The Crying Game Analysis

This sample essay on The Crying Game Analysis provides important aspects of the issue and arguments for and against as well as the needed facts. Read on this essay’s introduction, body paragraphs, and conclusion.

Through a close analysis ofThe Crying Game, examine Judith Butler’s impression of the performativity of gender

There look to be many similarities between Neil Jordan’s 1992 filmThe Crying Gameand Judith Butler’s theory of the performativity of gender as promulgated in her seminal bookGender Trouble, which has been one of the most heatedly contested rational surveies on feminism published in the past 50 old ages.

Both managed to do major contention by turning the traditional impression of gender on its caput and both invite the audience/reader to inquiry society’s devising of ‘man’ , ‘woman’ , ‘masculinity’ and ‘femininity’ . The undermentioned analysis seeks to demo how Butler’s ideas managed to pervade Jordan’s movie, which is – it should be noted – a much more complex film than a mere survey of gender issues.

First, nevertheless, a definition of the ‘performativity’ of gender must be attempted so as to set up a conceptual model for the balance of the treatment.

Game Analysis Example

Judith Butler’s theory on gender should be interpreted within the broader societal and political context of feminist theory that came in two distinguishable ‘waves’ during the 1960’s and the 1970’s. After procuring the needed political accomplishments gained by the progresss of the first moving ridge, the 2nd, more radicalised moving ridge of feminism sought to dispute historical impressions of adult male and adult female in western society, “which maintains male laterality by co?opting adult females and stamp downing the feminine.

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These statements link dominant western signifiers of reason with male power and control over adult females and nature, which is associated with force, subjugation and destruction.” [ 1 ]

Therefore, while Butler’s positions are undoubtedly radical, they should besides be read within this dominant feminist clime of deep?seated alteration that characterised the 2nd half of the 20th century in the West, which sought to intentionally make divisions between heterosexual work forces and heterosexual adult females in order to foster the women’s rightist cause. This is besides the ground behind the confederation between extremist feminism and the homosexual and sapphic communities, which was forged at this clip and which is straight relevant to the performativity of gender as seen inThe Crying Game. Butler’s positions pervert from the feminist norm with respects to the manner in which she formulates the thought of holding to ‘perform’ the parts of adult male and adult female in modern-day society. In this sense, she sees both maleness and muliebrity as being manufactured by civilization and she workss the thought that if this civilization were structured along less visibly male?female lines, so the two genders would act in a discernibly different mode. This is the thought which is used inThe Crying Gameto which attending must now be turned.

The Crying Gameis a film that is every bit much about the Troubles of the IRA as it is a movie about trans?gender analysis. The secret plan concerns the karyon of a little set of Irish terrorists who kidnap a British soldier ( Forest Whitaker ) for the intent of interchanging him in order to procure the release of confined IRA secret agents in UK gaols. The pack is led by Maguire ( Adrian Dunbar ) and besides contains Jude ( Miranda Richardson ) and Fergus ( Stephen Rea. ) It is the character of Fergus who will go the chief focal point of the movie as first he finds himself unable to the kill the British soldier, Jody and later he embarks upon detecting the dead man’s lover, Dil ( Jaye Davidson ) to whom he finds himself instantly attracted. This burgeoning relationship between Fergus and Dil is fraught with tenseness as Fergus feels tortured by guilt for the decease of Jody ( although Fergus lets him travel, the soldier is still by chance killed by a British armored combat vehicle ) . This tenseness is an indispensable cinematic precursor to the movie’s cardinal secret plan turn, which comes as a major surprise to the sing audience.

Before traveling towards a critical assessment of the disclosure that occurs within the relationship of Dil and Fergus, reference must be made of the manner in which Neil Jordan manages to work the traditional impressions of adult female in movie. By picking an androgynous looking histrion to play Dil, the manager tricks the audience into believing a traditional heterosexual relationship between a adult male and a adult female is about to take topographic point – a relationship rendered tragic by the loss both characters have already suffered. This yoke, in movie history, has normally seen the adult male scoring the adult female who acts as the aesthetically beautiful centerpiece of the action.

“In the synthetic whorehouse of the film, where the ware may be eyed infinitely but ne’er purchased, the tenseness between the beauty of the adult female, which is admirable, and the denial of the gender which is the beginning of that beauty but is besides immoral, reaches a perfect impasse.” [ 2 ]

Therefore, when it easy transpires that Dil is non yet another illustration of the cinematic female beauty but is in fact a adult male, the sense of daze is all the more marked. As with Butler’s thought on the performativity of gender, Jordan stops abruptly of saying this development as a fact ; alternatively, it is left unfastened to speculate as a philosophical inquiry: does Dil’s biological science mean that he is a adult male no affair what or does the fact that he has assumed a female function mean that he has transgressed the gender divide to go a adult female in the cultural sense? This is a cardinal line of enquiry in extremist women’s rightist political orientation and 1 that has no direct reply. For case, although diehards would reason that no?one can of all time change by reversal the gender of their birth progressives would likewise province that gender is a concept of society and that both males and females should be freely able to take non merely their gender but besides their gender. This is a direct descendant of Judith Butler’sGender Troublewhere the writer argues the instance that work forces and adult females both perform the functions of masculine and feminine without of all time oppugning its cogency in this manner.

