Trumpet

Identity Controversy and Music in Jackie Kay’s “Trumpet” 10th Grade

Jackie Kay has created a topic of controversy regarding gender identity in the novel Trumpet. Through the difference in perspectives on the gender of Joss Moody and Millie Moody, the novel contests the absoluteness of one’s identity by proving language's inability to express it. Kay thus reaches another way of representing identity by a more universal means - music.

It is understandable that Joss as well as Millie’s genders seem undefinable considering their circumstances. Joss Moody used to be a girl, until the passion for jazz led to her pretending to be a man; as time passes, she gets so used to being a man that she (he) forgets her/his original identity - woman - and therefore obtains another identity – man. In that identity, he meets and falls in love with Millie – a woman who always regards him as a man despite his female body. Their relationship is so complicated that no existing category of sex can describe it. To most people, including Sophie Stone in the novel and Ceri Davies in ‘“The truth is a thorny issue”: lesbian denial’, the couple are simply lesbians who try to deny their sexuality by creating an unreal heterosexual family “Lesbians who [adopt] a son; one playing mummy, one playing daddy” (Kay, 170) ; “Millie...

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