perceptions of tourism students’ toward work values concluded that one particular group of students categorized as “income movers” expressed a reduced desire to work in the industry due to poor earnings potential.  Barron......

Words: 445 - Pages: 2

Free Essay

Practical Responsibility I: Normative Expectations

...PRACTICAL RESPONSIBILITY I: NORMATIVE EXPECTATIONS In Chapter II, I have identified a basic objection to any responsibility-based account of action, the fundamental problem. In a nutshell, the concept of action appears to be prior to the concept of responsibility in the logical order of things. If so, then an account of action in terms of responsibility is impossible. I have also suggested that the challenge thus posed could be met with a concept of practical task-responsibility. The aim of this and the next two chapters is to develop such a concept. I will claim that a person is practically task-responsible for ϕing just in case it would be reasonable (in a special sense I will explain in Chapter V) to expect of her that she ϕ. Two major conceptual tasks lie ahead. First, the concept of expectation involved must be clarified. Second, the concept of reasonableness must be explained. These are the respective tasks of the present and the next two chapters. As we will see, both tasks are rather delicate. In both cases, we will see that the fundamental problem reappears at various junctures in the natural course of explanation of the concepts. I begin the chapter by clarifying the distinction between normative and predictive (or descriptive) expectations (section 1). Sections 2-4 proceed to discuss the concept of normative expectations, since the concept of practical task-responsibility is characterized exclusively in terms of normative expectations. After some preliminary......

Words: 5917 - Pages: 24

Free Essay

Thomas Green

...Analyze the Thomas’s situation He proved himself to be very talented and intelligent, but he failed to satisfy the expectations of company and his superiors, Davis and Mcdonald. His direct expression for his ideas and his overly confident and arrogant personality made him to be unable meet office politics. His superior, Davis pointed out that he is “truly disappointed with Thomas’s work” and he has concerns with his “attitude and job performance”. Therefore, now he is situation to be receiving a dismissal in his position. Mistakes 1 (culture, power dependency) Green violates the group’s norms and regulation. Norms is a acceptable standards of behaviour within a group that are shared by group members. It is important because: • Facilitates group’s survival • Increase predictability of member’s behaviour • Decrease embarrassing interpersonal problem for members • Allows members to express central value of group and clarity what’s distinctive about group’s identity • It increase solidarity and cohesiveness His direct expression for his ideas and his overly confident and arrogant personality make him to be unable meet office politics. Green knows his capability and intelligent talent than any other people. Therefore he feels he has a right to express his idea under any circumstances and thinks his actions and choices are always right. More importantly, after his promotion, he admits his legitimate power in the office and thinks his power is equal to the Davis,......

Words: 448 - Pages: 2

Premium Essay

Vision and Mission of Engro Food

...PERFORMANCE MANAGEMENT 1 Objective Objective of this policy is to set a process for managing the performance of the employees so as to achieve the ultimate objective of the organization. By adopting this policy we aim to attain the following objectives: 1 To help employees setting their priorities (objectives) right at the beginning of the year; 2 To align the individual/employees objectives with departmental objectives and the departmental objectives with the organizational objectives; 3 To enable/facilitate evidence based decision making in: a. Determination of compensation packages, wage structure, Salaries adjustment/raises, etc.; b. Employees retention, succession planning, Training &development 4 To identify the strengths and weaknesses of employees to place right men on the right job; 5 To maintain and assess the potential present in a person for further growth and development; 6 To provide a feedback to employees regarding their performance and related status; 7 To improve the working habits of the employees. 2 Scope This policy is applicable to all regular employees of the Organization. 3 Accountabilities 4.1 The Vice Chancellor (VC)/Executive Director (ED) – Based on the five years plan shall ascertain the key result areas for the year. 4.2 Deans shall ascertain their individual faculty’s contribution to achieve the key result areas set by the VC/ED and shall be responsible for the......

