Langdon’s imperial manhood, alternative masculinities are not
merely figures of morbidity or perversity, but instead index a
critique of heteropatriarchal conformity and national authority.
Sexuality is in fact a powerful critical lens through which we can
peer into the ideological mechanism that produces meaning in a
particular cultural moment of U.S. imperial expansion. In this
novel, vulnerability and powerlessness are made to sway toward
ecstasy and a certain kind of epiphany. In her daring portrayal of
masculinities that embrace castration and alterity, McCullers
proves herself a courageous artist with a discerning eye for the
oppressive nature of hegemonic masculinity and its affiliations with
patriarchy and imperial nationhood.