Study Guide

M.C. Higgins, the Great Men and Masculinity

By Virginia Hamilton

Men and Masculinity

Being masculine in M.C. Higgins, the Great is all about being Mr. Nature—someone who can work with the outdoors so that he doesn't get beaten by the outdoors. But as the book rolls along, this kind of masculinity starts to show its faults because it runs up against a strong female character. All of a sudden, as M.C. Higgins learns, being a typical, macho man isn't so cool or so great. He has to learn what being a man is all about… this time, without being arrogant and sexist.

Questions About Men and Masculinity

  1. Is this book ultimately a sexist book that favors guys over girls?
  2. What kind of man does M.C. learn to be by the end of the book?
  3. How does M.C.'s father affect M.C.'s masculinity? How about Ben?
  4. How does Lurhetta Outlaw affect M.C.'s masculinity? How about Banina?

Chew on This

Even though M.C. learns to drop some of his macho ways, he still views the world through traditionally masculine lenses. In other words, a real man is still strong and powerful, while girls and other guys are weaker.

Ultimately, being a real man means standing up for the weak and the innocent in this book.

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