"American Beauty"

Essay by fatality84University, Bachelor'sA+, March 2006

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The construction of masculinity is reinforced by the movie "American Beauty". The articles of Maurice Berger and Paul Smith will reinforce my thesis by the characters who transcends to be the masculine figure. I will give specific details in all of the scenes from the movie that coincides with the different articles. "Because masculinity belongs to no one gender, race, sexuality, or intellectual discipline, it is important to represent multivalent ways of thinking about the conditions, sensibility, and psychological, economic, legal, and medical imperatives that enforce it," Maurice Berger.

He opens by telling us his name which is Lester Burnham and age 42. "It is no longer possible simply to declare one's manhood as a form of identity politics. Masculinity not limited to straightforward descriptions of maleness," as stated in Maurice Berger's article. Over the years he has accepted the fact that both, Jane and Carolyn, regard him as a total looser (he even agrees with them in a voiceover in the beginning of the film) and ignore his needs.

You see him in the shower and the voice over informs us that this will probably be the highlight of his day, jerking off in the shower. Carolyn (his wife) simply refuses to have sex with him and Jane is not interested to have any kind of conversation with her father. It is obvious that he is not the head of his family. He is emotionally repressed and submissive to authority. "('Are you a man or a mouse?') Yet masculinity seems to demand such anxious choices, existing at the threshold between fixity and annihilation, between identity and nonidentity", Maurice. In another scene he hurries towards the car where Carolyn and Jane are waiting for him to leave for school and work, his briefcase suddenly springs open and his...