English Essay #2 - Wang 1 Helen Wang English 124 A9 Geordan...

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Wang 1 Helen Wang English 124 A9 Geordan Patterson November 24, 2009 Comparative Analysis of the Perspectives of Masculinity in Oscar Wilde’s The Picture of Dorian Gray and David Fincher’s Fight Club The traditional definition of masculinity increasingly deteriorates as civilization modernizes. In most contemporary societies, yearly income, status, and materialism has replaced the number of animals a man can successfully hunt or the number of battles a man wins as characteristics of masculinity. Some men fight to retain their more violent masculinity, whiles others succumb to the feminized masculinity in return for the comfort of their materialistic lives. In The Picture of Dorian Gray and Fight Club , the consumerist culture emasculates the protagonists. Oscar Wilde characterizes Dorian Gray as an aristocrat who places the utmost importance on aesthetics and thus, commits his life to fine dining and glamorous possessions and the idea of staying young forever. On the contrary, David Fincher’s Narrator, a nameless corporate drone, played by Edward Norton, becomes ever more frustrated with his materialistic life and finds traditional masculinity through his alter ego, Tyler Durden, played by Brad Pitt. Although both of the texts present a male-dominated world, the homoeroticism displayed in The Picture of Dorian Gray differs greatly from the homoeroticism displayed in Fight Club. Oscar Wilde incorporates a sense of lust for men and feminine characters to portray masculinity in its modernized and more feminine definition, while the men in Fight Club devote themselves to a manly activity, in this case violence, to exemplify true manhood. Homoeroticism in Oscar Wilde’s piece describes masculinity as a measure of societal stature, aestheticism, and materialism; whereas Fight Club encourages men to take all
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Wang 2 means necessary, even terrorist actions, to demonstrate their true masculinity: powerful, strong, and violent. In Oscar Wilde’s novel, the saturation of sexual homoerotic feeling and womanly
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This note was uploaded on 03/03/2010 for the course ENGL Engl 124 taught by Professor Geordanpatterson during the Fall '10 term at University of Alberta.

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English Essay #2 - Wang 1 Helen Wang English 124 A9 Geordan...

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