Monday, April 28, 2014

Idealized Boyhood Bond

The adventure constructed in this novel is centered around the bond between to young men. Poe refers to their indelible, unsullied bond as something that allows these boys to escape from the mundane and domesticated regularity of life into an epic adventure. This ideal is certainly reflective of a caricature drawn in many young adult stories of steadfast male friendship. But I really despise its implied dismissive regard for an equivalent female bond. This character structure made me think about my favorite childhood book series, the Bloody Jack books. These stories follow a young female orphan from industrial era England who disguises herself as a young boy to become a deckhand aboard a merchant ship. She eventually becomes a badass pirate, but that's really besides the point. The connection really lies in her need to impersonate a young man in order to experience this deeply altruistic bond with another boy. What is it about this concept that seems so tantalizing to writers and why can't I think of a single example of a similarly epic tale that involves two adventure thirsty girls?

1 comment:

  1. As you know, I am very much on the same page as you here. Somehow Little House on the Prairie (my favorite series as a kid) does not capture the same amount of epic adventure as Harry Potter and all of the thousands of other books centered around masculinity and the power of the patriarchy. However, do you think that Poe ruptures the sound-ness of male friendships when Pym gets over the death of Augustus in 0.2 seconds? The entire beginning of the novel is about their friendship, but then when Augustus dies he is quickly replaced with Peters, and Pym never looks back.