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Gender Roles Of Michael Bluth Essay

900 words - 4 pages

The television sitcom Arrested Development focuses on the life of family man, Michael Bluth. Michael, who is a father, older brother, and president of his family’s real estate firm, shoulders a lot of responsibilities in his personal and professional life. His biggest responsibility comes in singularly rearing his son, parents, and three siblings. In many ways, Michael is responsible for their personal growth and development. He is the maternal patriarch and center of the Bluth family. Michael Bluth in Arrested Development fills the gender roles of both a mother and a father to his son as well as the entirety of his immediate family; even in his roles as a brother and son he acts as a ...view middle of the document...

Although he unintentionally squelches many of his son’s attempts to express himself, he does actively encourage George Michael to do so. When Michael does become aware of his son’s feelings regarding his new school, he apologizes and attempts to comfort him. He utilizes this same balanced approach to parenting when dealing with his parents.
Due to the irresponsible nature of both of his parents, Michael must essentially parent his mother and father as he does his son. He has to manage his mother and father’s destructive behavior and clean up their messes as if they were toddlers. Like children, his parents seem to lack a conventional sense of morality. Thus, Michael is left to act as their moral compass. He does so in, “The Ocean Walker,” when he scolds them for attempting to take money from a mentally challenged woman (Farrow and Laybourne). He similarly manages his parent’s finances and emotions. Michael not only has to dig his parents out of debt, but constantly remind them of their financial situation (Farrow and Laybourne). He is stereotypically fatherly in that he manages the non-domestic aspects of the household. Michael is strict in dealing with his parents, even more so than he is with his son. However, he is also nurturing in handling his parents various miniature crises. Instead of scolding his mother in, “S.O.Bs,” when she fails in completing the minor responsibilities given to her for a family fundraiser, he calmly comforts her. He must gently calm down his father as well when he threatens violence against several people in, “The Ocean Walker,” and, “S.O.Bs” (Farrow and Laybourne; Day and Vallely). Michael directs his parents as he does with his son...

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