Summary of 'The Men We Carry in Our Minds'

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Summary Of “The Men We Carry In Our Minds” In his essay “The Men We Carry In Our Minds” Scott Russell Sanders explores the relationship between gender roles and social classes in both men and women. Sanders disputes that, the personal experiences of individuals within our society, lead to conflicting perspectives about the gender roles for men and women. The varied social classifications of both male and female citizens allows for different opinions and prejudices’ to arise.
Throughout the essay, Saunders uses vivid contrast, and personal reflections to reveal the relationship between gender roles of men and women, and the social class they fall into. With his early use of contrast, reflection, and narration, Sanders uses memories of his personal up bringing in order to expose his initial perspective of the duties men and women are subject to. On one hand, he proclaims that the men he views throughout his childhood are ones that are “killing themselves or preparing to kill others” (295). This conveys how they vigorously strain their bodies to bring money into the family, and prepare to go to war. However, on the other hand he also emphasizes that in his mind women live freer and less confining lives than men since they work in “handsomer places than any factory” (295). Growing up within a mid century lower class, Sanders is exposed to the “toiling” (293) and strenuous lives of the many male figures surrounding him. This initially shapes his “early vision of manhood”(293) and enables him to obtain a personal perspective and prejudice of what role men should play in a typical society. Nevertheless, Sanders also details how his fathers ability to obtain an important office job within his company, allows Sanders and his family to move upwards into a higher social class. This movement permits him to attend college where he meets the daughters of high status jobholders. These women accuse Sanders that because of his male sex, he is destined to “become like their

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