Manlighet, mod och moral: Amanda Kerfstedts ”Carl Bergs skoltid”
Amanda Kerfstedt’s ”Carl Bergs skoltid” describes a boy’s journey to manhood in late 19th century Sweden. This article pertains that the text contrasts an ideal of masculinity based on physical strength with an ideal emphasizing morality. Although a true man, as described in the story, is expected to be strong as well as righteous, the moral component is the most important. The text shows that courage and force, which are not checked by a sense of ethics, may turn into brutality and abuse of power. Different types of masculinity are compared in ”Carl Bergs skoltid” but masculinity is also defined in relation to ideas about femininity. The association with women is utilized to stress a lack of courage in men as well as to redefine a masculine ideal that has focused too much on physical prowess instead of strength of character.
Keywords: Amanda Kerfstedt; masculinity; 19th century Swedish literature; bourgeoisie
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