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Masculinity And Homosexuality On The Cahulawassee River (Deliverance)

760 words - 4 pages

Masculinity and Homosexuality on the Cahulawassee River By Phuong Nguyen HBHS Term report James Dickey's early seventies novel Deliverance focuses on four middle aged men on a river trip in Northern Georgia. Ed, Lewis, Drew, and Bobby are the men that take this challenge and in the process get harassed by two hillbillies. One hillbilly rapes Bobby, someone shoots Drew, Lewis brakes a leg, and Ed scales a gorge wall to kill one of the hillbillies. One would say the men had a very traumatic experience. In the end, one sees two scenes in the novel, Ed scaling the wall and Bobby's rape, reflect masculinity and homosexuality. In addition, the characters themselves, specifically Ed, Lewis, and ...view middle of the document...

.."(Wakeman, pg.391). All of Dickey's activities as a young man suggest that he is interested in the physical and mental limits of men. For instance, War World 2 saw men go through extremely abusive environments; however, they were still able to complete their missions. Having gone through the war, Dickey might have been influenced by the way men are able to perform in grim situations.Another theme one might notice in the novel is homosexuality. In the early stages of the novel "Ed becomes increasingly aware of Lewis. He admires Lewis' body because it has achieved muscular perfection through constant exercise" (Magill pg.916). Eventhough he is married, Ed's facination with Lewis suggest that he has homosexual feelings. Ed said seeing Lewis' body "paid off in his eyes" (Dikey pg.90). Seeing Lewis' body satisfies Ed's facination with men. This is like a young boy being mezmerize by his first copy of Playboy Magazine. This notion of Ed being gay is influenced by Bobby's homoerotic rape. Because Bobby let the hillbilly have sex with him...

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