Thomas Meyer SOCWK 330
Brief Summary A Boy’s Own Story is the story of the author’s, Edmund White, own self discover of his homosexuality in the 1940’s and 1950’s in America. A Boy’s Own Story is the first autobiographies in a three book series spanning the author’s late childhood throughout his adulthood. Edmund experiences a brief sexual relationship with Kevin, a slightly younger friend. Kevin and Edmund’s intimacy is presented as natural and untroubled, untouched by the internalized homophobia that will later plague young Edmund’s life. “I was aware of the treacherous air vents above us, conducting the sounds we were making upstairs. Maybe dad was listening. Or maybe, just like Kevin, he was unaware of anything but the pleasure spurting up out of his body and into mine.” (White, 1982, pg.17) Edmund’s father does not serve as a good role model. Edmund’s father was an adulterer, who later abandons Edmund’s mother for another woman. Edmund’s father abandons his responsibilities leaving the family without his financial support. Edmund acts on his desires and has sex with Mr. Beattie, an older school teacher of Edmund. After society pushes the ideals of homophobia on Edmund he decides to turn in Mr. Beattie, thus turning his back on someone who has shown him affection just like his father did to him and his family. A Boy’s Own Story ends with Edmund still unable to achieve a positive gay identity. His struggle to come to terms with his homosexuality is not over. Character’s Behavior Edmund’s evolution from adolescence evolved his understanding and acceptance of his homosexuality. He starts his first noted homosexual experiences with a younger male whose family was living with them. He does not seem conflicted with the guilt and internalized & externalized homophobia that latter plagues him.
Book Review “I suffered now. I felt isolated to the point of craziness, but with a faint recourse to melodrama, to a...