Men and Boys in Man and Boy - Gender Roles and the Relation Between Fathers and Sons in a novel by Tony Parsons
Extensive reading is beneficial in the language learning process. If students get the opportunity to read novels, they will not only increase their vocabulary and develop their language competence, but they will also learn about living conditions and social issues in the country in which the story is set. Since students learn much more from a book which they find interesting, it is essential to find a novel which most students in a class appreciate. "Man and Boy" by the British author Tony Parsons can be a good option. It appeals to many students, and it deals with a number of interesting issues which can be discussed in class, for instance gender roles and family relations. The purpose of this essay is to show how Tony Parsons challenges traditional gender roles when he lets Harry Silver, the protagonist of the novel, reconsider his role as a man and a father. Harry’s father has always served as a role model for his son, and just like so many other fathers he has influenced his son and made him the man he is today. This kind of relation between fathers and sons is universal, and it is another thing which is discussed in this essay. When you get the opportunity to discuss what happens in a novel you will learn much more from it than if you just read it for your own amusement, and it is always useful to work with a novel in different ways. Therefore the last chapter of this essay presents a number of activities which can be good to use before, while and after a novel is read. This three-phase procedure can help readers get a more thorough understanding of "Man and Boy", but naturally it can also be applied to other novels.