Sexuality In Neil Simon's The Odd Couple, Felix Ungar

Great Essays
Sexuality is very difficult to write about, and only the greatest can tackle this subject without making it cliche. Neil Simon spent the majority of his life composing plays and becoming one of America’s greatest authors. With his lifelong commitment to writing came the establishment of many different themes throughout his works. In his world famous 1960’s play, The Odd Couple, Felix Ungar has recently gotten divorced, and needs somewhere in New York live. His best friend Oscar invites him to live together. The arrangement starts out fine, but then their opposing personalities start to clash and they become more like a bickering married couple. Eventually, the two part ways, but they stay close friends and the experience diverts both of them …show more content…
Felix is described as “fussy and having feminine interest”, while Oscar is more of a ‘manly man’. (Grayson 145). These conflicting stereotypes put them in the traditional delicate wife and aggressive husband role that many are used to seeing, insinuating that they’re a couple. Felix’s femininity is apparent through his obsessive nature with keeping things clean to the point where he would “go in and clean the [house] again” after both Frances and a maid would clean it (Simon, The Odd Couple 246). This cleanliness is often thought of as a female trait, which gives Felix his stereotype of being a ‘wife’. Oscar, on the other hand, is extremely uncleanly. His uncleanliness is shown through the state his apartment is in which the audience learns through the set and the fact that his maid quit “after [his] wife an kids left. The work [got] to be too much for her” (Simon, The Odd Couple 222). As being clean shows that one is feminine, being dirty apparently shows that one is masculine. These stereotypes show that the two are homosexual as many see gay relationships as having a ‘womanly man’ and a ‘manly man’ instead of just two men. Society shows homosexuality as blatant and obvious, even though it might be different to just look at a pair of men and determine whether they are homosexual or …show more content…
An explanation for this can actually show up in the concept that is masculinity. Many men see their masculinity as a shield so that people cannot interpret them as gay. Oscar uses this tactic when he WHEN DOES HE USE THIS???? This kind of attempt to seem extremely masculine to wave off any unwanted assumptions of homosexuality can also be seen in the hit sitcom Friends. Dr. Ross Geller is commonly being poked fun at for having some feminine qualities, so he uses many different maneuvers to keep people from assuming he is gay. At one point in season 2, Joey needs to prepare for a callback in which the original director told him that he was a bad kisser, so he has to practice kissing. Unfortunately for Joey, he has to kiss a man in the show. The only option is to kiss Ross. At first Ross refuses because he does not want to be seen as homosexual in any way, but by the end he is “feeling incredibly guilty about [it], because [he wants to] be a good friend” so he kisses Joey (Ungerleider). To cover up his issues with masculinity Ross refused to help his friend, only doing so when he feels guilty. In this case, he does eventually help Joey with the issue and own up to the fact that he kissed a man unlike in other times. One of these times is when Ross and Joey nap together in season 7. They both agree that is was “the best

Related Documents

  • Improved Essays

    How do you find out that if men don’t show an exactly action on willing a sexual activity with other men? You may surprise that a man surrounding you, who masculine enough, is a homosexual, especially in early centuries, homosexuality was still a controversial topic. In this case, will the guy code say he is man? In the video, “A Closer Look At The Gender Merge,” the news explores a new challenging on masculinity ever that men are doing things that are originally considered for women only. Men are dressing themselves with a girly fashion, nailing, and knitting.…

    • 847 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Great Essays

    98 Wounds Analysis

    • 1699 Words
    • 7 Pages

    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.…

    • 1699 Words
    • 7 Pages
    Great Essays
  • Improved Essays

    Gender roles are conventional behaviors expected from individuals based on their birth sex. These gender-based ideals often support the idea that men are meant to be masculine, straightforward, emotionally repressed, and aggressive, whereas women are meant to be submissive, demure, nurturing, and above all, beautiful. Although some argue that the purpose of these roles are to cultivate positive qualities in men and women, they ultimately build barriers for nonconformist individuals as well as promote severe inequality. It is because of these norms that women and men are reduced to harmful stereotypes, which is why they must be eliminated in order to abolish the closed-minded nature of our society. Gender based standards can dictate the self…

    • 1124 Words
    • 5 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Improved Essays

    You mean like, faggots?”. Although he agrees to marry Larry, Chuck repeatedly makes it known that he is a straight, manly-man, who strictly, chases after females only. His character makes it clear that he has a fear of gays. Second, the characters are relentless when it comes to making ridiculous jokes about gay men. Most Hollywood films make homosexuality into more of a comedy-sense because many people do not accept their personal, sexual orientation.…

    • 761 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Great Essays

    The study only looks at homophobia through the male lens, eliminating the examination homophobia towards women by women. Do homophobic women experience the same arousal towards same-sex stimuli? If not, is heterosexual male who are homophobic simply more aroused by same-sex stimuli, because its considered more taboo? They are also viewing arousal as the major indicator of an individual’s sexual preference, sexual identity, or future sexual activity; there are…

    • 1356 Words
    • 6 Pages
    Great Essays
  • Improved Essays

    For males, the concept of being gay is like being a female. Well, to be more precise in terms of keeping your masculinity some males think being homo/gay means being less than a man an insult to one gender most hate/dislike come from this as some males act like a woman, walk, or even try…

    • 754 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Superior Essays

    In the movie She’s the Man, Olivia is also in an emotional state but because she just got out of a break up and instantly falls for Sabastian for being different from most guys she’s used to. In the movie she loves that Sabastian is a lyricist, and will say anything to complement him which she awkwardly does with his usic, “Those are really good. So honest.” Olivia takes any advantage to either make Sabastian fall in love with her or make him jealous, which is comedic because she has no idea that its Viola. In the end of both the play and movie Olivia finds love with the real Sabastian, which allows Duke to finally realize that he loves…

    • 1153 Words
    • 5 Pages
    Superior Essays
  • Superior Essays

    Masculinity In Our Society

    • 1581 Words
    • 7 Pages

    Since boys are taught being like a girl is a horrible heresy, and doing ”masculine” activities is the best right and best thing to do, it makes girls look inferior. Society praises masculine traits while demoting feminine traits. A masculine achievement today is having sex with multiple women. If you da sex with only one, maybe two girls, then you are seen as only okay man but, if you are a virgin then you are already categorised as a wimp or even seen a gay for not having sex. The type of male that is the least type of masculine is a homosexual.…

    • 1581 Words
    • 7 Pages
    Superior Essays
  • Great Essays

    Subgenre Of Farce Analysis

    • 1792 Words
    • 8 Pages

    In White Chicks, Marcus realizes his neglect of Gina through his interactions as Tiffany, and he realizes that everything she does for him is because of love. The films reveal “the unwanted sexual overtures, male voyeurism, and the constraints and pleasures of feminine culture” to male audiences (Tueth 90). Aside from being sex farce comedies, both Some Like It Hot and White Chicks are very…

    • 1792 Words
    • 8 Pages
    Great Essays
  • Improved Essays

    However, though love created this problem for Dante, it also provides a solution, or at least a way for Dante to cope with his currently unrequited feelings. The text shows that Ari is not comfortable with kissing boys right now, though he accepts Dante. It shows in the way he first hesitates when Dante comes out, the way to reminds Dante that he doesn’t like boys, and the way he reacts when they do a trial kiss. Dante knows that his best friend is not comfortable with kissing him, so he will put away his love for Ari and stick with being friends—which is still a good scenario. This is one way love both creates and solves problems.…

    • 2032 Words
    • 9 Pages
    Improved Essays