Analysis of Trumpet, by Jackie Kay Essay examples

Analysis of Trumpet, by Jackie Kay Essay examples

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In this essay I want to analyze the main character " Joss" from the novel Trumpet, written by Jackie Kay. Joss, actually born female, decides to live his life as a man, marries a woman and adopts a son. For the reader it is still and unanswered question whether Joss is to be considered a man or a woman. For this reason I want to have a closer look on Joss's actions and statements in the novel and sum up hints for being " typcally feminine" or " typically masculine". In this process I would also like to dedicate myself to the question, why Kay has chosen to put Joss and Millie into a hetero normative discourse, even though their love and lifestyle is everything else but ordinary and the norm. A particularly important contributory factor here is how people recognize others and most importantly themselves.

First of all it should be emphasized that it was Joss' own decision to live his life as a man. For the reader the true background, why he made this decision, is not really revealed. It it reasonable to think, nevertheless, that he he has considered everything very thoroughly and that he is happy with his decision. This assumption is evidenced by his behavior. There are certain "typical" male attributes Joss places special emphasis on. Let us look at the example of " shaving", which is clearly to be considered a male practice : Joss is very into the shaving business and he makes a big deal of it ( Kay,122). For him it is a ritual and a sign of masculinity. The way he dresses himself does not reveal the fact that he was born as a woman as well. In the book Joss is constantly described as a man by others. When Maggie sees Joss for he very first time she describes him as an very attractive man with style and expensive clothes ( ...


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...her as a person. Because most people only know the two genders "man" and "woman" with their natural roles in life Joss is somehow obliged to choose one of those roles. Even if he wanted to live his life as a woman it would have been hard for his relationship and his career as a trumpet player. This becomes even clearer when we have a look at a certain reaction by the funeral director. When he found out that Joss was, biologically, a woman he is not able to recognize Joss as a human being. He has a very hard time to write the death certificate, not knowing which gender he is supposed to put. The picture he had of Joss, the male trumpet player did not exist anymore but the "new" female Joss Moody cannot be accepted. This might also explain why Kay has chosen to portray Joss as a man in an heterosexual relationship.


Work Cited

Kay, Jackie. Trumpet. Picador, 2011.

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