If it is true, as noted critic Elaine Showalter has stated, that "feminist criticism has established gender as a fundamental category of literary analysis,'' then literary representations of male gender roles require precisely the kind of critical scrutiny that many scholars are at present rightfully devoting to literary portrayals of women. In response to urgent questions raised by feminist criticism and the women's movement in general, the new discipline of men's studies has begun articulating its province of inquiry, and literary representations of male gender roles fall within this province.



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