Women Of The New Woman Essay

Women Of The New Woman Essay

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In the 1920s, women from every social standing were empowered through the role they played in the first world war. Following, there emerged a “new woman” who was independent, who was “eager to do something ‘useful’ in the world” (Honey 1). Yet, this newfound independence was a spectacular facade. Although the theory of the new woman gaining pride and independence was a glorious thought, there was an inescapable dependence on men that was present in every social and economic class. Even women like Doris who was in control of almost every social situation she encountered had to flirt with men, who she frankly did not like one bit, to get by in life. Because this “movement” took place during a time where many resisted change, so these new women, in order to maintain their independence, resorted to many illicit ways of living. The new woman of this decade were referred to as “bourgeois whore” for their facade of elegance and class they projected (Smith 2). Yet many had “prostituted” themselves for valuable good such as clothes and food. And many new women of this time had a dream of becoming a star as if becoming famous would solve their every problem. Yet this way of survival and this need for independence became a contradiction that would stick with movements up until this day. Portraying both the facade and the darker side of Berlin of this decade is the novel The Artificial Silk Girl by Irmgard Keun. The “bourgeois whores” of this decade were not the revolutionaries of the twentieth century as many seem to believe (Smith 3).
This period, on the most basic level, had uneven grounding. Central to the unrest and uneasiness and even paranoia present during this era. Following the first world war, Germany as a whole was left severely i...


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... because he valued her as a person and a woman instead of valuing only her beauty. He seems to be the one who showed her how she was supposed to be treated. He showed her her inherent value and he showed her what she had lacked in her life, and it was not stardom. It was banality. And so following her life with Green Moss, she seeks out Karl who, to her, symbolized the simple. This directly correlates to the plot that Honey summarized. Initially, Doris was so eager to become a star, to succeed, to do something. She even went to acting school when she knew she had no talent. This becomes apparent when she exclaims that she only got to say the line because she was “genuinely terrified” (Keun 33). After acting school, she went through a string of men including Gouda which led to her downfall and eventual meeting with Green Moss leading the reader to Honey’s plot summary.

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