Effect Of Family Boundaries In David Leavitt's Territory

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“‘I know what you were doing at the movie,’ she says. ‘What?’ ‘I know what you were doing.’ ‘What? I put my arm around you.’ ‘I’m sorry, Neil,’ she says. ‘I can only take so much. Just so much.’ ‘What do you mean?’ he says. ‘I was only trying to show affection.’ ‘Oh, affection---I know about affection.’…‘What do you mean?’ Neil says to her.’…‘I remember when you were a little boy,’ she says. ‘I remember, and I have to stop remembering. I wanted you to grow up happy. And I’m very tolerant, very understanding. But I can only take so much.” David Leavitt’s “Territory” emphasizes a mother-son relationship and focuses on the effect of family boundaries. This quotation causes the main character, Neil, and the reader, to experience revelations that define the plot. At this point in the story, Neil is finally unveiled to the fact that his mother disagrees with his “territory”. The reader, on the other hand, can now understand how heavily family boundaries can impact the actions of a son. Neil’s territory is his sexual inclination, and his homosexual lifestyle that differs so greatly from that of his mother, Barbara. In an earlier scene at a movie theater, Neil puts his…show more content…
He emphasizes the importance of a mother-son relationship and the effect of family morals. The two epiphanies are intertwined, however, they are different. Neil is experiencing his revelation directly in the story, because his mother is shying away from him. The reader is experiencing the revelation from an outside view, so we can see the bigger picture, and why Neil and Barbara’s relationship is diminishing. The striking part about these revelations is how the author connects with the reader. I think regardless of who reads “Territory” will in some way find a connection to David Leavitt and the themes present in the story; and that is exactly how he wants it to

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