Armed Forces: Masculinity and Sexuality in the American War Film

Armed Forces: Masculinity and Sexuality in the American War Film

by Robert Eberwein
     
 

ISBN-10: 0813540801

ISBN-13: 9780813540801

Pub. Date: 06/28/2007

Publisher: Rutgers University Press

In war films, the portrayal of deep friendships between men is commonplace. Given the sexually anxious nature of the American imagination, such bonds are often interpreted as carrying a homoerotic subtext. In Armed Forces , Robert Eberwein argues that an expanded conception of masculinity and sexuality is necessary in order to understand more fully the intricacy of

Overview

In war films, the portrayal of deep friendships between men is commonplace. Given the sexually anxious nature of the American imagination, such bonds are often interpreted as carrying a homoerotic subtext. In Armed Forces , Robert Eberwein argues that an expanded conception of masculinity and sexuality is necessary in order to understand more fully the intricacy of these intense and emotional human relationships. Drawing on a range of examples from silent films such as What Price Glory and Wings to sound era works like The Deer Hunter, Platoon, Three Kings, and Pearl Harbor , he shows how close readings of war films, particularly in relation to their cultural contexts, demonstrate that depictions of heterosexual love, including those in romantic triangles, actually help to define and clarify the nonsexual nature of male love. The book also explores the problematic aspects of masculinity and sexuality when threatened by wounds, as in The Best Years of Our Lives, and considers the complex and persistent analogy between weapons and the male body, as in Full Metal Jacket and Saving Private Ryan .

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780813540801
Publisher:
Rutgers University Press
Publication date:
06/28/2007
Edition description:
New Edition
Pages:
216
Product dimensions:
6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x (d)

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments     ix
Introduction: Definitions     1
Paradigms in the Silent Era     16
Beyond Triangles     33
Disavowing Threats     53
Wounds     72
Drag     87
"Don't Ask, Don't Tell"     102
Bodies, Weapons     114
Fathers and Sons     137
Conclusion: Buddies, Then and Now     148
Notes     155
Selected Bibliography     181
Index     187

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