The Painted Veil by W Somerset Maugham and the book Critical Theory “A User-Friendly Guide” by Lois Tyson Second Ediition
Remember you are using Chapter 10 in Lois Tyson’s book Critical Theory Today A User-Friendly Guide First, explain in your own words the queer theory concept that human sexuality is “socially constructed.” Next, consider the fact that Maugham wrote his novel The Painted Veil while living with his male partner of 30 years and that the novel is based upon their visit to China together. Earlier in his life, Maugham had affairs with both men and women and was married to a woman for a period and fathered a daughter; but later in life, he lived with two long-term male partners and had affairs exclusively with men. In your essay response, consider the manner in which this knowledge of Maugham’s private life and sexuality might alter our reading of his novel. Some questions you might consider are: Are there heterosexual relationships in the novel that might be thought usefully of as “coded” homosexual relationships – that is to say, a fictive transformation into an acceptable heterosexual norm of a real-life homosexual relationship that Maugham might have been using as a basis for his story? How would our suspicion of such coding change our understanding of the novel? Are there any of the characters that you suspect of being secretly gay or lesbian? Would such a sexual identity of one or more of the characters change our reading of the novel? If so, how? Considering that Maugham lived most of his life as a “marginalized” homosexual man, might it be possible to read Kitty’s progress toward sexual liberation and fulfillment as an implicit plea for societal tolerance of non-normative sexual behavior and identity? How would such a reading of the novel work in terms of “coded” homosexuality? Please remember that you only use these two books or resources in your response,
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