Dorothy Parker’s Big Blonde Essay

Dorothy Parker’s Big Blonde Essay

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The struggle for power between men and women in this story is mainly witnessed through interactions in which the female is not living up to what the men want. This makes women, like Hazel, easily replaceable in the lives of men. Women only control the power when they are agreeable therefore Parker creates women who are tapped with no plausible way to obtain power, other than being agreeable and well liked.
The reader sees how detached Hazel appears to be from other women in this story. She can’t understand why they are allowed to be sad but when she appears sad she’s told to smile and how nobody wants to hear about other’s troubles. In fact there are only three women who Hazel holds conversations with at all in the story. The first is her neighbor who lives across the hall while she is married to Herbie. In Mrs. Martin she finds herself an escape from her trapped and unfulfilling life. They drink and play cards with a group of men referred to as “the boys.” This appears to be the only real friend she has through the entire story although they have a falling out based on the men in their life. The next woman is Mrs. Miller whom upon an exchange in the bathroom leads Hazel to the pills she will use in her suicide attempt. The final character is Nettie the colored maid who nurses Hazel back to life after she tries to take her own life. This appears to be a way for the author to explain the tension among women at this time. All the women in Parker’s story are trying to maintain the appearance that society has allotted them. Were some might think this would draw women together in fact made them further separated because they were all afraid of showing the crack in their own “good sport” personalities.
Although the story takes place w...


... middle of paper ...


...he ideals that women of the time were held to. Instead of focusing on the power women felt after winning the vote she demonstrated how helpless some women still felt in their lives. She painted a clear picture of the struggles a woman would feel being trapped in the position of being happy all the time. How feelings like that can lead to emptiness, alcoholism, and suicide attempts. Dorothy Parker was a woman before her time and left us even today revealing in the ideas and statements she made.



Works Cited

Lansky, Ellen. "Female Trouble: Dorothy Parker, Katherine Anne Porter, and Alcoholism." Literature and Medicine (1997): 212-230.
Parker, Dorothy. "Big Blonde." Parker, Dorothy. The Portable Dorothy Parker. Penguin Books, 1976. 187-210.
Simpson, Amelia. "Black on Blonde: The African presence in Dorothy Parker's 'Big Blonde'." College Literature (1996): 105-117.

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