The Bluest Eye And Alison Bechdel 's Fun Home Essay

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Toni Morrison’s The Bluest Eye and Alison Bechdel’s Fun Home are both novels that employ a reflective narration of the past to address common themes of trauma, unorthodox family relationships, and sexuality. Although they demonstrate pronounced differences in setting and design, both stories utilize this retrospective narrative to expose masculinity’s stratified hegemony as a driving force of internalized shame, violence, and the death of self. Furthermore, it becomes clear that these shared themes result from the intense pressure to conform to the asymmetrical hierarchy’s ideal masculine identity through an analysis of the characters Cholly and Bruce. Before examining these characters it is important to define gender with the understanding that masculinity is a gendered hegemony. In her definition of gender, Judith Halberstam notes that gender is socially systematized, performed, and reproduced in cultures, institutions, and individual identities (Burgett, Bruce, and Hendler, 116). Mimi Schippers expands this definition in her article on gendered violence, implying that masculinity is central to gender relations. In short, Schippers defines masculinity as “simultaneously a place in gender relations, the practices through which men and women engage… in gender, and the effects of these practices on bodily experience, personality, and culture” (Schippers, 86). Here, masculinity is classified as a social position, the set and practice of masculine qualities (substantially by

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