Industrialization grew exponentially after WWII. Immediate gratification took away the pain many suffered as a result. Our future offspring and what tasks were needed to survive in the 1950's as a functional model of society became a main focus. The start of this revolution wasn't intended to create failures in society; it was to teach our young the importance of the societal rules and what is expected of them as adults.
The first 'mini mom' model of a kitchen and the vacuum cleaner came to the market. The idea was new to most households and families wanting to beat the Jones' at being the first to have the finest toys possible. Society says it is acceptable and expected to mimic our parents and their roles they play. This is good training, Right Barthes says, "French toys are based on imitation, they were meant to produce children who are users, not creators" (Barthes, pg. 55). Social acceptance in gender based toys was positive and this increase in popularity enticed engineers to create even more plastic, gender based toys forgetting the roots of what society was made from. Girls cooking on plastic miniature stoves, setting the table for the family, or ironing her husband's clothes before he heads off to work - these roles they play are socially obligated and expected in the future. This tells the girls of our future - it's not our place to engineer or design the tallest building in the world. We must leave it up to the men in our society to construct and design. When I was in high school, I was told not to apply to college. I was to be a housewife and mother; there was no need for me to waste my parent's money by attending college. We are to accept our 'place' in society as shown to us by our parents.
These "French Toys" (Barthes, pg. 53) restrict children and condition them for failure. Children look up to their parents for guidance. If they say we should play with these toys they are bringing home, why are we to question their motives Barthes implies the use of simple wooden blocks as a "demiurge" (Barthes, p. 54) rather than just a user of the objects. The Builder creates the foundation of all buildings, bridges, homes, school, and more. Creating the largest building of the physical universe with only the limitations of his/her imagination is a great accomplishment as a child. A little girl smiles wildly, "Mom, look what I built!" just as her brother plows through them. "Mom, Now I have to start all over!" The success of a master piece or the destruction from your brother as he swooshes his arms through your newly constructed bridge builds your knowledge base and your foundation in understanding what it takes to make things stand on their own. Barthes refers to the Vosges Mountain range (Barthes, pg 55) to bring a personal relationship to the wooden blocks. It's harder to dismiss an object if it has a name. These skills and knowledge are needed for future development to start and complete tasks. The value in learning how to manage a project from start to finish is imperative whether it is building a house out of blankets throughout the living room or building a