Behind the Eyes: A Queer Analysis of Yukio Mishima's Confessions of a Mask
Matthew J. Pietrofere
Dr. Hena Ahmad, Faculty Mentor
Yukio Mishima's Confessions of a Mask (1949) portrays how socially determined gender roles are defined by patriarchal culture. As the gay protagonist, Kochan, grows up in post-World War II Japan he involuntarily conforms to the stereotypical male lifestyle. The novel depicts the demonization by society of Kochan, who scars himself physically and emotionally by retreating into a mask of heterosexuality. As the split between his public and private self widens, he withdraws into himself. This paper will analyze the ways in which Mishima depicts the pain of isolation that Kochan experiences in the society that shuns homosexuality in 1940s Japan.
Keywords: Yukio Mishima, Homosexuality, Post-war Japan
Topic(s):Women's and Gender Studies
Presentation Type: Oral Paper
Location: VH 1228