Boy Meets Boy as we have said in class, one could argue, is a utopian novel. Within the dynamics of our society to be comfortable is to be straight. Boy Meets Boy creates a society where people have the ability to be fully accepted based upon their gender expression and sexuality. Luna, however, brings the reader to reality, showing the painful and tumultuous coming out story, especially in a society with preconceived identity roles. That is not to say that these young adult novels are dissimilar, I want to make the claim that these novels are similar in respect to the way in which the main characters create a world for themselves to exist in.
Paul, the narrator and self-assured character in Boy Meets Boy, tells the reader about the world he goes to, called “elsewhere” (Levithan, 113). “Elsewhere” (Levithan, 113), Paul describes as if “it’s almost like meditation, but instead of blanking myself out, I try to color myself in” (113, Levithan), and so going to this elsewhere, Paul knowingly creates a world for himself where he sees his friend Tony happy, where things with Noah aren’t complicated. He creates a world where everyone is able to be the person they want to be even though Paul has the luxury of that for himself. Liam, a transgender girl who is actually Luna, has a similar world to that of Paul, but Luna is in a conscious state. Liam, as his sister Regan (the narrator) describes, emerges at night as Luna and I don’t mean to discredit Luna as this alter ego, Luna is the true Liam, and Luna is the rawest form of a person. However, Luna can only be truly herself at night when no one but Regan is able to appreciate her true self. Throughout the day, though, Liam creates a covert world, the only place where he can think. Regan says here while talking about her mother and Liam “she found her escape by looking outside herself, while Liam escaped within” (Peters, 137), the “within” is the covert state in which Liam exists in every day until night inevitably comes, and Luna prospers.
The difference, though, with these two stories is that Boy Meets Boy is so ingrained and cemented in a town that is extremely accepting of all identities and even though Paul goes to “elsewhere” in times where he does not know how to interrupt his feelings or experiences, he still has the comfortability and familiarity to be himself outside of his mind. Liam lives in the reality of this world, he has a continual struggle to be her–Luna–and that is the difference between the hope of one society as to the actuality of the other.
One thought on “Two Diverged Worlds”
I think you did an interesting analysis of the two texts. I like how you touched upon the “outer layer” differences between the two novels through the idea that one is a utopia vs. the other is more of a reality, but then went deeper to discover a major similarity between two very seemingly different characters. The connection between Luna’s nighttime escape and Paul’s “elsewhere” help to show that even though these novels seem completely different based upon the environment that the characters reside in, both Luna and Paul need this form of privacy as a way to contemplate and express themselves.
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