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A Trajectory Towards Racism: Vraisemblance and Mascuilinity in T. C. Boyle's The Tortilla Curtain.
Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Department of English.
2014 (English)Independent thesis Basic level (degree of Bachelor), 10 credits / 15 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

Racism is undeniably an interesting and important theme in The Tortilla Curtain by T. C. Boyle, but exploring how the novel establishes vraisemblance and motivates the progression of events reveals another significant theme. Relying on assumptions about gender and masculinity the narrative juxtaposes the different spheres of men and women, and as the narrative shifts its focus between the different characters of the novel, their respective domestic roles are scrutinised and compared. The narrative establishes and depends on the idea of a binary opposition between the sexes in order to highlight the marginal position of Delaney Mossbacher’s expressions of masculinity. Through locating Delaney’s performance of masculinity on the perimeters of the normative male role, his crisis of identity and sense of disorder are explained. Furthermore, by linking scenes where Delaney Mossbacher’s male role is threatened with scenes that depict his descent into racism the novel establishes the logical connection between Delaney’s disadvantaged position and his increasingly racist outburst of hatred and violence thus rendering them vraisemblable.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2014. , 22 p.
Keyword [en]
vraisemblance, masculinity, male role, racism, gender, dominance, racism, power
National Category
Specific Literatures
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-113091OAI: diva2:782898
Available from: 2015-01-27 Created: 2015-01-22 Last updated: 2015-01-27Bibliographically approved

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