Homosociality and Homosexuality in The Talented Mr Ripley

The creation of homosexual definition and identity as the other, fixes the hegemony of heterosexuality as the norm, enforcing their invisible position as definer, knower and discipliner. The classifications of sexuality, as Foucault illustrates, fixes subjectivity as either homosexual or not homosexual, prescribing difference and exclusion within certain types of relationships and bodily functions . Ultimately rendering bodies docile and compliant to the fixed limitations and governed restrictions of sexual and social spaces and language. Attempting to resist these innate power discourses through subverting stereotypes, exerting freedom and remaining silent merely renegotiates the ...

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care, value and potential, still risks reinforcing a dangerous consensus of knowingness about the genuinely unknown” . Therefore, both Highsmith’s and Minghella’s depiction of Tom Ripley, and my evaluation of Tom’s desires, inadvertently refamiliarises and renaturalises agencies of fear towards the homosexual psychopathic other. However, Tom Ripley’s behaviour is the outward materialisation of this internalised homosexual panic, directly signifying the extent to which the hetero/homosexual definition stifles and forbids homosexual desire, undermining the normality of these discourses.

Barthes highlights that hegemonic myths are maintained through the innately known, yet concealed significations of signs , including the act of silence, the things one declines to say or is forbidden to name, as Foucault explains “is less the absolute limit of discourse, the other side from which it is separated by a strict boundary, than an element that functions alongside the things said, with ...

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to decree homosexuality as heterosexual norms facilitates internalised denial and performative closetedness. Similarly to Harrison, Hifler asserts that to “anchor Tom’s identity in latent homosexuality . . . is to read against the clear indications in Highsmith’s novel that Tom’s strength is in his indeterminacy of identity, in an emptiness of self that allows the superior performance of roles” . As Highsmith has formed an unfixed protagonist unhinged from personal history, both Harrison and Hifler imply that Ripley constructs himself throughout the novel, thus his homosexuality is a device of his fabrication. Although his seemingly homosexual dress and taste enable a smooth class ...

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PAPER DETAILS
Added: 4/5/2011 12:12:50 AM
Submitted By: sbar5354
Category: Film & Theater
Type: Premium Paper
Words: 1523
Pages: 6

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