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Visitation of Spirits Themes & Motifs

This Study Guide consists of approximately 60 pages of chapter summaries, quotes, character analysis, themes, and more - everything you need to sharpen your knowledge of Visitation of Spirits.
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Homosexuality, Repression, and Desire

A Visitation of Spirits revolves around Horace's struggle over his homosexuality and the repercussions of his attempts at repression; James' secondary plotline parallels that of his cousin, mirroring the conflict between homosexuality and Fundamentalist Christianity. Horace concludes that he is incapable of living life as a homosexual in the context of his small town and religious background. By contrast, James struggles in the aftermath of an emotionally distant marriage, using religion as a means of reaffirming his repressed sexuality.

Through Horace's memories and the lead up to his suicide, the novel follows the progression of his awareness, acceptance, and eventual rejection of his homosexuality. As a child, he had been attracted to men on television and in comic books, experiencing thrill and fear over his sexual arousal. His first sexual relationship with Gideon reaffirmed his homosexuality, and their intimate physical experience expands his...

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This section contains 2,415 words
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Buy the Visitation of Spirits Study Guide
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