No man's land : questioning masculinity in the Great War : an honors thesis (HONRS 499)
Following the increasing amount of research on the cultural construction of femininity and masculinity, this work examined the changing perceptions of masculinity. First, secondary sources were examined to understand Victorian and Edwardian society's definition of masculinity. Because of their tremendous desire to shape boys into men, public schools, the Boy Scouts, and juvenile literature were used as the primary point of reference to define masculinity. These organizations also provided an ideological frame of reference from the poets discussed in this work. The primary source works of Owen, Graves, Sassoon, and Blunden were examined to see how their definition of masculinity was affected during the war. Numerous examples throughout their poetry dealt with the pre-war ideology of masculinity created in youth organizations and literature. In the trenches of World War I, these poets showed that their society's definition was often questioned.