The Playboy of the Western World by J. M. Synge

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What is the relevance of The Playboy of the Western World by J. M. Synge to present times?

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Anne Cremin eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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One level on which this text displays relevance to our contemporary social situation (or, to put it more accurately, a way in which we can discover relevance for our times within this play) is to consider the issue of toxic masculinity. This concept refers to the ways in which gender norms become socialized in ways that can become detrimental to positive role modeling or balance in relationships. The valorization of masculine strength and confidence (positive traits) can easily lead to overvaluing their negative extremes such as brutality, aggression, and violence. Similarly, the cultural idea that men are "protectors" of women can be interpreted to mean that men should control women's lives, resulting in extreme groups such as the Promise Keepers. Placing too much emphasis on these negative traits (partly due, perhaps, to a rejection of more recent ideas that men should be more sensitive...

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Lynnette Wofford eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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