Confessions of a Mask Setting & Symbolism

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Picture of the Knight

As a child, the protagonist is obsessed with a picture of a mounted knight until he learns that the knight is in fact a woman, Joan of Arc. The boy is then repulsed. The picture represents the protagonist's latent desires. His repulsion foreshadows his later inability to love Sonoko.

Reni's

"Saint Sebastian" is the picture of Saint Sebastian's execution. It represents the protagonist's sexual awakening, particularly in that it embodies both the muscular male form that the protagonist prefers, as well as the hint of ennobled suffering which appeals to his sadistic impulses.

School

The protagonist attends the school until age eighteen. Because of the war, it is somewhat paramilitary in nature. Students have shaved heads, wear uniforms, and are expected to behave in a manly fashion. The school serves as a microcosm for the world, demonstrating the ways in which identity is forced...

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This section contains 382 words
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Buy the Confessions of a Mask Study Guide
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