In Henry James’s international novels, some of the male characters are offered a marginal place. Their marginality is caused by the lack of aggression and masculinity, by illness, lack of desire and normal heterosexual life, but also of financial success. They are caught in a clash between society, which is based on the conventional image of masculinity (physical aggression, heterosexual activity) and the marginal male ‘self’, characterized by atypical aspects (androgyny, homosexuality, passivity). The result is a strong disappointment as they gradually or suddenly discover their lack of importance in the lives of the people around them. These male characters represent ‘the other’ to their sexual intimacy, so they have to face the aspects of marginality. If James’s earlier novels present the marginal male trying to construct his self-image, imagining himself in an aggressive role, but repressing the voice of individuality, in the later ones, the tension and struggle are greater in the male characters who try to find an equilibrium between their self and society.
MALE MARGINALITY IN HENRY JAMES’S INTERNATIONAL NOVELS
Last Updated on: July 18th, 2014 at 6:30 P, by admin