In the book Where the Wild Things Are (Sendak, M. 1963) the illustrations and text support the link of masculinity to the pleasure of power and domination. The main character Max continues masculine characteristics throughout, displaying aggression and domination towards the characters around him. In the text Max responds to being called a “Wild Thing” by his mother with “I’ll Eat You Up” retaliating to his mother’s comment by talking back. In the first page Max’s masculinity is expressed by holding a hammer and building a cave for himself as he wears a wolf suit.
The evidence of pleasure and domination is displayed when Max leaps of the stairs holding a fork, high in the air. The small dog which is looking nervous and running away from Max, who is in his dominant wolf suit, displays aggression over the smaller beast. Max uses his size and facial expression to intimate his dog. Max continues on his journey in a boat that is named after him with Max being the captain and putting himself in charge of his journey.
In the text Max says “Be Still” to the Wild Things and tricks the Wild Things in believing he has magic powers, making eye to eye contact, staring without blinking and showing no sign of fear. Max again displays pleasure in his dominance over the Wild Things wearing a crown and holding a sceptre and sitting tall with his eyes closed. His body language displays confidence and king like chacteristics, with his hands on his hip, the Wild Things bow graciously to Max. Again the link between masculinity and power with Max riding on the back of one of the Wild Things is continued.
In the illustrations with no text, all eyes of the wild things are on Max, reinforcing the idea that Max is the leader, are waiting to see what Max may require them to do next. Max continues in his grooming of the Wild Things by gaining their trust in providing games and stimulation whilst on their island, which in turn is taking over their land and becoming the dominance of the Wild Things. By becoming the master of the Wild Things and perhaps belittling them, Max conquers in strength with his smallish size but in turn becomes the most powerful of all the Wild Things.