Sex and violence in the plays of Joe Orton : a gay perspective : thesis for Master's degree in English Literature, Massey University, Palmerston North, New Zealand

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I bring my own biases into this thesis. As a man who has also had sex in toilets with other men, as Orton frequently did, I cannot help drawing on my own experiences and the feelings these generated. These are mostly to do with guilt and shame but, unlike Orton, I did not take drugs prior to the encounters so I was fully aware of what was going on for me; Eventually I became aware of why I was doing what I was doing and stopped. I discovered that for me, sex on a casual basis was not an empowering process. although being human it happens occasionally. and when it does I try to stop those condemning voices in my head. I also began this thesis believing that since I could write fairly wittily, I was a similar sort of character to Orton. But the more I read, the more I realised that I was closer to his partner, Halliwell, in terms of my personality and behaviour. and certainly in terms of being in touch with my sexuality. Whatever one thinks of the form Orton's sexual expression took, one has to admire his single minded and seemingly confident pursuit of it, a far cry from the timid insecurity of his partner, on whose behalf, Orton was always trying to make sexual contacts. But Halliwell wanted only Orton. which was a dilemma that only death could solve. [From Introduction]
Orton, Joe, 1933-1967, Criticism and interpretation