Struggles between the Iconoclasm and the Convention in The Inner Circle– A Study

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Miss. J. Priyadharshni, Dr. A. Selvaraj


T. C. Boyle is one of the major contemporary American writers. His tenth novel, The Inner Circle is the fictionalised history of Dr. Alfred Kinsey. The study aims to analyze the tensions between the conventions and the modernity at the same time the importance of money in the life, how money flexes modernity or conventions.  John Milk, a fictional character, who is a middle class conventional young man, happens to join in the sex research group of Kinsey, and the life after his entrance in the group. The mental swing between the convention and the modernity with his poverty leads the story. Textual reality that is the research and its purpose and the ground reality that is the Milk’s personal life play a major role in the text.  The aim of the “marriage course” is about the understanding of sex, which has to be treated only as an act of hormone than an emotion. Sex is not the matter which should set in the social constraints, this is the essence Prof. Kinsey and his research group try to prove through the research. But, when it comes to the personal life, it becomes hard to accept sex as only the action of hormone. Boyle’s Milk gets affected, one side he is teaching sex as a common hormonal issue, but when it turns to affected, he has an option to come out of the group, but his economic condition made him to stay back. The study brings the aspect, how economy making human to adjust. These two things, “preaching and practising,” and “economic survivability,” and its predominance in human life.

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