Words: 2938 - Pages: 12

Premium Essay

Thomas Green: Power, Office Politics, and a Career in Crisis

...Case Analysis - Thomas Green: Power, Office Politics, and a Career in Crisis 1. What are the different work styles, personalities, and expectations of Davis and Green? There are a number of differences among work style, personalities, and expectations of Davis and Green. First of all, Davis preferred to use market data to support his planning and forecast, convincing others by statistics and diagrams. Perhaps, based on his experience, he has perceived that some of the clients may not be the final decision maker. Showing statistics is one of the easiest ways to make clients to convey the information to superiors. On the other hand, Green preferred to meet with clients face to face and listen carefully to clients’ needs, directly dealing with the issues. He weight clients much over daily routine tasks Besides, even if both of them have high self-esteem, Green, the young man, is more impulsive than Davis. Plus, Green is more likely to express his feeling and comment on issues simply according to his knowledge at the public place. To give inputs, it may have other ways to reach the same results and effects. Unlike Green, Davis was more sophisticated to complain on Green’s attitude by listing the rational points in the email to Division Vice President, which is more persuasive than merely using emotional words. Additionally, with seniority, Davis expected Green, his subordinate, to assist him by providing market data and supporting detail and by developing new market......

Words: 925 - Pages: 4

Free Essay

Timbuk2 Case

...the two characteristics; design quality and process quality allowing for establishing a level of design quality that focuses on the requirement of the customer. (Chase) The most impressive competitive dimension for Timbuk2 is their custom bags are Delivery Speed. Once the order is completed by the customer on the Timbuk2 web site, a custom designed bag reaches the customer two days later. Customers and end consumers now dictate what will be produced, when products will be delivered and what they will pay for that level of service. The local manufacturing for Timbuk2 focus of custom messenger bag is a direct example of the driving need for speed in manufacturing to meet the expectation of customer. Internet ordering capability focuses on the consumer’s increasingly fast-paced lifestyle and expectations to have quality goods fast. (Tompkins) The motivation to start some of Timbuk2 production in China was not just cheap labor costs, but also important was China's fast developing infrastructure, particularly in Shenzhen in southern China, where Timbuk2 has access to a rich supply of materials and the latest...

Words: 313 - Pages: 2

Free Essay

Employee Cover Letter

...Letter Sample 1   305-A Jalan Sultan Mizan Kg Paya Lima, 21200 Kuala Terengganu, Terengganu 21 May 2002 Dear Sir, I am pleased to submit herewith my application for the post of Human Resource Executive in your company. I believe that my qualification and working experience enable me to meet the expectations and demands of the said position. I graduated from London School of Economics (LSE) in Degree of Human Resource & Administration with a Second Class (Upper). I am currently attached with Terengganu Gas as a Junior Human Resource Executive. My academic records as well as my involvements in co-curriculum activities has prepared me for this job and taught me the important of interpersonal skills. As an active person in various activities, I have the opportunities to lead, initiate and manage as well as developing the ability to work with people with different level and social backgrounds. This also allowed me to gain valuable working knowledge. The resume enclosed will provide you with more details of my qualification and experience. I would be very please to discuss to you further on my current duties and achievements as well as the expectation of your current available position in your organization. If you are favorably impressed with my qualifications and experience, I would very much appreciate if you could contact me in advance to set up a meeting to discuss a mutually favorable prospect. You can contact me at the above address or reach me...

Words: 272 - Pages: 2

Premium Essay

Responsible Student Behavior

...Setting high expectations for responsible student behavior is an essential part of any teacher’s education plan. The knowledge and understanding of these expectations will help students learn valuable skills within social settings, as well as teach them the important fact that there will always be consequences to all of their actions. These expectations are effective teaching tools during in-class activities as well as out-of-class activities. One very common in-class activity would be students answering question during any given lesson. It is very common during this time of the school day for students to begin asking questions randomly, which can disrupt the teacher’s rhythm and interrupt the entire lesson. A behavioral expectation for this activity would be for the students to raise their hand when they have a question, and then wait to be called on before they ask it. This behavior will help students understand the value and importance of patience as well as begin to condition them to recognize and accept acceptable patterns of behavior. Another behavioral expectation would be for the students to only ask questions that are relevant to the lesson at hand. It is very easy for young children to drift of topic and begin asking questions about subjects they would rather be discussing. By requiring students to only ask questions that pertain to the immediate topic of discussion, they are more likely to stay focused and gain a better understanding of the lesson being taught....

