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Chapter 23 - Masculinity

from Part V - Gender and Sexuality

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  05 August 2021

Maggie McKinley
Affiliation:
Harper College
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Summary

Mailer’s definitions of manhood lie at the center of much of his work; they not only inform the construction of his fictional protagonists, but are also connected to his ideas of existentialism, and are tied to his hopes for the future of America. Mailer’s notions of manhood also often intersect with his theories of violence, and thus threaten to uphold toxic notions of masculine power (which Mailer himself internalized throughout his life, evident in his performance of machismo), though Mailer also confronts the many pressures and vulnerabilities associated with cultural expectations of manhood.

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Norman Mailer in Context , pp. 259 - 269
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 2021

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