How does Rob perceive gender roles?
Rob's perception about gender is a challenged one because it is seen through the filter of psychology. In the end, Rob possesses a misunderstanding about women because he misunderstands himself. In the end, Rob thinks that women are to blame for his own misery and pain. Rob believes that women have complicated his life, and his own sense of being in the world, through sex and through emotional manipulation. Yet, I think that Hornby's analysis of Rob is intricate enough to reflect that Rob might not fully understand gender issues. What he attributes as women's cruelty might simply be his own myopia of understanding his own sense of self. Rob confuses psychology with gender issues. In this, he is a conflicted narrator and one that seeks to better understand the issues of gender as he seeks to better understand himself. His various attempts at better understanding both manifest themselves in his fear of commitment and his "Top 5" lists. These are examples of someone struggling to better understand himself, recognizing that the previous modes of understanding might possess inherent limits that have been reached. In this, Rob's understanding of gender is impacted because of the need to better understand himself.