Play The Monster Blind

2230 Words9 Pages
Over the last half-century, the construct of masculinity has been subject to vast changes in its representations and expressions within Western culture. These representations and expressions offer complexities that divert from the stereotypical images of an idealized masculinity that we may be more familiar with. This idealized masculinity has been termed “hegemonic masculinity”, as Ami Lynch explains: “Hegemonic masculinity is the set of norms or expected behaviours and abilities that society prescribes to men […] The norms and practices that constitute hegemonic masculinity assist men in maintaining social control” (412). Authors Maurice Berger, Brian Wallis, and Simon Watson make the important point in their introduction to Constructing…show more content…
Like Grandma Bradley, the first descriptions of John and his father demonstrate their dominating physical presence: “…The plastic chairs sagged and quivered at the weight of the men. The father was built all of hard, stubborn fat, but John was just as big. They sat quietly torturing their lawn chairs together” (3). However, as the story progresses readers come to realize that the masculinity of these characters is far more complex than this description indicates, especially in regards to John’s alcoholic father. Because of his father’s alcoholism, John takes on the role of the family patriarch, which includes being the mediator, decision maker, and as his father describes – the overall family “dip-lo-mat” (16). As a result, throughout the story Bethany (John’s fiancé) notices the ways in which John infantilizes the father, as on several occasions he calls his father “boy”. Moreover, in the most significant scene of the story, John takes on a “fatherly voice” (23) when he and Bethany witness his very confused, stumbling, drunk father – whose demeanour in this scene is likened to that of Frankenstein: “a frightened, blind, monstrosity” (23). Bethany also picks up on the ways in which John works to subdue and control the power of those who dare to undermine him – namely, his sister
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