Stereotypes of Gender and/or Sexuality in The Uncle’s Story Alejandra Gamez
Reading Contemporary Fiction
April 15, 2013
How are stereotypes of gender and/or sexuality challenged in The Uncle’s Story? There are a lot of critics between the relationship of the following two words: gender and sex. People constantly interchange gender and sex, however their meaning is widely different. Gender is referred to culture, where it determines how a woman or men should act, dress, be, etc. Whereas Sex is referred to nature, whether a person is either male or female (Kon-yu, 2008). The Uncle’s story is very much a masculine novel, dealing with war and homosexuality in the background of a very traditional society that could not accept any delusions. In this book the stereotypes of gender and/or sexuality were challenged culturally, socially and personally. These three terms are linked to each other since a culture forms a society and a society forms the self of a person. The Uncle’s Story is also based in the ideology of the Maori’s culture where homosexuals do not exist. Ideology is the ideas and manner of thinking of a group, social class, or individual. In cultural studies ideology is the network of ideas and beliefs through which culture and its members order, represent, and make sense of reality (Kon-yu, 2008). In The Uncle’s Story, the Maori tribe is very passionate about their culture admiring bravery and strength but was terrorized of homosexuals. To the Maori being gay signified being weak. First of all, the stereotypes of gender and/or sexuality were culturally challenged in The Uncle’s Story in the way that the Maori’s ideology of how a men and a woman should be. As it says in the reading Theorizing the everyday “…culture is a field of power relations… exercised through formations of gender, ethnicity and generation” (Kon-yu, 2008). This description of culture reflects on The Uncle’s Story where gender is defined when they were having dinner at Sam’s house...
References: Lhimaera, W, (2003), The Uncle’s Story, NZ: Penguin Group
Kon-yu, N, (2008) Reading Contemporary Fiction, Melbourne, Vic: Victoria
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