Customer Service | Help | FAQ | Report a Data Error | About
Tip: To suggest new content…

PEP-Web Tip of the Day

Help us improve PEP Web. If you would like to suggest new content, click here and fill in the form with your ideas!

For the complete list of tips, see PEP-Web Tips on the PEP-Web support page.

Kennon, P. (2017). Monsters of Men: Masculinity and the Other in Patrick Ness’s Chaos Walking Series. Psychoanal. Inq., 37(1):25-34.

(2017). Psychoanalytic Inquiry, 37(1):25-34

Monsters of Men: Masculinity and the Other in Patrick Ness’s Chaos Walking Series

Patricia Kennon, Ph.D.

To date, studies of gender issues in young adult dystopian novels have been dominated by a focus on constructions of female subjectivity, girlhood, and the potential for female empowerment. However, little critical attention has been correspondingly dedicated to examining how regimes of masculinity, traditional privileges of male power, and male adolescence are represented and mediated in dystopian fiction for teenagers. Patrick Ness’s exploration of normative and transgressive embodiments of masculinity in his dystopian Chaos Walking series for young adults powerfully addresses tensions between power and vulnerability, autonomy and conformity, and concepts of boyhood and manhood. Through their experiences with the possibilities of telepathy, biotechnology, and interspecies relationships, Ness’s protagonists must negotiate with the simultaneous attraction of the fragmented self and its threat to the regulation of conventional manhood, as male characters struggle to sustain their inherited understanding of themselves and the relation between self and other. Through his problematizing of the boundaries between traditional hegemonic and Other, human and alien codes, and his emphasis on the importance of non-hierarchical and inclusive co-existence, Ness proposes a receptive, expansive, and egalitarian paradigm of masculinity.

[This is a summary excerpt from the full text of the journal article. The full text of the document is available to journal subscribers on the publisher's website here.]

Copyright © 2018, Psychoanalytic Electronic Publishing, ISSN 2472-6982 Customer Service | Help | FAQ | Download PEP Bibliography | Report a Data Error | About

WARNING! This text is printed for personal use. It is copyright to the journal in which it originally appeared. It is illegal to redistribute it in any form.