Thursday, January 23, 2020

Music For Torching by A.M. Holmes Essay -- Music Torching Holmes Essay

Music For Torching by A.M. Holmes A.M. Holmes’ critique of the American dream’s malfunction in modern suburbia examines contemporary domestic life through a variety of socially realistic metaphors. No metaphor is a stronger critic of the dark domestic world she presents than the recurring theme of clothing as a mask which her characters use to hide their true identities. The novel focuses on the importance of â€Å"socially acceptable† clothing as an expression of each character’s overall desire to reach a state of normalcy, if not perfection. Yet irony arises out the representation of clothing as both filling its customary role as a cover-up, and simultaneously being used as a medium of exposure. This ironical situation of clothing as a literal and abstract costume to hide physical and mental disfigurement reinforces the assertion that the real desires of Homes’ characters are often shielded from themselves and from others, and yet are ultimately revealed through what they wear. T he juxtaposition of the clothing motif is that clothing, or the lack thereof, serves as to conceal as well as reveal inner conflicts of sexuality, discontentment, or personal esteem. The use of clothing as a disguise is primarily apparent in its role of covering up the secret sexual lives of the characters. Each time she calls, Henry’s date asks the person on the other line, â€Å"What are you wearing?† Her constant desire to know the character’s clothing reveals the importance that outward appearance holds in a sexual connotation; the characters are repeatedly in various states of dress and undress. Nate’s mother, whom Paul refers to as Mrs. Apple, answers her door wearing her husband’s shirt. The incongruity lies in the seeming normalcy of her appearanc... ...ugged off especially by his mother Mrs. Apple, who excuses his frequent absences to conventions and war games as if they were trivial and acceptable behavior for men. Nonetheless, his father’s absence compels Nate to mimic and adopt his father’s appreciation of guns and ammunition with a warped sense of masculinity, concluding in the death of Sammy and the death of the novel’s innocence as a whole. Music For Torching inverts many societal conventions as satirical commentary on the secretly flawed world of American suburbanites. The typical societal convention for clothing’s purpose is covering up one’s own body; however, in Holmes’ novel, clothing’s accepted function is elongated and also reversed. Clothing not only covers up the physical body as well unspoken thoughts and entities, but also reveals such entities through a mixture of subtle and thematic details.

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