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The Role of cheerleading in Megan Abbott's Dare me

Lilja Englund, Erica LU (2014) ENGK01 20142
English Studies
Abstract
This essay will, essentially, analyse gender roles and the possible liberation from them in the novel Dare Me by Megan Abbott. In the novel, this possible emancipation has its starting point in cheerleading. The sport has since its birth been a symbol for certain gender roles. In the beginning it stood for masculine sportsmanship (strength) and later, for feminine showmanship (beauty). When cheerleading was performed by men it was associated with skill and honour, when it became feminized it also became trivialized and associated with superficiality and exhibitionism. The female figure of the cheerleader also became increasingly more sexualised, at the same time a symbol for submissive as well as excessive female sexuality. It is this... (More)
This essay will, essentially, analyse gender roles and the possible liberation from them in the novel Dare Me by Megan Abbott. In the novel, this possible emancipation has its starting point in cheerleading. The sport has since its birth been a symbol for certain gender roles. In the beginning it stood for masculine sportsmanship (strength) and later, for feminine showmanship (beauty). When cheerleading was performed by men it was associated with skill and honour, when it became feminized it also became trivialized and associated with superficiality and exhibitionism. The female figure of the cheerleader also became increasingly more sexualised, at the same time a symbol for submissive as well as excessive female sexuality. It is this complex yet confining image of femininity that Dare Me wants to transcend. Abbott wishes to, I claim, radicalise the cheerleader. Or rather, reveal the radical nature/potential of the cheerleader. This essay will examine if this potential is realised or if the novel instead promotes restrictive gender roles. Through concepts such as “the body”, “the sublime” etc., I will attempt an answer. paper claims that although there is possibility for liberation in the figure of the cheerleader, the novel does not follow through. The potential remains just that: potential. No real change or discovery is made, no actual freedom is gained. (Less)
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author
Lilja Englund, Erica LU
supervisor
organization
course
ENGK01 20142
year
type
M2 - Bachelor Degree
subject
keywords
cheerleading, gender roles, liberation, the body, sexualisation, the sublime, sport, the feminine/masculine
language
English
id
4698814
date added to LUP
2016-03-14 10:44:25
date last changed
2016-03-14 10:44:25
@misc{4698814,
  abstract     = {This essay will, essentially, analyse gender roles and the possible liberation from them in the novel Dare Me by Megan Abbott. In the novel, this possible emancipation has its starting point in cheerleading. The sport has since its birth been a symbol for certain gender roles. In the beginning it stood for masculine sportsmanship (strength) and later, for feminine showmanship (beauty). When cheerleading was performed by men it was associated with skill and honour, when it became feminized it also became trivialized and associated with superficiality and exhibitionism. The female figure of the cheerleader also became increasingly more sexualised, at the same time a symbol for submissive as well as excessive female sexuality. It is this complex yet confining image of femininity that Dare Me wants to transcend. Abbott wishes to, I claim, radicalise the cheerleader. Or rather, reveal the radical nature/potential of the cheerleader. This essay will examine if this potential is realised or if the novel instead promotes restrictive gender roles. Through concepts such as “the body”, “the sublime” etc., I will attempt an answer. paper claims that although there is possibility for liberation in the figure of the cheerleader, the novel does not follow through. The potential remains just that: potential. No real change or discovery is made, no actual freedom is gained.},
  author       = {Lilja Englund, Erica},
  keyword      = {cheerleading,gender roles,liberation,the body,sexualisation,the sublime,sport,the feminine/masculine},
  language     = {eng},
  note         = {Student Paper},
  title        = {The Role of cheerleading in Megan Abbott's Dare me},
  year         = {2014},
}