Study Guide

Across Five Aprils Men and Masculinity

By Irene Hunt

Men and Masculinity

Oh, brother. In Across Five Aprils, we not only learn about the special privileges afforded to men (A man has a right to this, A man has a right to that), but we also witness a lot of commentary about what it means to be a man. Hunt makes sure to include excellent examples of wonderful, respectable men (here's looking at you, Matt Creighton), while at the same depicting some truly awful and despicable individuals that make Darth Vader look like Father of the Year.

Questions About Men and Masculinity

  1. What do you think men have a right to?
  2. Is it possible to be a man without exhibiting masculinity? Is there a difference between the two?
  3. Who is the best example of a man? Why?

Chew on This

Despite the stereotype of masculinity, some of the manliest of men (like Matt and Shad) show moments of weakness and emotion. Vulnerability is not at odds with masculinity.

Jethro, who is still yet to be a fully-fledged adult man, has to hide his vulnerability to be perceived as a man.