Study Guide

The Corrections Gender

By Jonathan Franzen


There's more gender-bending in this book than a Lady Gaga concert—and that's a good thing. Enid and Alfred Lambert represent the old world, so concerned with gender norms that they forbid their daughter from playing the saxophone. Their children, on the other hand, have been raised in a new era where those outdated gender roles have little value. Some of them rebel against those old values with a passion, and some of them struggle with these expectations for their whole lives. In the end, though, The Corrections pulls no punches on either side—and that's gender equality at its finest.

Questions About Gender

  1. How do Alfred's feelings on gender influence his view of sexuality?
  2. What does Chip associate with the female gender?
  3. In what ways does Denise defy traditional gender roles?
  4. How does Enid's view of gender roles change by the end of the novel?

Chew on This

In The Corrections, we can clearly see how traditional gender roles present little value in modern society.

Denise is a notable character because she breaks the gender dichotomy, simultaneously holding values that are defined as feminine and masculine.