Everything you need to understand or teach Tough Guys Don't Dance by Norman Mailer.
most of Mailer's writings, both Infiction and nonfiction, he has been concerned with the role of violence in American life. In his seminal essay, "The White Negro" (1957), he contrasted individual violence to the collective violence of the state. To Mailer, the state was capable of inflicting much more damage on individuals than individuals could inflict on themselves. In fact, for Mailer, an individual act of violence might even be a defensible rebellion against the repressive nature of society. Consequently, he has tended to create fictional heroes, such as Stephen Rojack in An American Dream (1965), who renew themselves through violence. In Tough Guys Don't Dance, Mailer reverses the usual order of things in his fiction. The novel begins with its hero, Tim Madden, wondering whether the severed head he discovers in his marijuana hideaway is the gory result of a drunken evening's debauchery which turned violent. Waking up... View more of the Tough Guys Don't Dance Summary