Analysis of Sexuality in Literature Sample Essay

Language has ever been the yarn to threading together the huge tapestry of humanity and its experiences. Language is the individual most of import tool that connects one person to another. leting people to interrupt beyond the barriers of silence and isolation into a universe of communicating and interaction. Gallic philosopher George Bataille defines this esthesis of erotism in the undermentioned footings: “We are discontinuous existences. persons who perish in isolation in the thick of an inexplicable escapade. but we yearn for our lost continuity. ” These factors are well more permeant in same-sex erotism. the very nature of which forces many into isolation. this longing for connexion is witnessed throughout a assortment of the texts in this category. Most specifically. this longing is present indicated in Walt Whitman’s leaf related metaphor in the “Calamus” verse forms. Audre Lorde’s experience with tribades as written in her autobiography “Zami: A New Spelling of My Name” . Essex Hemphill’s solitariness in his verse form “Under Certain Circumstances” . Housman’s unanswered love in Tom Stoppard’s play “The Invention of Love. and Leslie Feinberg’s resemblance to the character Jess in s/he’s novel “Stone Butch Blues” .

Walt Whitman understands the importance of linguistic communication in showing the deepest of emotions. Like most work forces. Whitman finds problem depicting his emotions through spoken words. He uses an luxuriant metaphor comparing himself and his emotions to the foliages of trees. This metaphor serves as a subject that ties two specific poems together. “I Saw in Louisiana a Live-Oak Growing” and “Here the Frailest Leaves of Me” . The topic of the first verse form is an oak tree. which Whitman observes stands entirely and apart from other trees. He notes that while the tree lives entirely. “without a friend or lover near” whereas “I cognize really good I could non. ” Whitman concedes that he could non populate without the connexion of a friend or lover. bespeaking the intrinsic discontinuity he feels. Whitman saves a piece of the oak. which “makes me believe of manfully love” . The reader assumes that this is straight related to the “friend or lover” that is so necessary to Whitman’s being. This verse form demonstrates Whitman’s demand for connexion. specifically one homoerotic in nature.

Though this 2nd verse form is really short. it provides strong insight into Whitman’s position on his ain ideas and emotions. His mention to “leaves” Acts of the Apostless as a double-entendre ; in one word Whitman compares the delicate foliages of trees to the breakability of the ideas that he writes down. In kernel. this verse form is both nonliteral and actual: these foliages. these ideas that he has written down are “my strongest lasting” . and “they expose me more than all my other verse forms. ” It is clear that Whitman is exposing his humbleness and his seriousness in composing these verse forms that “shade and conceal my ideas. ” This verse form serves to farther enforce and formalize the necessity of that homoerotic “manly love” that Whitman references in the old verse form. It is clear in these two verse forms that Whitman yearns for a homoerotic connexion. 1 that is necessary for him to be merrily.

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Audre Lorde is another writer who utilizes literature to link with others and make full the discontinuity that plagues her. In her fresh “Zami: A New Spelling of My Name” . Lorde describes her relationship with Muriel and her sapphic friends. While she finds comfort in linking with them as tribades. she feels at all times aloneness due to her difference in race. Within her close group of friends. and even among her wider familiarities. Lorde finds comfort and consolation. She describes necessitating a topographic point to travel. and for her that topographic point was frequently the bars where she met her friends. However. the group’s inability to discourse “that difference [ that ] was was existent and important” ( 204 ) was due to the struggle between “individuality [ that ] was cherished to each one of us” ( 205 ) and the demand to retain the uniformity of the group as a aggregation of tribades. unified by that one similarity.

Lorde is plagued. peculiarly during her relationship with Muriel. by this “one manner in which I would ever be separate. and it was traveling to be my ain secret” ( 204 ) . Lorde feels unable to even admit her race. doing it impossible to of all time openly discuss the hurting and agony she experiences as a consequence of it. even with her lover Muriel. Lorde. at the terminal of the book. discusses importance of sistership to African adult females. It is Lorde’s belief that every adult female with whom you interact gives you something. and at the same clip takes something from you. It can be asserted that Lorde is composing this novel to give something of herself to all the African sapphic adult females who portion her discord as a victim of racism and homosexual favoritism. Her battle to relieve her internal discontinuity precipitated into her autobiography. so as to associate her longing to others through literature.

