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The Black Man Behind the Ape: Kong as the “Other” in the Film and Novelization of King Kong.
Linnaeus University, Faculty of Arts and Humanities, Department of Languages.
2014 (English)Independent thesis Basic level (degree of Bachelor), 10 credits / 15 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

This essay is a study of the film and novelization of the story of King Kong from the 1930’s. The aims of this paper are to analyze ways in which the character Kong represents the stereotypical image of the black male that existed in American society in 1930 by applying theories of masculinity and ethnicity and how they combined make Kong a representation of an Other. In order to study the construction of Kong as an Other an analysis of the film and a close reading of selected passages of the novelization were made in combination with the theories. Masculinity and ethnicity are studied in terms of how they create Kong’s otherness, casting him as a metaphor of a black male.

         The conclusion is that the construction of Kong’s ethnicity and masculinity makes him a metaphor of the stereotype of the black male that existed in the American society of the 1930s, i.e. an Other. The conclusion is based on how the contrast is portrayed between Kong and the main characters, the fact that he is a god of the black natives of his island, and how the novelization literally describes Kong as black (and the only black character) in the fictional representation of the hegemonic white city New York. 

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2014. , 25 p.
Keyword [en]
King Kong, Kong, masculinity, ethnicity, otherness, American society in 1930
National Category
General Literature Studies
URN: urn:nbn:se:lnu:diva-34828OAI: diva2:722665
Subject / course
Educational program
Lärarprogrammet, inriktning mot verksamhet i grundskolans senare år och gymnasiet
Available from: 2014-06-11 Created: 2014-06-09 Last updated: 2014-06-11Bibliographically approved

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