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Masculinity In Sawyer Essay

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Winton uses the characters of Mr Pike and Mr Loon to provide contrasting views on the constructs of masculinity present in Australian society during the 1970s. In Sawyer, there are not many opportunities offered to young Pikelet, but as they are male, they are expected to follow in the footsteps of the other men in town, becoming fishermen or miners. However, a great deal of his masculine identity is shaped by his father’s masculinity. Mr Pike is timid and “naturally subdued” (p12) and as a teenager, Pikelet finds it difficult to relate to him. He is not a strong or inspiring figure and is instead a masculine model who is cautious of the natural world. As an immigrant to Australia, Mr Pike is “afraid of the sea” (p11) as he has not developed…show more content…
Pikelet is initially captivated and inspired by the surfers from Angelus because they are different from any other masculine role models he has encountered. Reflecting on the moment when he is first introduced to surfing, Pikelet recalls how “there was something special about his insouciance and the princely manner in which he cross-stepped along his long, old-timey board” (p34). After Loonie and Pikelet go out to surf with the Angelus crew, they are introduced to Sando. The first time Pikelet sees Sando, he is described as princely, calm and effortless in his surf performance and are immediately inspired by his surfing ability, as well as his overwhelming sense of masculinity. Sando offers the boys an alternative form of masculinity through surfing and presents a sense of freedom, adventure and excitement that is very appealing to the young boys. For Pikelet, who already feels like an outsider in Sawyer and does not identify with the masculine role models presented to him in his own community, Sando is an anomaly and an inspiration. He is unlike other men and hence, the boys look to him as a masculine
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