Real Men are Stoics: An Interpretation of Tom Wolfe's A Man in Full

Stoic Voice Journal 1 (3) (2000)
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Charlie Croker, a self-made real estate tycoon, ex-Georgia Tech football star, horseback rider, quail-hunter, snakecatcher, and good old boy from Baker county Georgia, is the protagonist in Tom Wolfe’s latest novel, the deliciously provocative A Man in Full (New York: Farrar Straus Giroux, 1998).  In this article I examine the evolving conception of manhood in Wolfe’s novel.  Two different models of manliness will be delineated and compared. The first model—represented by Charlie Croker—gradually weakens and is replaced by the second model—represented by Conrad Hensley. My aim is to show how Stoicism serves to critique the first model and articulate the second.  Stoicism, I argue, provides the deliverance of both Hensley and his convert Croker, while at the same time transforming the conception of manliness explored in A Man in Full.
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