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Write 3 page essay on the topic Subjectivity: Challenge and Redefine.First, the way in which Humphreys takes the female/male stereotypical personality traits and casts them onto the opposite genders s
Write 3 page essay on the topic Subjectivity: Challenge and Redefine.
First, the way in which Humphreys takes the female/male stereotypical personality traits and casts them onto the opposite genders should be examined. Though Grace and Jack are both pilots, it is Grace that is the confident daredevil, constantly craving the spotlight. Her partner Willa comments at one point,
"no one was allowed to get the better of Grace O'Gorman. That she liked to put people in their place. And their place was always way down below hers" (Humphreys 27-28). Grace herself comments on her own self confidence at the end when she is thinking, "It's not egoism, it's the truth - no one can keep up to Grace O'Gorman" (241). Grace lacks emotion and is instead characterized as analytical and systematic, to the point that she only gives attention to Jack when she needs to placate him, or when she needs something from him. Her sole purpose is to advance her career, her finances and her reputation. Though she might care for him, he is, for the most part, only a tool to help her get what she wants.
In contrast, Jack is characterized as the exact opposite. Where Grace exudes self-confidence, Jack lacks it almost to the point of being weak. During a conversation where Grace tells Jack to break the record after her, he thinks, "How to tell her that she expects too much of him, that he's less capable than she thinks" (11). Jack's personality is emotionally based, and is in constant upheaval with self doubt and jealousy. He takes on the traditional female role of being the caretaker, as he is the one that delivers the food and fuel to Grace, who is the one working and achieving her career goals. His emotions are exemplified as he tries desperately to get the emotional attention he needs from Grace by not sending her supplies she needs and by making up stories for the newspaper where he portrays Grace as a weaker person. Jack has a moment of introspection when he is reflecting on Grace as, "Someone who believes that she's not coming back to earth. Not coming back to save him" (143). He feels he needs her to save him by being with him and telling him what to do. He misses her and pines over her, where she barely gives him a thought. Jack remains in the background of Grace's life, and feels he lives in her shadow because he is not strong and needs her to define him.
It is clear by identifying Grace and Jack's main character traits, that Humphreys has taken the traditional, or stereotypical, gender traits and reflected them onto opposite characters. Now it is necessary to identify how that deals with the concept of subjectivity. Subjectivity, as defined in The Canadian Postmodern, states, "Subjectivity in the Western liberal humanist tradition has been defined in terms of rationality, individuality, and power. in other words, it is defined in terms of those domains traditionally denied women, who are relegated instead to the realms of intuition, familial collectivity, and submission" (Hutcheon 5). The author further explains that her research has, "argued most convincingly for the historical existence of these two differently en-gendered modes of subjectivity" (5). She is essentially saying that her research has brought her the knowledge that males and females have typically, throughout history and