Essex Hemphill. in the same vain as Whitman. illustrates his yearning to link with another adult male. In his verse form “Under Certain Circumstances” . Hemphill is “lonely for past kisses” . bespeaking a yearning for a connexion that he one time had. The significance of these past busss is enforced when. in the same stanza. Hemphill fears “to dice kiping with soldiers I don’t love. ” Those “past kisses” . which must mention to past loving relationships. therefore must be held profoundly in his bosom. It is unaddressed in this verse form what put these relationships in the past. but Hemphill provinces “love is a unsafe word” . Taking this verse form in the context of Hemphill’s life will uncover that African American homophiles were frequently strongly discriminated against. even in their ain homosexual community. Hemphill’s gulf with his lover from earlier in life and his fright of trying to happen love once more is clearly the inspiration of this verse form. Poetry serves as his mercantile establishment to show that emotion to reconnect.

Alfred Housman. the chief character in Tom Stoppard’s play “The Invention of Love” . uses poesy to show his unanswered feelings towards his heterosexual friend Jackson. Housman recites the undermentioned verse form after he reveals to Jackson that he has been “sweet” on him.

He would non remain for me ; and who can inquire?
He would non remain for me to stand and stare.
I shook his manus and torus my bosom in sunder
And went with half my life about my ways.


This verse form really clearly illustrates that Jackson is the connexion for which Housman yearns. Now that his true feelings have been revealed. Housman intends on separating with Jackson. and “went with half my life about my ways. ” Though he yearns for Jackson and to hold the friendly relationship and brotherly love that connected them. Housman must accept that Jackson can non return those sentiments. The isolation Housman experiences as a homosexual is emphasized in Jackson’s remark that Housman will “meet the right miss and we’ll all three be chortling over this” . Jackson does non look to understand the nature of Housman’s love ; one that he has dedicated half his life to and must now portion ways with. It is merely through poesy. the written look of his emotions. can Housman happen a manner to force frontward in his life.

Leslie Feinberg’s novel “Stone Butch Blues” provides dramatic penetration into Feinberg’s ain growing and development into an grownup dike. Much of Jess’s agony and adversities as a homosexual is parallel to Feinberg’s hard life. He writes this novel to stress his ain feelings of felicity. discontent. and hankering. In the novel Jess has a dream where she encounters several dikes. As she awakens she excitingly explains to Theresa how she “felt like I belonged with them” ( 143 ) . Here Jess clearly displays her feeling of isolation from society. which can merely be mended if she was in the presence of dikes. She exemplifies her yearn to go more manfully and explains that she was happy in her dream because she “had a face fungus and my thorax was level. ” Her dream allowed her to recognize her desire to be a dike and eventually be able to link with others like her. All her life. Jess did non desire to experience different. but in her dream she “liked it” and enjoyed the company of “other people who are different” like her. In kernel. Feinberg’s novel showed how Jess yearned to link with persons that shared the same sexual desires as her so she could extinguish her discontinued feelings.

Eroticism as defined by Bataille holds undeniable truth in the instance of same-sex love. This longing for connexion in the face of unpassable isolation is a common subject throughout the novels of this class. More specifically. the deductions of homosexuality are seen in Walt Whitman’s leaf related metaphor in the “Calamus” verse forms. Audre Lorde’s experience with tribades as written in her autobiography “Zami: A New Spelling of My Name” . Essex Hemphill’s solitariness in his verse form “Under Certain Circumstances” . Housman’s unanswered love in Tom Stoppard’s play “The Invention of Love. and Leslie Feinberg’s resemblance to the character Jess in s/he’s novel “Stone Butch Blues” .

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