Boys don't cry?: rethinking narratives of masculinity and by Milette Shamir, Jennifer Travis

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By Milette Shamir, Jennifer Travis

We take without any consideration the concept white, middle-class, immediately masculinity connotes overall regulate of feelings, emotional inexpressivity, and emotional isolation. That males repress their emotions as they search their fortunes within the aggressive worlds of commercial and politics appears to be like a given. This choice of essays through widespread literary and cultural critics rethinks such quite often held perspectives through addressing the historical past and politics of emotion in triumphing narratives approximately masculinity. How did the tale of the emotionally stifled U.S. male come into being? What are its political stakes? Will the "release" of heterosexual, white, middle-class masculine emotion remake present types of energy or make stronger them? This assortment forcefully demanding situations our such a lot entrenched principles approximately male emotion. via readings of works through Thoreau, Lowell, and W. E. B. Du Bois, and of 20th century authors corresponding to Hemingway and Kerouac, this publication questions the patience of the emotionally alienated male in narratives of white middle-class masculinity and addresses the political and social implications of male emotional unencumber.

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Additional info for Boys don't cry?: rethinking narratives of masculinity and emotion in the U.S.

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In its circumvention of the will and its transportation of foreign affairs into the deepest precincts of the individual, sensibility, commonly understood as one’s “natural and involuntary ability . . 8 By the middle of the nineteenth century, this identity crisis had been eased, at a cost that we continue to tally and pay, through the ideological and organizational separation of gendered spheres. Emotion, involuntary response, and other-directedness were enshrined as the evidence—and the condition—of female identity.

41 Myra Jehlen treats feeling in Letters far more sensitively and productively in the context of her interest in Crevecoeur’s “problem of reconciling individual independence with mutuality”—a problem, she adds, that “was not Crevecoeur’s alone . . ) But Crevecoeur’s emotions ultimately reduce, in Jehlen’s reading, to epiphenomena of his proprietary security, or its abridgement; she does not consider them to be essential properties of identity or objects of value for Crevecoeur in themselves. 43 An alternative and a fuller understanding of Letters from an American Farmer, however, would take property, and even self-possession, not as the ultimate objects of Crevecoeur’s affections but only, as Crevecoeur’s own metaphor would have it, as the soil in which feelings may be most freely cultivated.

41 Myra Jehlen treats feeling in Letters far more sensitively and productively in the context of her interest in Crevecoeur’s “problem of reconciling individual independence with mutuality”—a problem, she adds, that “was not Crevecoeur’s alone . . ) But Crevecoeur’s emotions ultimately reduce, in Jehlen’s reading, to epiphenomena of his proprietary security, or its abridgement; she does not consider them to be essential properties of identity or objects of value for Crevecoeur in themselves. 43 An alternative and a fuller understanding of Letters from an American Farmer, however, would take property, and even self-possession, not as the ultimate objects of Crevecoeur’s affections but only, as Crevecoeur’s own metaphor would have it, as the soil in which feelings may be most freely cultivated.

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