The City and the Pillar Social Concerns

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Although Vidal's two earlier novels had homosexual characters, The City and the Pillar was the first major mainstream novel to present a full realistic picture of homosexuality in America. In light of the standards of the day, the book was shocking to many, but despite a certain self-conscious sensationalizing, Vidal managed to demonstrate a compassion and firsthand knowledge of the subject that other readers found compelling. One of the things that most outraged readers of conventional sensibility was the fact that the hero was so normal: Flamboyant homosexuality was then more acceptable than the idea that homosexuals might be able to circulate among ordinary people undetected. The book's success changed the extent to which homosexuality and all sexual matters could be discussed in work written for a mass audience.

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This section contains 129 words
(approx. 1 page at 300 words per page)
Buy The City and the Pillar Short Guide
Copyrights
Beacham's Encyclopedia of Popular Fiction and Beacham's Guide to Literature for Young Adults
The City and the Pillar from Beacham's Encyclopedia of Popular Fiction and Beacham's Guide to Literature for Young Adults. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.
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