Elements Of Gender And Sexuality In Alvaro Enrique
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A Cultural View on Elements of Gender and Sexuality in Alvaro Enrique
In the style of the largely abstract and elusive world of Mexican literature, Alvaro Enrique’s Escape from Suicide City and Dumbo’s Feather demonstrate their elements of gender and sexuality in a similarly subtle and implicative manner. They don’t offer any direct argument or criticism with regard to this topic, but instead offer readers the ability to observe gender and sexuality under the first-person point of view of their main characters. In Suicide City, readers peek at the world through the eyes of a Mexican chef whose perception of gender is colored by a heightened awareness of cultural differences and the betrayal of his ex-wife. On the other hand, in the few pages of Dumbo’s Feather, the main character’s perception of gender is more limited by his interaction with his supportive family members. Despite these differences, the two share the uniting factor of being Mexican men, which make them highly susceptible to the machismo culture.
To demonstrate these points, this essay will dissect elements of gender and sexuality in the limited points of view of the chef in Suicide City and the writer in Dumbo’s Feather. These elements are revealed through the narrators’ own sets of stereotypes, their personal life experiences, and their interaction with other characters. Furthermore, observations are also derived from what the narrators, with their subjective points of view, unintentionally include or omit in their narratives.
Having the narrators of both stories be male, Mexican, and passive under cultural influences, there exists among them a mutual acceptance of the general Mexican idea of gender roles. For males, the traditional Mexican ideal of machismo dictates that men should be dominant, prideful, and sexually controlling, while females are seen as sexual objects, and in heterosexual relationships they play a supporting role in the benefit of the male. In accordance to these values, both narrators seem to only truly enjoy themselves during instances in which they could exert some sort of control over another character. For the chef in Suicide City, some of those instances are when he pretended to not understand what the TV show