2012 Student Research Conference:
25th Annual Student Research Conference

Imitative Heteronormative Masculinity in Yukio Mishima's Confessions of a Mask
Jeremey W. King
Dr. Hena Ahmad, Faculty Mentor

Kochan, the first-person narrator in Yukio Mishima's Confessions of a Mask (1949), exercises strict control over his homosexual inclinations. By attempting to assume the identity of a normative heterosexual, Kochan demonstrates the imitative nature of gender. Kochan's mask of heteronormative masculinity suggests that all gendering is a construct. Indeed, as gender theorist Judith Butler would argue, gendering is an imitation of a copy that itself is a duplicate without an origin. Drawing on Judith Butler's theory of gender as performance, I will argue that Kochan's desire to acquire the identity of a normative heterosexual male by repressing his so-called "illicit" feelings demonstrates the artificiality and social constructedness of gender.

Keywords: queer theory, Judith Butler, gender, gender imitation, Confessions of a Mask, Yukio Mishima

Women's and Gender Studies

Presentation Type: Oral Paper

Session: 102-1
Location: VH 1000
Time: 8:00

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