98 Wounds Analysis

Great Essays
Love is a basic right that is inherited by anyone; however, the concept of homosexuality is rejected in society because it conflicts with societal norms that deem it appropriate for a man to be in love with a woman. As a result, Justin Chin’s book, “98 Wounds,” conveys the struggles of homosexuals whose sex lives are reflected by society’s rejection for them. Ultimately, in a society where homosexuality is rejected, homosexuals use sex as a means of expression in order to showcase their feelings of self-hatred and loathing to each other in the short stories, “Burn,” “Goo,” “Sugar,” “Woo,” “King,” and “Queen.”
In the short story, “Burn,” the narrator has sex with his lover in order to feel affection that he has never received from his mother;
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He wanted to have sex on the bed, but when seeing the dealer’s mother watching him, he feels more worthless. During sex with the dealer, as the dealer is sticking a dildo up his butt, the narrator “can feel some liquid seeping out of his hole” (Chin 39). And yet, they continue with the sexual acts because they simply love sex. The narrator even mentions “how unaffected he is by all the smells in the room.” And though the narrator is not affected by these smells, he becomes disturbed when he sees the dealer’s mom watching them display sexual acts in the background. When facing this situation, the narrator’s “smell of [his] own shit repulse[d] [him]” (Chin 45). Because in that situation, he was exposed at a vulnerable spot by the dealer’s mom. Essentially, having sex in front of someone’s mom, no matter whose mom it is, feels barbarian, and he expresses embarrassment as a result. To him, regardless of the dealer’s mom having Alzheimer’s, he believes that she is capable of judging him, just like others who have judged him before. We can somehow connect this to his experience with rejection from society; the mother, in a way, symbolizes society who watches the narrator with prying eyes, catches him at a vulnerable moment, and mocks him for it. Therefore, the vulnerability he faces in front of the dealer’s mom while displaying sexual acts makes him loathe …show more content…
This affection only becomes an illusion when his husband goes away. At first, when the narrator had been raped by the husband with “flaky peeling lips” at such a young age, he felt repulsed. And yet, this husband was his only means of affection because dealing with his homosexuality as a teen in a society that rejected homosexuality “rendered [him] despondent, depressed by way of terrifying nightmares” (Chin 52). This was because he felt terrified of being exposed of his homosexuality in fear that he would face rejection and hatred. And yet, his soon-to-be husband freed him from forever being lonely and depressed. Spending time with him made the narrator “conceivably love him in some manageable way” (Chin 53). In a way, the narrator found freedom being with the man; as a result, the narrator is experiences affection for this man. However, after the “husband was gone, left for another, a younger more innocent one,” the narrator experiences self-loathing. He feels that he would receive no love and affection, and that saddens him. And at that moment of realization, his penis, his “awful sibling twin...breathed her last sighing breath and drooped...never to be missed, never to be answered to” (Chin 53). This line indicates that the narrator has given up experiencing what it means to fall in love because his only chance at falling in love, the

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