A New Encounter with Dominance

The female-to-male relationships that marked The Flamethrowers and Foreign Correspondent were layered and complex; with Reno, Sandro seemed to hold great power and influence over her, but part of this domination, I think, was a result of Reno’s fascination with Sandro and the allure he held for her. Also, she seemed to be searching for herself, working to solidify the hopes and substance of her soul, during this time — engaging with a man who seems resolute on his goals (Reno mentions that he views successes as things to travel to, and to take for one’s self) might account for her draw to him, and the resulting imbalance in the relationship. Similarly, Johnnie submits to Scooter in her own way; interactions with him — or lack of interactions — shape the way that she views herself and the world around her, and elicit powerful emotions. Accordingly, in both of these texts, we see some the dominance of men, or at least influence, in the lives of women — emotionally, intellectually.

In coming into Ginny’s world, then, I detect a new strain of dominance, and I’m interested to see how Ginny will be affected by this internally. Instead of a reaching-out on Ginny’s part to know and be close to this man, however, the dynamics and the construction of Linus’s and Ginny’s relationship stem from something else; in The Flamethrowers and Foreign Correspondent, there is a level of engagement displayed by the main female characters to be closer to, and to understand, the male figures — a conscious effort. Of course, Ginny made a choice to join this man at his farm, and there was some initial interest that drove her to agree. But beyond this, I don’t detect a true desire or passion towards Linus, or a desire to know him truly, emitted from Ginny. I’m wondering how this will shape the dominance he is already starting to show in their relationship; will it be rooted in the physical, as we are beginning to detect (Linus slams his fist into Ginny when she tries to sing during dinner one evening). Will Ginny’s emotional distance from this man, and her lack of passion and interest in him (which diverge so greatly from the drives of Reno or Johnnie) help to preserve her emotional state perhaps, and her sense of self?

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