Masculinity In Holden Caulfield

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Female oppression can be just as subtle as hypermasculinity with its words. Holden Caulfield narrates, “Girls with their legs crossed, girls with their legs not crossed, girls with terrific legs, girls with lousy legs, girls that looked like swell girls, girls that looked like they'd be bitches if you knew them” (Salinger 66). Literature expresses the way of which women are discriminated against and at times it is satirical, but this sector of hypermasculinity is rarely checked by narrators and authors of works. It is almost a cultural norm and expected of novels with male perspective characters to convey their attitudes and personalities in this manner. A conductor of a study of hypermasculinity explains, “Cultural socialization processes…show more content…
As previously mentioned, it is a source of comfort for men to assume their ‘roles.’ Literature’s expression of this is as clear as it is in real life, for this sector of hypermasculinity could stretch from domestic violence to ‘horseplay’ or just trying to prove themselves. Morrison writes about Cholly and Pauline, disclosing how their relationship is extremely toxic just as many in their society, “When white men beat their men, they cleaned up the blood and went home to receive abuse from the victim” (153). As it is explained, women not only have to raise the children and work, but after their men work, they have to nurse their ego, especially in the black community. Since race and gender affect the levels of hypermasculinity, black women have to bear the bad end of it all. Invisible Man displays an almost dystopian approach to racism and forced hypermasculinity. Ellison says, “The boys groped about like blind, cautious crabs crouching to protect their mid-sections, their heads pulled in short against their shoulders, their arms stretched nervously before them, with their fists testing the smoke-filled air like the knobbed feelers of hypersensitive snails” (19). The disability of these men allows them to be completely stripped of dignity and respect, placed in a ring as if they are animals. If the treatment is so traumatizing, then why are women treated so, as a
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