“Gender is … a building that on a regular basis conceals its generation ; the silent corporate understanding to execute, bring forth and prolong distinct and polar genders as cultural fictions is obscured by the credibleness of those productions – and the penalties that attend non holding to believe in them.” [ 3 ]

Fergus’ response to the realization that Dil is a cross-dresser is typically male and typical of society’s general horror at such evildoings of gender and gender. His first response is to plug Dil in the face and abjure his old statements of fondness. He exits the scene, go forthing Dil lying bloodied on the floor. Fergus’ disgust is mirrored in the daze felt by the modern-day film audience, which was manifested in mass protests from Christian and conformist communities when the movie was released both in the UK and abroad.

The manager makes certainly non to over or under dramatise the disclosure of Dil’s evildoing of gender, preferring alternatively to allow the balance of the secret plan play out to the background of the daze of the ongoing relationship between the two chief characters. With the apparition of the IRA out of the blue re?appearing towards the terminal of the movie, the audience is transported off from the impression of the performativity of gender to see how Fergus is able to lift above his initial feeling of disgust to salvage Dil from prison after the shot of Fergus’ old companion, Jude. Interestingly, Dil is compelled to slay Jude when it transpires that she had enjoyed a sexual relationship with Jody while the soldier was in her imprisonment. Therefore, there is no uncertainty that – after all that has transpired – Dil still identifies herself as a adult female and is straight challenged by the more evidently feminine Jude. At this point, reference must be made of the difference between Butler’s impression of the performativity of gender and the sort of transgender constructs encapsulated in retarding force and cross?dressing.

“In the bulk of the plants that have followed in Butler’s aftermath, retarding force ( as the parodic passage of gender ) is represented as something one can take to make: the imputation is that one can be whatever type of gender one wants to be, and can execute gender in whatever manner one illusion. This is what you might name a voluntarist theoretical account of individuality because it assumes that it is possible to freely and consciously make one’s ain individuality. Whilst in many ways this voluntarist history of gender public presentation is in direct contrast with Butler’s impression of performativity, it is besides, at least in portion, a effect of the ambiguity of Butler’s ain history of the differentiation between public presentation and performativity inGender Trouble.” [ 4 ]

Appropriately, Neil Jordan ne’er alludes to whether or non Dill is voluntarily offending gender or whether it is a biological necessity for adult male to hold morphed into adult female. This mirrors Butler’s ambiguity and the ambiguity that pervades every facet of the impression of traversing gender, which is one of the more intellectually ambitious constructs for any society to cope with. Ultimately, though,The Crying Gameterminals with a intimation of the director’s positions on the topic. During the concluding scene, which is set old ages later, Dil asks Fergus why he took the incrimination for her. Telling an earlier scene, Fergus answers, “It’s in my nature.” This implies that there is no pick with respects to gender, gender and public presentation. We are what we are.


The Crying Gameis a ambitious movie that operates on a assortment of degrees. Politicss, race and gender are all topic to scrutiny without being dealt with in a moralistic manner. Judith Butler’s impression refering to the performativity of gender is similarly a multifaceted survey that has greatly influenced feminist political orientation and has clearly infiltrated the head of manager Neil Jordan. In the concluding analysis, there can be no uncertainty that there is a strong nexus between the two without any simple, broad?based decision being put frontward by either party. In both cases, it is left up to the reader and spectator to do their heads up refering gender and the wider issue of whether it is nature that constructs our sexual being or whether it is cultural fostering that subconsciously encourages us to play the functions of heterosexual work forces and adult females. This is a hard reasonable equilibrating act to keep, yet it is besides finally reasonable as bothThe Crying GameandGender Troublearrive at the sentiment that there can be no one tax write-off that manages to fulfill everyone. The decision, like the pick of gender and gender, must in the terminal be entirely subjective.


Butler, J. ( 1990 )Gender Trouble: Feminism and the Subversion of IdentityLondon: Routledge

Carter, A. ( 1978 )The Saideian Woman and the Ideology of PornographyNew York: Harper & A ; Row

Featherstone, M. ( Ed. ) ( 2000 )Body AlterationLondon: Sage

Shaviro, S. ( 1993 )The Cinematic Body: Theory out of Bounds, Volume 2Minneapolis and London: University of Minnesota Press

Stallybrass, P. and White, A. ( 1986 )The Politics and Poetics of TransgressionLondon: Routledge

Sullivan, N. ( 2003 )A Critical Introduction to Queer TheoryEdinburgh: Edinburgh University Press

Weedon, C. ( 1987 )Feminist Practice and Poststructuralist TheoryLondon and New York: Blackwell


The Crying Game( Neil Jordan ; 1992 )

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The Crying Game Analysis. (2019, Dec 07). Retrieved from

The Crying Game Analysis
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