By Sally Robinson
White males nonetheless carry many of the political and monetary playing cards within the usa; but tales approximately wounded and traumatized males dominate pop culture. Why are white males leaping at the sufferer bandwagon? analyzing novels through Philip Roth, John Updike, James Dickey, John Irving, and Pat Conroy and such movies as Deliverance, Misery, and Dead Poets Society -- in addition to different writings, together with The remaining of the yank Mind -- Sally Robinson argues that white males are tempted through the probabilities of discomfort and the strangely pleasant tensions that come from dwelling in crisis.
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Extra info for Marked Men: White Masculinity in Crisis
At the same time, the Middle American comes to occupy the space of “difference,” as he replaces other rebels and takes his place as the hero of what looks an awful lot like a liberationist narrative. It is here that we begin to see that an identity politics of the dominant arises to compete with an identity politics of the marginalized, as voiceless and decentered Middle Americans are irresistibly drawn toward a collectivism that threatens to invalidate the very terms of normativity on which the category “Middle American” would seem to depend.
Whereas for Lemon “Middle American” is mostly deﬁned as white, victimized by civil rights legislation and racially conceived entitlement programs, for Steinmann and Fox the villain is feminism and women: “The publicity surrounding the ‘women’s lib’ movement has been formidable, but rarely, if ever, in the avalanche of words by or about women, 24 MARKING MEN, EMBODYING AMERICA has man been mentioned at all. He is told he must move over, but no one has bothered to tell him where or how. Like the establishment, he has become a symbol, a shadow” ().
As the story of Rabbit and Skeeter plays itself out, we expect whiteness to recuperate the power it has lost. Whiteness needs to become bigger and better for having absorbed blackness; whiteness must be remasculinized. But while Updike offers Skeeter as a kind of reservoir of hypermasculinity, Rabbit never quite recoups his power, and white masculinity remains a pale imitation of black. Throughout the novel, Updike dwells on the fascinations and fears of and for white masculinity as it encounters both black masculinity and a reconceptualized white femininity.