Dungeons and dragons as the absent father in <em>Stranger Things</em> and <em>The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao</em>

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Davila Benabe, Luis E.
Embargoed Until
Chansky, Ricia A.
College of Arts and Sciences - Art
Department of English
Degree Level
In this thesis project, the tabletop roleplaying game, Dungeons and Dragons, is analyzed as a metaphor for alternate forms of male role models for early adolescent boys in the Duffer brothers’s television series, Stranger Things, and the novel, The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao, by Junot Diaz. The purpose of this analysis is to criticize how there is a lack of modern-day adult male figures to look up to in the US. In this alternate male role model, which the game presents, the characters can develop a masculine gender performance, in contexts that have absent parental figures. In analyzing these texts, I utilize a focus on gender studies, with a combination of class theory from the works of Marx and Foucault and Borderlands theory from the work of Anzaldua. Each text provides characters who must face obstacles, related to these theoretical approaches, and the project focuses on how they must face these without a male role model to guide them. The tabletop role playing game provides a fantasy space that allows for the adolescent boys in these two texts, to experience heroic action, and have a model to become men.

En esta tesis, analyzo el juego de mesa y de rol, Calabozos y dragones, como una metafora para formas alternas de modelos masculinos para niños adolescents en la serie de television por los hermanos Duffer, Stranger Things, y la novela, The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao, por Junot Diaz. El proposito de este analysis es para criticar como hay una falta de figuras masculinas para poder admirar, e modelar en estos tiempos modernos en los Estados Unidos. En este modelo alterno, que el juego de mesa presenta, los personajes pueden construir sus rendimientos de su genero masculine, en contextos que carecen de figuras parentales. En analyzar estos textos utilizo un enfoque en estudios de genero, con una combinacion de teoria de clase, de parte de los trabajos de Marx y Foucault, y teoria del borde basado del trabajo de Anzaldua. Cada texto contiene personajes quien tienen que enfrentar obstaculos, relacionados a los enfoques teoricos mencionados, y lo deben hacer sin un modelo masculine para guiarlos. El juego de mesa y del rol contiene un espacio fantastic que deja para que los niños adolescents de estos dos textos puedan vivir por momentos de accion heroica, y adquirir un modelo para convertirse en hombres.
Role playing games,
The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao,
Stranger Things,
Socio economic,
Gender Theory,
Fantasy games
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All Rights Reserved / restricted to Campus
Davila Benabe, L. E. (2021). Dungeons and dragons as the absent father in <em>Stranger Things</em> and <em>The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao</em> [Thesis]. Retrieved from