Understanding Sex And Sexuality : The South Is Beyond A Challenge Essay

Understanding Sex And Sexuality : The South Is Beyond A Challenge Essay

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Understanding sex and sexuality in the South is beyond a challenge. Those wanting to explore these concepts are met with rigid, religious traditions and ignorant, bigots who perpetuate the ideals of the stubborn South. This is especially difficult for the youth of the South who are still trying to find themselves and navigate the trials and tribulations of life.The protagonists of both Jesmyn Ward’s Salvage the Bones and Jim Grimsley’s Dream Boy come from two contrasting backgrounds yet, both share the same struggles of understanding themselves and their sexuality and coming to terms with their sexuality.
Sex and sexuality plays an integral part of the stories of the novel as a taboo that many of the characters refuse to address. For Dream Boy’s Nathan, his taboo is that he is a young, homosexual boy living in the very conservative South. Being homosexual in the South is extremely dangerous because of rigid religious beliefs and In addition to Nathan, his counterpart Roy struggles with coming to terms with his sexuality. Sexuality is especially difficult for because he appears one way for public image but acts differently when he and Nathan are together. After Roy and Nathan have intercourse, Roy’s demeanor changes from pleasure to guilt as he can ,”no longer bring himself to look at Nathan or to touch. The guilt clouds him worse each time (Grimsley 55).” The guilt is especially worse for Roy as his feelings for Nathan grow past the friendship stage but he must deal with his religious parents and his girlfriend, making Roy live a double life in some sorts. By the end of the novel, the readers see that Roy choses Nathan when the text states, “ He is understanding, now. He is choosing (Grimsley 193).”
In Salvage the Bones, Esch ...


... middle of paper ...


... such a topic or notion.Some young adults are challenged with teenage pregnancies, homosexuality in a homophobic South, or feeling sexually liberated in an oppressive environment. Some are met with verbal abuse, harassment, or even physical violence if they challenge the South antiquated traditions when dealing with sex and sexuality. The characters of Salvage the Bones and Dream Boy mirror what many budding adults in the South face when exploring sexuality and the outcomes of that exploration. Just like Esch, Nathan, and Roy, many young adults differ in their sexuality and their sexual experiences. The next generation of the Southern population and the characters share the commonality that they were brave enough to challenge the traditions of the South. All are able to come to terms and accept who they are as people and seuxal beings as they come of age in the South.

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