Buddha of Suburbia

Topics: Gender, Gender role, Transgender Pages: 2 (631 words) Published: April 16, 2008
In the novel “The Buddha of Suburbia” by Hanif Kureishi the protagonist Karim Amir, a seventeen- year- old boy, who grew up in South London suburbs. After his parents get divorced, he travels to different places and encounters different people. During his exploration of life, he grows up from being an immature and indecisive boy to become a mature man. Throughout his journey to explore the coming of age, Karim is not able to escape from being socially positioned as a man and being masculine and responsible.

Karim cannot decide whether to be homosexual or heterosexual and finally he becomes a normal man. At the beginning of the story, Karim has many experiences with both males and females. He thinks that “it would be heartbreaking to have to choose one over the other [genders], like having to decide between the Beatles and the Rolling Stones”. (55) He is confused about his sexual orientation and his gender since he likes both men and women. At such a young stage in life, puberty has hit him with curiosity and ignorance. He finds out that he is attracted by not only women but also men. His curiosity drives him to be interested in sexual activities. Karim’s view is these two choices are both good choices for him, so why give up one when you can have both. This shows his lack of caring upon the differences in the rule of gender roles and his sexual orientation. Especially when Karim meets Charlie who is a role model for Karim, he is fascinated by Charlie’s appearance and attitude towards life. In addition, he is influenced by Charlie so much that he feels pleasure having sexual activities with Charlie, which goes against his gender role. However, when he meets Eleanor, the first time that Karim has such strong feelings for a person. He is impressed by the way she behaves, by her lifestyle, her whole appearance. After he breaks up with Eleanor, all he wants to do is to “think about Eleanor, and how painful it [is] to see her every day when all [he wants is] be...
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