Dandies and Desert Saints: Styles of Victorian Masculinity

By James Eli Adams | Go to book overview

Afterword

At the end of chapter 10 of E. M. Forster novel Maurice, Forster's hero comes to a momentous decision: "He would live straight, not because it mattered to anyone now, but for the sake of the game. He would not deceive himself so much. He would not—and this is the test—pretend to care about women when the only sex that attracted him was his own. He loved men and had always loved them" (62). Students in late-twentieth-centuryAmerica tend to be puzzled, perhaps bemused, at Maurice's resolve to "live straight" by acknowledging that he loves men. The puzzle, they recognize after a moment's perplexity, stems from the fact that "straight" here does not mean "heterosexual"; it means "straightforwardly," directly, openly. The word in this sense grounds Maurice's dangerous avowal of his desires within the complex history that I have tried to sketch in this book. "Straight," that is, appeals to a familiar norm of middle-class manhood, particularly that of the late Victorian public school—a world richly evoked in the appeal, "for the sake of the game." Even as Maurice attempts to break free of respectable norms of masculinity, his new sense of self is constructed, inevitably, out of an existing rhetoric of masculine identity. And within that rhetoric, being "straight" is opposed, not to loving men, but to being guarded, furtive, evasive, deceptive, tangential, oblique, bent—"queer," perhaps.

What we glimpse in Forster's novel, I suggest, is the emergence of our late-twentieth-century idiom of male sexuality from a Victorian discourse of masculine identity—a discourse in which masculinity is centrally bound up with dynamics of communication. One aspect of this continuum is a commonplace: Maurice is "an unspeakable of the Oscar Wilde sort" (159), whose "criminal morbidity" is (of course) the love

Notes for this page

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this book

This book has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this book

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this page

Cited page

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited page

Bookmark this page
Dandies and Desert Saints: Styles of Victorian Masculinity
Table of contents

Table of contents

Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this book

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen
/ 249

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Author Advanced search

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.