Words: 1139 - Pages: 5

Premium Essay

One Minute Manager

...The One Minute Manager is a quick read that covers the basics of managing people. It tries to demonstrate that managing people does not have to be a time consuming part of our jobs if done right. The emphasis is on setting goals and establishing clear expectations, praising people by catching them doing something right and correcting poor performance. Each of these parts can theoretically be done without spending a great deal of time. One Minute Goals: The basic idea is to set goals and identify what good results look like. They should be done on paper in 250 words or less. Both the manager and employee should individually review the goals and progress regularly to see whether the result matches the expectation.    The overall idea of this part is that there should be no surprises because everyone involved should clearly understand the expectation.   One Minute Praising: Managers should be trying to catch people doing something right. Managers should tell people in advance that you are going to let them know how they are doing. People should be praised immediately on being caught doing it right. The manager needs to be specific in the praise and tell the person how good it makes you feel and how it helps the organization and other coworkers.   The point of one minute praising is to reinforce positive behavior.   One Minute Reprimands: This is not a formal heavyweight reprimand. It is supposed to be a gentle correction for poor performance. Once again the manager......

Words: 428 - Pages: 2

Free Essay

Unit 6 Discussion

...problems and reinforce successes (Bateman 328). In the Sandwich Blitz business, there is a very good example of how these four steps need to be taken into action. In the Sandwich Blitz organization a problem arose that an employee was writing down hours that were not actually worked. If we go through the four steps of a bureaucratic system setting performance standards would allow for these problems to not arise. If Dalman and Lei set performance standards, an employee would know lying would not be accepted. Setting a performance standard could be as simple as stating an employee must only write hours down that are worked. The second step blends in with the first. If a rule or expectation is written down, measuring performance is making sure the employees are sticking to these expectations and rules. This runs into the third step, if this rule is broken it could then state that if a person is not to do this my may be punished in a certain way. Lastly, the fourth step blends in all previous three steps and allows for correct punishment to be taken into place and make sure all employees know breaking the rules is unacceptable. If Dalman and Lei were to implement these steps into their business, it would allow for a clearer picture as to what is expected within the company. It would allow for that problem to never arise again and for any misunderstanding to be understood. Dalman and Lei must implement these steps immediately. References: BATEMAN. M: Management,......

Words: 304 - Pages: 2

Free Essay

Burlingham Bees

...1. Developing an expectation and conducting analytical procedures * Compare recorded and expected values * Expectations should be developed using * Financial information for comparable prior period(s) giving consideration to known changes * Anticipated results—for example, budgets, or forecasts including extrapolations from interim or annual data * Relationships among elements of financial information within the period * Information regarding the industry in which the client operates—for example, gross margin information * Relationships of financial information with relevant nonfinancial information * Conducting analytical procedures * Decided appropriate level of assurance wanted from substantive testing * Evaluate risk of management overriding controls when developing Advantaged of detailed level expectations versus overall or aggregated level * Detailed has a greater level of assurance * Greater level of predictability * Data may not be available to determine expectation at detailed level 2. Attendance | Weekday | Weekend | Club Seats | $877,800 | $697,128 | Box Seats | $877,800 | $647,980 | General Adult | $403,788 | $321,756 | General Child | $257,488 | $187,688 | Total | $2,416,876 | $1,854,552 | Promotional | Weekday | Weekend | Club Seats | $183,540 | $257,690 | Box Seats | $183,540 | $239,520 | General Adult | $84,428 | $118,934 | General Child | $53,838...

Words: 322 - Pages: 2

Free Essay

Edu 695 Week 2 Dq 2 Common Core Presentation New

...EDU 695 Week 2 DQ 2 Common Core Presentation NEW To Buy This material Click below link http://www.uoptutors.com/edu-695-ash/edu-695-week-2-dq-2-common-core-presentation-new Common Core Presentation In the Common Core State Standards discussion for Week Two, you describe the foundation of CCSS and discuss how CCSS can be used to influence the use of technology-enhanced instructional strategies to support the needs of all learners. Here, you continue the discussion on CCSS, but from the perspective of linking report cards to the CCSS. It is common to think about how creating report cards that are linked to CCSS will define expectations for student learning, communicate student progress to parents, provides a consistent approach to assessment evaluations, and focuses on academic achievement. As needed, review the Hunt Institute video below (click this link to view the video transcript), which covers the history and development of the CCSS. For this discussion, you will adopt the role of a school leader and create a digital presentation using the software of your choice (e.g., PowerPoint, Present.me, YouTube, Prezi, Jing, SlideRocket, or another program). Your audience for this presentation can be either a school board or a stakeholder directly in the school setting, such as teachers, other staff, or students. If you use software other than PowerPoint, submit notes for each slide as part of your post. If you use PowerPoint, be sure to include notes for each talking point......

Words: 479 - Pages: 2