Title

The construction of masculinity in post-9/11 literary narratives.

Date of Award

5-1-2016

Document Type

Thesis

School

College of Liberal Arts

Degree Name

Bachelor in Arts

Abstract

This thesis explores the construction of masculinity in four post-9/11 texts and examines how each of them does or does not fit into the category of a post-9/11 counternarrative, as defined by Don DeLillo and Thomas Bjerre. By analyzing Sid Jacobson and Ernie Colon's The 9/11 Report: A Graphic Adaptation, Don DeLillo's Falling Man, Mohsin Hamid's The Reluctant Fundamentalist, and John Updikes' Terrorist, this thesis attempts to better understand and critique how constructions of masculinity have the ability to interact with other discourses in the dominant culture: primarily misogynist gendered rhetoric and representations of men and women; notions of xenophobia and Islamophobia; and American patriotism. After the terrorist attacks on September 11th , 2001, a hegemonic narrative of the attacks was presented by the US government and the mainstream media that heavily censored the reality of the attacks. This narrative depended on a homogenized assumption of 'the other,' and fostered the emergence of a new hegemonic construction of mythic masculinity - the ordinary man. As the ordinary man rises to inhabit the hegemonic position post-9/11, the prior hegemonic construction of masculinity - business masculinity - falls from the hegemonic position with the destruction of the Twin Towers at the World Trade Center in New York.