Pappan, mamman och fyren : Manligt och kvinnligt i Tove Janssons Pappan och havet och Muminpappans memoarer
Tove Jansson was born in 1914 and died in 2001. She was a Finnish, though Swedish-speaking, novelist and painter. She wrote many books of which the Moomin books were the most popular. She wrote in total eight Moomin books (picture books not counted) of which some were rewritten one of more times. The first Moomin book appeared in 1945 and the last as late as 1970. Two Moomin books, Moominpappa at Sea and The Memoirs of Moominpappa, deals especially with the father in the Moomin family which is the character I have been most interested in. Several other studies have been done of the Moomin books, but none of them have had the dad and the gender relations between him and the mum as its focus. No earlier study has looked at the Moominpappa with masculinity studies as a tool for analysis.
The main aim of this study was to find out how masculinity, unmanliness, femininity and gender relations are staged and problematized in two books by Tove Jansson: Moominpappa at Sea and The Memoirs of Moominpappa. I have also studied the construction of gender differences between the Moominpappa and the Moominmamma. The books have been read and then analyzed with psychoanalysis and masculinity studies as the main analyzing tools. The psychoanalysis has in parts been feministic.
The result is that Moominpappa at Sea tells about a masculinity that is not working and about gender relations that has to be rebuilt in order to give the Moominpappa a sense of masculinity. The Moominmamma is oppressed and mostly fits herself into that gender relation, but she also makes her own world by painting the walls of the lighthouse tower and even manages to escape into her painting. The growing Moomintroll tries to find his own ways by moving away from the family and starts coming close to the frozen Groke which makes her dance and melt. In my analysis she is an abjected version of the Moominmamma and The Lighthouse Keeper as an abjected version of the Moominpappa.
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