Men put pressure upon themselves to be viewed in a certain way by society and others. Masculinity is defined as "the quality or condition of being masculine." Male psyche is best defined as "to put into the right psychological frame of mind." [dictionary.com] Three stories that show masculinity and male psyche are, "The Lone Ranger and Tonto Fist Fight in Heaven" by Sherman Alexie, "The Bath" and "A Small Good Thing" by Raymond Carver, and "Metamorphosis" by Franz Kafka. In sociology, Janet Saltzman Chafetz comprised of seven areas of masculinity. Those areas are: 1. Physical- Virile, athletic, strong, brave. Unconcerned about appearance and aging; 2. Functional- Breadwinner, provider; 3. Sexual- Sexually aggressive, experienced. Single status acceptable; 4. Emotional- Unemotional, stoic; 5. Intellectual- Logical, intellectual, rational, objective, practical, 6. Interpersonal-Leader, dominating; disciplinarian; independent, individualistic (applies to western societies); 7. Other Personal Characteristics- Success-oriented, ambitious; proud, egotistical, moral, trustworthy; decisive, competitive, uninhibited, adventurous.
In Sherman Alexie's "The Lone Ranger and Tonto Fist Fight in Heaven" Alexie's life being looked upon as being different. His masculinity is ignited by each person he encounters. The clerk at the store where he buys a drink and starts sassing the clerk. He makes his masculinity known when he starts to poke fun at the clerk and making the clerk nervous. Even his male psyche was ignited by scaring the clerk. When he tells the clerk to "give him a cherry slushie" he is asked what size and he firsts responds "large." When the clerk fails to listen to him he asks him again what size he wanted and this time, the main character responds "small" just to confuse him. Alexie's psyche finds this humorous. Then his male psyche is continued to be ignited when he tells the clerk to "forget the slushie and sing the lyrics of The Brady Show'" which scares the...
Cited: www.dictionary.com Masculinity and Male Psyche defined for a better and clear understanding on the terms. [March 22nd 2006]
Charters, Ann & Samuel "Literature and its Writers" for quotes used on each story to help prove masculinity and male psyche in the three stories. ©2004
Modified 03/21/06 Accessed 03/23/06
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