Fragmented Masculinity: A Critical Analysis of Junot Diaz’s Drown College

The effects and significance of unequal powers between males and females appearing in literature has been a popular topic in literary criticism. While a universal way of reading texts from a gender approach is yet to be defined. Kimmel, Hearn & Connell (2005) argued that all literary texts involving characters show a certain degree of the author’s supports to either masculinity or femininity. This essay adopts the definitions of masculinity and fragmented masculinity proposed by Gardiner (2005), Hofestede (1998) and Whitehead (2002); and argues that Drown written by Junot Diaz portrays the idea of fragmented masculinity. This paper first defines fragmented masculinity. Then, the significance of the absent father figures of protagonists; and the protagonists’ objection towards feminine behaviors as reflected in Ysrael, Aguantando, No Face and Edison, New Jersey will be featured.

The concept of fragmented masculinity was first coined by Whitehead which refers to a male’s misinterpretations and failure to achieve wholeness of masculinity (Whitehead, 2002). Masculinity in literary context refers to the description and enforcement of confined roles and identities of male in the text (Gardiner, 2005; Hofestede,...

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