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James Dickey 's Deliverance, And Stanley Kubrick 's The Shining

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James Dickey’s Deliverance, and Stanley Kubrick’s The Shining, demonstrate masculine roles in America going through a period of challenge and change brought on by historical social and political movements resulting in the cultural definition of masculinity to be widely questioned and inevitably altered in the United States. Michael Meadows states that Dickey narrativizes the negative and regressive “civil and primitive masculine roles” which were traumatic for American men during the 1970s by using the wilderness and its inhabitants as a gothic convention which antagonizes the group (128). Michael Kimmel solidifies this message of Western cultural damage on men by noting that, female and homosexual rights movements challenged both forms of civil and primitive masculinity (175). These two movements were fought for and accepted by Americans beginning in the 1970s. The rights these movements fought for irreversibly made women working equals to their male counterparts, and offered them shelter from the control, violence, and overall sexual and mental abuse that women and children had put up with since antiquity. In continuity with these changes during the 1970s, Vivian Sobchak argues, “more and more 'families ' no longer partook in behavior and standards set by bourgeois mythology. Therefore, the horror in The Shining plays out the rage of a western masculinity and fatherhood denied the economic and political benefits” of patriarchal authority and domination within the nuclear
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