Chapter

Wounded Bodies and the Cold War

Viet Thanh Nguyen

in Race and Resistance

Published in print April 2002 | ISBN: 9780195146998
Published online September 2007 | e-ISBN: 9780199787890 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195146998.003.0003
 Wounded Bodies and the Cold War

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This chapter deals with the novels of Carlos Bulosan and John Okada in the context of the Cold War and the racial politics of masculinity. Bulosan, a Filipino American, and Okada, a Japanese American, present their concerns about racial oppression through gender and sexuality, in this case through the lives of Asian American men who are deeply wounded by the racial violence and discrimination that often worked through emasculation. Okada's No No Boy and Bulosan's America Is in the Heart and The Cry and the Dedication are attempts to recuperate the wounded bodies of Asian American men, speaking to American society in terms that it could understand: freedom and materialism. The recuperated manhood they seek to establish is inevitably limited by the ways in which freedom and materialism are conceptually entangled with the same structure of racial discrimination and economic exploitation that targeted Asian Americans.

Keywords: Carlos Bulosan; Cold War; discrimination; emasculation; Filipino American; gender; Japanese American; masculinity; John Okada; sexuality

Chapter.  12880 words. 

Subjects: Literary Studies (1500 to 1800)

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