I have gone through and read what people have posted so far and I find it so interesting how there might be a slight reference to whatever post came previous to yours, they are all focused on different things. In class, one person starts the conversation and it can gradually change, but it isn't really like these very separate speaches. I think that is good in some ways because it can allow us to express our opinions without softening them for people who are looking right at us or to have to stay on a topic when we would much rather talk about something else. On the other hand, I can read Mike's post about how gay the book is and want to know other people's opinions, but no one else really brought it out into the open like that. It does give everyone the oportunity to tal about what interests tham and it is great that we can all notice different things and point them out to each other, but I also like the immediate response given in a class toward someone's opinion.
That said, I'm going to use my post to talk about what some of my classmates already said. Yes, holy cow, this is a gay book. I would be very interested to know how it was recieved durring the time. It is so blunt and really just puts everything out there. It is almost shocking. I don't even know that I would call it literature, more like verbal porn for people who have a murder fettish. BUT what we are studying in this class has some focus on French gay writing durring the time period it was written.
I find it very interesting that there are so many gay people. It seems like just about every main character is gay. I'm not sure if that is because of the area this takes place, because it works for the plotline or just because that's what the author wanted, but it seems almost unbelievable to me. Everywhere you turn, there is someone who is gay and most likely hiding it. I don't know the ratio of gay to straight in real life, but this seems far fetched.
Now, as for gays in the Navy. Um, a tiny bit overdone nowadays (think The Village People), but I'm sure at the time it wasn't quite such a stereotype. I think there is something to be said just for the fact that these men are on a boat in the middle of the ocean with no women around. I wouldn't say that maeks them turn gay, I wouldn't say that doesn't cause people to experiment, but it does seem like a likely time for something like that to come out in the open.
Now what happens on shore is a completely different story. I think that if I wre in that position I would avoid my boat mates while I was on shore. I'm sure you've all bonded while out together, but I'd need a break from the other guys I've seen 24/7. I am amazed that these sailors don' really seem to have lives outside of each other.
The barret I will wait to comment on until I have read more about it. RIght now I am just so confused that I couldn't even venture a guess. I get mixed and faint signals and can't seem to make sense of them.
WOW! Falic symbols! Um, I looked online and saw a poster fromt he 1980-something movie and there is a guy leaning up against a tower that is clearly shaped like a penis with balls and a head and everything! I wouldn't think they'd have been able to put a poster like that up in public. Um, wow, there are some words I never thought I was going to say in a literature class, but my God I think all of them will be said by the time we are done with this book.
Stiff collar, I didn't see as a symbal of anything sexual or man-part oriented, but now that it has been pointed out, um, well.... There is a real sense of power and manipulation in this book, which in some circles can hint at sex as well.
There has been so much to take in and sort through in that last 140-odd pages that I'm worried when we get to meet in class and actually talk about it we wont have enough time! I think even the quiet ones will have something to say about this!