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Vol. 45, No. 3


September 2015





Institute of European and American Studies, Academia Sinica

Desiring Brotherhood

Alternative Masculinities and a Critique

of the American Empire in Carson


Reflections in a Golden Eye


Jen-yi Hsu

English Department, National Dong Hwa University

No. 1, Sec.2, Da-Hsueh Rd., Shou-Feng Hualien 97401, Taiwan



This paper examines Carson McCullers’s second novel,

Reflections in a Golden Eye

, a strange tale that received

accusations of morbidity when it was published in 1941.

Because of the novel’s shocking homosexual theme, critics

tend to read it as McCullers’s inheritance of the Gothic

school of southern writing. However, I argue that this

paradigmatic use of southern regionalism as the singular

model to interpret her novel is inadequate and ignores the

transnational imaginary of the story. One of the essential

clues to McCullers’s awareness of the imperialist expansion

of U.S. global power is the strange presence of the Filipino

houseboy, who alerts us to the

more disturbing aspects of

American invasions into the international sphere. Set in a

traditionally male domain of a military post, the novel

explores the tensions and ambivalence inherent in a

Received July 4, 2014; accepted April 14, 2015; last revised April 30, 2015

Proofreaders: Tsai Min Fang, Pei-Yun Lee, Kuei-feng Hu