Boxer Handsome; a novel and critical study of representations of masculinities in modern literature

Research output: ThesisDoctoral Thesis

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This thesis is a study of modern masculinities as represented in both fiction and non–fiction. It is explored through a novel, Boxer Handsome and through a critical essay. The critical essay will explore working class masculinity through an analysis of 1950s fiction, cinematic representations and factual accounts of boxers and gangsters and the performance of masculinity within sub-cultural groups. I will look at how representations of masculinity are performed within specific sub-cultural groups of men and the way language is formed as a response to social and cultural experience.
The thesis will be separated into four chapters: Chapter 1. Post-1950s British fiction and cinema; Chapter 2. Fictional and factual accounts of boxers; Chapter 3. Gangsters and Violence, and Chapter 4. Representations of women in some of these cultures. My conclusion demonstrates how these areas have informed my writing. My novel, Boxer Handsome, set in a working-class neighbourhood in East End London, borrows from all these cultures, specifically boxing.
Boxer Handsome, is set against the backdrop of contemporary East-End London and studies the tribal tensions between Bobby, an Irish-Jewish amateur boxer and Connor, a boxer from an Irish travelling community. From the same boxing club, the boys inherit old feuds from their fathers and uncles, which force them to fight inside and outside the boxing ring. Bobby, burdened by a constant cycle of violence, seeks to redeem himself through his boxing.
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • Royal Holloway, University of London
  • Motion, Andrew, Supervisor
  • Hampson, Robert, Supervisor
Award date1 Jan 2014
Publication statusUnpublished - 2014

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