“‘Boyz in the Hood’: Masculinities in Native Son”

Topics: Black people, African American, Masculinity Pages: 3 (914 words) Published: February 6, 2012
“‘Boyz in the Hood’: Masculinities in Native Son”

The novel Native Son by Richard Wright explores many characteristics, with masculinity being one. The main character is displayed with aggressive, violent and insensitive characteristics, which society generally deems as masculine. The word “masculinities” comes from masculinity, which according to The Oxford Dictionary means, “possession of the qualities traditionally associated with men”. Also in the title, the name “Boyz in the Hood” refers to a movie from 1991, which portrays the life of African-American men. Boyz n the Hood is a 1991 American hood film written and directed by John Singleton. The film depicts life in poor South Central (now South) Los Angeles, California. The film portrays social problems in inner-city Los Angeles in the form of a tale of three friends growing up together 'in the 'hood.' Half-brothers Doughboy and Ricky Baker are foils for each other's personality, presenting very different approaches to the tough lives they face. The film is most similar to Native Son in that Before the opening scene of Boyz n the Hood, two messages flash across the screen: "One out of every twenty-one Black American males will be murdered in their lifetime." and "Most will die at the hands of another Black male." Which is similar to Bigger’s story and the environment he lived in. Many blacks tend to be violent to other blacks, as the consequences weren’t as great, if any, compared to whites, where they would be put to death or imprisoned. Bigger is the main character, which portrays a character that has different personalities according to his social environment. For example, Bigger around his black friends such as Gus, is loud, aggressive and is much more animalistic than when he is around white people. When he is around his black friends, it seems as if he has to show his masculinity to the extremes, for example when Gus arrives late, Bigger kicks him to the floor (much to Doc's amusement). But when...
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