Gender And Sexuality In The History Boys And The Wasp Factory

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How do Alan Bennett and Iain Banks Present Gender and Sexuality in The History Boys and The Wasp Factory?
Gender and sexuality and predominant themes within The History Boys and The Wasp Factory, both ideas are used as plot devices and are discussed frequently throughout the texts.The main focus of the two pieces feature male protagonist and in both text present the female as the “antagonist” or the least liked out the characters. The female characters are also catalysts to some events in the two texts. Sexuality, especially within The History Boys, is used to give an insight to the reader about the characters way of think. The talk of sexuality poses the gender question about men and whether sex is more important and more thought of compared
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Dakin, Posner, Irwin and Hector are important characters showing how Bennett presents sexuality. Bennett presents the different types of homosexuality. Posner is the only character in the play that is identified as homosexual and whose sexuality is known definitively by the rest of the characters, and then there is the introduction of the two other homosexual. Though the audience is not made aware of Irwin’s sexuality for sure, it is assumed that he is homosexual from the way he responds to Dakin’s sexual advances. Irwin does not appear to be in denial or closeted about his sexuality, the fact that he is not open about itor in a relationship Bennett presents the idea that Irwin is resentful about being homosexual. This would be understandable in the time period that The History Boys is set in, not being open about his sexuality, even though he is given opportunities too, could be due to the stigmas against homosexuality at the time. With AIDs being put more into the public eye and it being related to homosexuality there was a social stigma surrounding the sexuality and the activity between homosexual males in particular. Still, Bennett does not present this as negative or as disgusting. The one negative view on homosexuality Bennett presented is Hector. Hector is a paedophileand touching the boys inappropriately. Though this could be a comment on how Hector’s generation condoned the repressing of sexuality, …show more content…
Frank’s view on sexuality and sex stems from his view on women and his view that he appears inadequate as a male. It could be due to the hormones his father gives him that make him like sexual attraction to females or males, and he could be seen as an asexual, and not attracted to anyone. However, Frank instead of being asexual, is just repulsed by sex and by the act of intimacy with another person. Frank may equate sex with intimacy and romantic love, and since he has had no view of these things and specifically no positive view on relationship and sex, from his mother and father he equates sex to get in the way. His lack of sexual attraction could relate to his own self-obsessed nature, he may see others as “unworthy” to be intimate with him as no one may live up to his standards of masculinity. This also shows Frank’s God complex and links to the whole idea of “the wasp factory”. The complete control over the wasps and deciding whether they live or die represents his complete lack of control over his life. Other people seem to have control over him, from his father to Eric who both keep him in the dark throughout the novel and only allow him slightest bit of information throughout the book. This could also be his reasoning against sex and relationships; it may appear that he has the view that relationships equates to possession and belonging to

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