And the class—aristocratic—that the image of the lady represents receives a stronger emphasis in the South than elsewhere. For example, she observes that,. In contrast to symbolizing beauty as purity and fragility, as the southern lady should, these protagonists have dark eyebrows and strong bodies. Probably because their values—free intelligence, aloneness, self-assertion—are traditionally masculine, the physical appearance of the protagonists is often atypical, even androgynous. Additionally, she is more than happy to be done having children after she has Bonnie Blue.
When she is displeased by the snug fit of her dress, she states simply: "I just won't have any more babies" Mitchell Though it may make her an unlikeable character at times, the necessity of her actions does not go unnoticed, even by her. This is shown in a conversation she has with Rhett: "You're a fine honest rogue, Scarlett! Not as kind and as pleasant as I was brought up to be.
But I can't help it, Rhett. Truly, I can't. What else could I have done? This shows that Melanie trusts Scarlett more with business than her own husband. This also shows an acceptance from the former lady that the new woman, with her self-sufficient and masculine ideals, has survived through the toughest times and taken over the old traditional values. Therefore, through Melanie's constant frailty and death, and Scarlett's contradictory survival, Mitchell shows the ultimate success of the strong, independent new woman as opposed to the compliant and inferior traditional woman.
Schiesl 9 Works Cited Adams, Amanda. The University of North Carolina Press. The Southern Literary Journal, Vol.
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Tomorrow is another day : (Record no. 6092)
As each of these writers distinctively re-envisions traditional constructions of southern womanhood, Henninger shows, she joins the others in challenging the constrictions of "southern woman" and so changing the meaning of southernness itself. For more information about Katherine Henninger, visit the Author Page. South and to fictional photographs by southern women. Katherine Henninger produces a smart twenty-first century take on reading the South; she reframes the iconography of a dominant male gaze in historical representation with the iconoclastic word work of women seeing and signifying differently.
Davis, University of Pennsylvania.