Boy Erased Themes

Garrard Conley
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Gender and Sexuality

The book explores Conley’s journey of coming to terms with his homosexuality, and although he must face much adversity due to social oppression, the book counterpoints this adversity with glimpses of the natural ways in which homosexual people should be allowed to embrace their sexuality. The book often conveys Conley’s homosexual thoughts with complete frankness so as to further highlight the naturalness of such thoughts and the profound bigotry of persecuting people for having them. For example, in the first chapter, Conley describes the “hints of attraction emerging in my occasional fantasies—a toned bicep here, the sharp V of a pelvis there, a collage of dimples between a series of aquiline noses” (14). This description evokes the yearning to embrace the beauty and naturalness of Conley’s sexuality. The oppression that Conley faces, however, seeks to twist Conley’s sexuality into a source of...

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This section contains 2,316 words
(approx. 6 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy the Boy Erased Study Guide
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