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EL 266 Mallioux The Bad-Boy Boom. See and be seen

"By the 1880s the dime novel had evolved to include urban as well as western settings, detective heroes as well as cowboys." (Mallioux)

First of all, think about the era that these dime store novels occurred in. There was nothing to do for young boys except to idolize what they read in these particular books. Second, technology has really done genders wrong. Television caters to anyone, ESPN for men, TLC for women, LOGO for homosexuals, and BET for African-Americans. Genders and ethnicities are placed accordingly. It is not only just television, but other mediums as well. Maybe I have strayed from my point, but I want to focus on the role of males in society. Dime novels were only for young males. Look at male-driven things, as society usually stereotypes them: sports, cowboys and Indians, organized crime, construction work, tattoos, etc...
You do not really see a lot of women in these fields, until recently. The bad boy image still holds strong in the Twentieth First Century. What started from a novel glorifying cowboys has developed into larger things like a separation of genders as I mentioned in the latter. Okay, okay, since Mallioux wrote this on AHF, I will use Huck as an example. Huck is a poster child for young men to idolize just as the movie The Outsiders was for me when I was young. I remember carrying around a pocket knife and wearing tattered clothing trying to resemble the character Pony Boy. In my eyes, he was so cool, back then.
Mimicking a character that is stapled as a "bad boy" is addictive. Look at all the sub genres that were constructed from that: hippies, punks, gangsters, and many more.
Mallioux's essay was informative that led me to my own conclusions on the "bad boy" development.

Comments

Pony Boy, wow, now there's a character that went on a journey and grew through out the story. I imagine that the young women also read these dime novels but just thought it them as boys behaving like boys, not necessarily as an example to behave. The boys, as you pointed out, read the dime novels or had their friends that could read tell them the story and looked to mimic the behavior of those cowboys and heroes.

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