Date of Completion

5-1-2007

Thesis Advisor(s)

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Honors Major

English

Disciplines

Feminist, Gender, and Sexuality Studies

Abstract

"Hemingway: A Study in Gender and Sexuality" explores a subject that few scholars have studied: how traditional, male-female gender binaries and traditional notions of sexuality affect Hemingway's characters. Hemingway, known as "Papa" for his "machismo” writings, has his characters struggle with societal traditional views on gender binaries and sexualities. An analysis of six of his works published during his life and posthumously led to the conclusion that, although Hemingway never finds the language to articulate that traditional views on gender binaries and heteronormative sexuality actually hinder societal progress, he places his characters in situations in which they have to transgress "male-female" binaries and heteronormative sexuality in order to lead successful, happy lives. Therefore, Hemingway's works support both the notion of gender as fluid and increasingly unstable (not just male and female) and also the existence of multiple sexualities in society. Critics that label Hemingway’s writing style as "machismo" fail to read his works in a complex, gender- and sexuality-conscious way. This study of Hemingway leads to the final conclusion that society must view gender as fluid and increasingly unstable and must recognize multiple sexualities in order to progress and modernize.