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Male armor; the soldier-hero in contemporary American culture.


Male armor; the soldier-hero in contemporary American culture.

Adams, Jon Robert.

U. of Virginia Press


160 pages



Cultural frames, framing culture


Adams (English, Western Michigan U.) explores changing understandings of masculinity in American war literature. She reads Norman Mailer's The Naked and the Dead, Gore Vidal's The City and the Pillar, and James Barr's Quatrefoil as reactions against a post-war conformist culture and nostalgia for a world of men without women. She then discusses Joseph Heller's Catch-22 as a justification of a brand of heroic masculinity that conflicted with civilian expectations of soldierly service. Michael Herr's Dispatches and David Rabe's Streamers are argued to privilege individual bodily coherence over traditional heroic function and also highlight disparities between soldierly experience and civilian expectations. The film Three Kings and Anthony Swofford's Jarhead continue to highlight these disparities with their depiction of traitors as heroes. Finally, recent representations of the occupation of Iraq are discussed.

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Publication:Reference & Research Book News
Article Type:Brief article
Date:Nov 1, 2008
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