Study Guide

Crash Women and Femininity

By Jerry Spinelli

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Women and Femininity

Crash seems to have a mixed message when it comes to women and homemaking. On one hand, the book's female characters don't conform to traditional gender roles. Mrs. Coogan is not the cook in her family. (That would be Scooter, Crash's grandfather.) Crash's sister, Abby, couldn't care less about clothes, and it's her brother who's afraid of mice.

Mrs. Coogan works just as hard outside of the home as her husband until the end of the book, when she dramatically cuts her hours so she'll have more time with her family. Seems like it could have been more interesting—and more in line with the book's message—if Mr. Coogan had cut his hours instead. Especially since he's trying to start a business while Mrs. C already seems pretty established in hers. 

But who knows? Maybe he makes the big bucks, and it's easier for her to cut back. What do you think?

Questions About Women and Femininity

  1. What does Jane Forbes' character suggest about what women want (or don't want)?
  2. Abby loves creepy-crawly things. In what other ways is she not a stereotypical girl?
  3. What do you make of Abby's friendship with Penn? Why do you think she likes him?

Chew on This

Mrs. Coogan's and Abby's characterizations bust stereotypes surrounding women and femininity.

Mrs. Coogan's and Abby's characterizations uphold stereotypes surrounding women and femininity.

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