Throughout history, novels have consistently been scrutinized over the images they portray (Cameron 18-25). For some readers, the concern is that scandalous scenes in dirty books will corrupt the young and the feeble-minded. Others worry that representations of certain groups will disrespect and stereotype oppressed peoples. Clearly, novels are not only entertainment or means for escape; they can have moral and political implications. Popular ones most especially reveal a great deal about the culture and time in which they were read. This essay examines the images of women popular novels were offering during the 1950s, an era in which the term “career woman” first became a dirty word (Friedan 32). The small sample of novels analyzed here reveal that a great portion of Americans did indeed consider independent women indecent, but that a smaller fraction of society was working hard to dismantle that maxim.
The Novel Mystique: Depictions of Women in Novels of the 1950s.
Undergraduate Review, 14, 55-64.
Available at: https://vc.bridgew.edu/undergrad_rev/vol14/iss1/12
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