Disguise, disease, and transformation: Public and private expressions of non-normative identities in The Pagoda and A Small Gathering of Bones
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This project aims to examine the fictional works of Patricia Powell, specifically The Pagoda and A Small Gathering of Bones through the theoretical lens of Hannah Arendt, as well as supplemental theoretical works regarding gender, sexuality, and masculinity. Using Arendt's theories regarding behavior in the public and private realms and revelations of truth, this paper looks at the actions of variously closeted characters as they navigate hostile environments and seek freedom from the constrictions of societal expectations. The analysis of these texts reveals the extent to which Arendt's theories, particularly those expressed in The Human Condition , can provide insight into the experiences and decisions of characters struggling with non-normative gender and sexual identities.