Sunday In The Park Bel Kaufman Analysis

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Finding a good man to marry is one of the pressures women go through. From a young age, little girls expect to marry a strong, courageous, and honest man to form a family with. Women have to select someone who will provide and protect their family. To find someone who will be all these characteristics is a challenging task and not often accomplished. In “Sunday in the Park” by Bel Kaufman, the challenges a woman goes through when finding a good man to marry is explored by spending a day in the park. Through the use of characterization, the author challenges the expectations of men by portraying them as failures.
The unnamed woman in the park describes his husband as “city-pale” (Kaufman) who is “cooped up all week inside a gray factory-like
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Larry doesn’t have a decent role model in Morton. Morton’s wife wanted Larry to learn to “fight his own battles” (Kaufman), but Morton’s confrontation with Joe’s father taught Larry the opposite. Morton’s wife isn’t content with this discovery and takes it out on Larry. Her feelings change towards Larry change. She’s now “ashamed” (Kaufman) of his “frail arms” (Kaufman) and “thin and unsure legs” (Kaufman). Before the encounter with the bully, Morton’s wife “felt a tenderness pity for [Larry’s] defenseless body” (Kaufman). Through this description, the woman sees her son as weak just like she views her husband. Larry is probably going to grow up to be like his father—somebody unable to fight his own battles. Like Larry, Joe will also grow up to be like his father. In the sandbox, Joe threw sand with “a quick, deliberate swing” (Kaufman). The boy is already showing his cruelty towards other people just like his father. Both of these boys don’t have proper role models and their fathers are not disciplining their child correctly. Morton leaves the disciplining to his wife, while Joe’s father doesn’t care to discipline Joe but instead encourage him to misbehave. The men’s sons further portray the fathers as failures.
The men in “Sunday in the Park” are portrayed as failures. Morton and his son are weak and cannot fight their own battles. They both look for the woman for guidance as

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