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57 pages 1 hour read

Douglas Stuart

Young Mungo

Fiction | Novel | Adult | Published in 2022

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Character Analysis

Mungo Hamilton

Mungo is the titular character of this novel and its central protagonist. The novel follows Mungo’s development from a soft-hearted boy looking for a love to a young man traumatized by his environment. Mungo is beautiful and small, looking much younger than his 15 years. This physical description is important because shows why his social milieu believes there is something feminine and therefore weak about Mungo. Mungo also struggles with a facial tic that manifests when he is stressed. He has no control over this tic, which externalizes his anxiety. The tic typically makes people more sympathetic to him, but it is also a sign that Mungo is suffering without aid. People like Mungo because he is compassionate, but as he moves through adolescence, his kindness makes him suspicious. Mungo is at odds with his community which has extremely narrow confines for acceptable masculinity. Named for the gentle and life-affirming patron saint of Glasgow, Mungo doesn’t fight, chase after girls, or act disrespectfully to others. He is the antithesis of toxic masculinity. His family worries that this might make him an easy target for people who want to take advantage of him and hurt him.

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By Douglas Stuart