Constructions of Masculinity in Salman Rushdie’s Novel ​The Satanic Verses

University essay from Linnéuniversitetet/Institutionen för språk (SPR)

Abstract: This literary analysis focuses on gendered constructions of masculinity in The Satanic Verses by Salman Rushdie. The main argument is that masculinity is a construction of gender much like femininity. Masculinity, however, has often been disregarded as an approach within gender studies of literature where the aspects of femininity have taken precedence. The theoretical approach in this analysis is the sociological perspective of gender, not determined solely by the biological sex. I will discuss sociological gender, and the constructions of masculinity, from the following five aspects: the male body, sex, fatherhood, violence and performance. I will address the physical mutations of the protagonists’ bodies, the sexual relationships between the characters as well as the reproductive organ and its contextual meaning. I will also focus on the ideas of, and relations to, fatherhood, violence the characters are subjected to, as well as the performance of acting your identity. All of these five aspects show constructions of masculinities clearly, and there is a need for addressing them more thoroughly in literary analyses.

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