Discuss how gender and sexuality are represented in urban literature. (Texts used are The International by Glenn Patterson and Devil in a Blue Dress by Walter Mosley)

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The topics of gender and sexuality are inherent with urban society as they are concerned with everyday sexual or gender-related encounters. As a consequence it is important to discuss how these topics are represented in urban literature. The texts I will be discussing in regards to the question are The International by Glenn Patterson, and Devil in a Blue Dress by Walter Mosley. Both texts relate to different urban cities and decades, The International is set in Belfast in 1967, whereas Devil in a Blue Dress is situated in Los Angeles in 1948. The gender and sexuality issues expressed in each novel are at once both diverse and similar. Both texts transcend the notion that 'sexuality that is good, normal and natural should ideally be heterosexual, marital, monogamous, reproductive and non-commercial.' (Rubin: 280) In fact in Devil in a Blue Dress, Ronald who adheres to the notion of 'good, normal and natural' sexuality, and whose wife is a 'religious women' ends up with 'nine sons,' who 'eat every minute that they ain't yellin.'

(Mosley: 133-4) His reward for maintaining a sexual appetite that is purely 'marital, monogamous, (and) reproductive' is that he doesn't 'have any chance to be happy, unless he broke his poor family's heart.' (Mosley: 134) In the following essay I will consider how sexuality is alternatively used for monetary and informative purposes in some cases and simply sexual pleasure in others. I will also look at gender stereotypes in each novel.

Glenn Patterson's novel The International focuses on an eighteen year old boy called Danny Hamilton and his job as a hotel barman. On page one, we are told that the day before he had 'fallen in love twice and twice been rebuffed.' (Patterson: 1) By page two we are given the names of...