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Representation of Masculinity in Sam Shepard’s Fool for Love: Hegemonic Masculinity and Masculinity Crisis

  • Journal of Modern English Drama
  • Abbr : JMBARD
  • 2019, 32(1), pp.117-143
  • Publisher : 한국현대영미드라마학회
  • Research Area : Humanities > English Language and Literature > English Literature > Contemporary English Drama
  • Published : April 30, 2019

Jihay Park 1

1고려대학교

Accredited

ABSTRACT

Masculinity studies is devoted to exploring men and masculinities as historically constructed, and questions the feminist assumption that all men have benefited from patriarchal power relations. Such approach to men and masculinities suggests that men’s crisis is caused not merely by feminism but by the general fear of the precariousness of masculinity. This paper contextualizes Sam Shepard’s Fool for Love (1983) in masculinity studies, and explores the crisis of men and masculinity, or, the difficulty in establishing a masculine gender to be originating from not only women but also ‘hegemonic masculinity’. Applying R. W. Connell’s theory of hegemonic masculinity, the paper demonstrates how frontier masculinity as hegemonic masculinity is presented as the cause of Eddie’s crisis by pointing out its compulsion to suppress femininity and to conspire with patriarchy. The paper also focuses on how Eddie attains a sense of masculine self and power through the performance of the rigidly defined normative masculinity. Unlike the scholars who point out such dramatization of masculinity to be demonstrating Eddie’s lack of ability to escape from the myth of the frontier and define Eddie’s predicament as a personal issue, this paper, acknowledging the multiplicity of masculinities, approaches it from masculinity studies point of view and defines it as a societal issue. That is, Eddie’s “gender trouble” is the result of the social exclusion of non-normative masculinities. Fool for Love, the paper concludes, demonstrates a need for the creation of diverse forms of masculinity and an appreciation of such diversity.

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