The Saddest Chorus Girl In The World Analysis

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In the book Daydreams of Angels written by Heather O’Neill, the story “The Saddest Chorus Girl in the World” tells the tale of a young girl named Violet as she grows up. Violet leaves her controlling stepfather after her mother’s death and joins a chorus line, vowing to never to date a man like him. O’Neill uses flower and nature imagery in this short story to comment on the power dynamics between men and women in society, focusing on the role of women. She explores how women are seen as weak while men are strong and the idea that a woman’s life is meaningless if not accompanied by a man. The first point O’Neill seems to suggest is that women individually are only weak, delicate, and pretty, like a flower. For instance, she names all of the…show more content…
The chorus girls are like flowers in a garden, looking pretty in full bloom. They are ready to be plucked from their lives on the road and given a new start, full of riches and wonder. There are only two ways to leave the chorus line, according to Violet. You must catch the eye of a rich man in the audience and be swept away to a life of riches and luxury, plucked from the garden by the man of your dreams. Alternatively, you are called quietly into the director’s office and told to pack your bags, as you are no longer talented enough or pretty enough to be a chorus girl, a wilted flower, ruining the beauty of the garden as a whole. It is presented in a fashion that suggests the first option is the only good option, and anyone who experiences the second has obviously failed at life. While on the road, Violet experiments with having sexual relationships with other chorus girls. Ultimately, she decides that though these experiences may have been enjoyable, they are meaningless because they are stolen moments in a surreal world where men are not present. The girls can have relationships with each other, but in the end “real life only happened when you were with a man”

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