The Bluest Eye And Fun Home Essay

2175 Words9 Pages
Although Toni Morrison’s The Bluest Eye and Alison Bechdel’s Fun Home demonstrate pronounced differences in setting and design, both novels employ a reflective narration of the past to address common themes of trauma, unorthodox family relationships, and sexuality. 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. As The Bluest Eye’s Cholly and Fun Home’s Bruce are examined in terms of hegemonic masculinity’s influence, the common themes in both works can be understood as a result of masculinity’s hierarchical ascendency. To understand either work’s take on hegemonic masculinity, it is important to identify masculinity as 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). In a like manner, in her article on gendered violence, Mimi Schippers notes R.W. Connell’s research on masculinity to expand this definition, implying that masculinity is central to gender relations. In short, Connell defined 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
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