By Roel van den Oever
In postwar the USA, the discourse of Momism complicated the concept an over-affectionate or too-distant mom hampers the social and psychosexual improvement of her young ones, particularly her sons. Deemed worst of all was once the end result of homosexuality, because the interval observed an extreme policing of sexual deviance. van den Oever zooms in on 4 circumstances of the cultural illustration of Momism: The Grotto, by means of Grace Zaring Stone, unexpectedly final summer time, by way of Tennessee Williams, Alfred Hitchcock's Psycho, and Portnoy's criticism, via Philip Roth, to supply new statement on canonical texts, a selected second in American tradition, and destiny analyzing ideas.
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Extra info for Mama’s Boy: Momism and Homophobia in Postwar American Culture
Why then do I choose to discuss The Grotto? Why focus on a novel marred by the deus ex machina of a sudden death, a novel that falls so distinctly outside of any canon, a novel that is not even in print anymore? The first reason is that The Grotto’s central characters are a domineering mother and her queer son. Almost from the start, Celia’s ascendancy is a bone of contention to Evan who says: “I’m sure you already know exactly what we’re going to do here” (TG 3). When Celia denies this, he flares up: “Don’t kid me.
We bumped into a gal in show business, who we know is queer, sitting with two mannish-looking women [ . . ]. 10 In the same chapter, the authors discuss the dangers of homosexuals working for the federal government, repeating familiar numbers and tropes. They mention that “more than 90 twisted twerps in trousers [have] been swished out of the State Department” and claim that “there are at least 6,000 homosexuals on the government payroll, most of them known” (Lait and Mortimer 90). Based on these figures, “you may be concerned about the security of the country,” since “homosexuals are vulnerable, they can be blackmailed or influenced by sex more deeply than conventional citizens; they are far more intense about their love-life” (Lait and Mortimer 95).
In Cuordileone 68). St. George subsequently linked Waldeck’s article to the Lavender Scare and the issue of national security: she introduced the piece only days after the announcement that another 119 homosexual employees had been removed from the State Department, and she prefaced it with a speech in Congress about “the dangers to our own country and our whole political structure from this kind of international ring” (qtd. 11 As part of his successful 1952 campaign to get reelected as senator, McCarthy released the broadside McCarthyism: The Fight for America.