Gender And Desire In Hands And Lady Hamlet

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In literature gender may often play an important role on a characters passion to express oneself. In Hands by Sherwood Anderson, and The Lady Hamlet, by Sarah Schulman, we are acquainted to characters that deal with issues with their professions, something that in both stories the main characters have a strong yearning for. However this strong craze that they have for their professions is greatly affected by questioning the security of their gender. These two works of literature greatly show how gender and desire fall hand in hand with each other. Hands, by Sherwood Anderson, is about an old man named Wing Biddlebaum who in a nutshell is known for his quick hands, and “The story of Wing Biddlebaum is a story of hands” (Anderson 1). As we know Biddlebaum is a former school teacher from another town, his attention shown to his students are wrongfully interpreted as being sexual which questions whether he is a homosexual or not because he works in an all boys school. However we are informed that Biddlebaum, formerly known as Adolph Myers, “was meant by nature to be a teacher of youth. He was one of those rare, little-understood men who rule by a power so gentle that it passes as a lovable weakness.” (Anderson 3) because of his strong love for his field of work, he became a misinterpreted man whose sexuality was questioned because of his gender. In the text Anderson carefully words the description of Myers actions to show us the hidden purity of the wrongfully accused, “In a way the voice and the hands, the stroking of the shoulders and the touching of the hair were part of the schoolmaster’s effort to carry a dream into the young minds” (Anderson 3). If he had not been a male teacher and had shown the same affection to his students he most likely would have never been infamously known for his hands. Looking at gender and desire in a different aspect, we have The
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