The “femme fatale” was a common theme in the 1940’s it is a female lead who uses sensuality and mystery to seduce and manipulate the male character of the film. No American detective novel written in the thirties would be complete without the figure of the "femme fatale," a French term meaning deadly woman. A femme fatale is an irresistibly beautiful woman who uses her sexuality to seduce men and lure them into dangerous situations to serve her own selfish interests. There is a fair few of these in The Big Sleep, but none of them is quite the dynamo that Vivian turns out to be. I also believe that Carmen Sternwood could be considered a femme fatale as well.
The nineteenth century is popularly known for its traditional view of gender roles, especially regarding women. The term “True Woman” refers to what society at that time thought to be the ideal woman, carrying qualities of “modesty, submissiveness, physical weakness, limited education, and complete devotion to husband and home” (White, 2009, p. 1). Women were restrained in terms of sexuality, dress, language, and economic decisions. In Amy Gilman Srebnick’s The Mysterious Death of Mary Rogers, Mary rebels against these standards by being a single women that is also sexually active, however, her actions are what seemingly lead to her demise. Similarly, Fanny Fern’s Ruth Hall also goes against gender norms. In her case, she earns her own economic independence through her writing and lives a more unconventional life as a mother, but faces repercussions from her family. Through the novels Ruth Hall and The Mysterious Death of Mary Rogers, the main female characters revolt against being “True Women” through their daily actions and behaviors, however they’re each punished with consequences for trying to deviate from society’s path.
The novel “Red Queen” by Victoria Aveyard, uses many literary devices that makes the reader feel how the book wants you to feel as well as be able to paint a picture in their head. An example of mood would be, “Mom crumples in on herself, barely making it to a chair at the kitchen table before she devolves into sobs”(156). The mood turns to being sorrowful because the quote reveals that her son, Shade, passed away. Another example of a literary devices is when the author writes, “Gisa is skilled, pretty, and sweet”(14). This quote portrays direct characterization. When direct characterization is used, it reveals the character straightforward to move into the story quicker. Literary devices make the story interesting and intrigues the reader to keep reading.
Angela Carter’s ‘The Bloody Chamber’ attempts to change this ideal by re-establishing the feminine narrative through her story. Although the view of female as a commodity is far older than psychoanalysis, psychoanalytic theory has consistently re-enforced the ideals of women as objects and of a lower status than men (Loftus). In ‘The Bloody Chamber’ Carter works to discredit the concept of the female as a commodity. When reflecting on the Marquis’ previous wives, the narrator of ‘The Bloody Chamber’ references the portrait model saying “her face was common property” (pg. 5). From the surface, this is an allusion to the fact that she allowed herself to be painted,
As one of the most famous hard-boiled crime fictions, The Long Goodbye enjoys its reputation not only for the story itself, but also for its delicate social criticism. In fact, this novel is representative of how female characters are formed in the noir world. There are basically three main female characters in the book: the victim Sylvia Lennox, her sister Linda Loring, and the criminal (or villain) Eileen Wade. These characters show the typical roles that women play in the noir world – women can be very emotional, and thus commit crimes. Compared with men, who may get involved with crime for money, revenge and other issues, women seem to have more emotional desires, which in most cases involve love. In The Long Goodbye, Eileen, the representative of “Blonde,” somehow also portrays the “femme fatale” image that would often appear in noir fiction, while Linda Loring, who is pure and innocent and who falls in
From the feminist criticism, everything seems somehow related to everything else. Feminism is involved in any given field cannot be cordoned off. Marxism, however, ignored the position of women which is strange as its key concepts are the “struggle between social classes and the blinding effects of ideology”, it might have been employed to analyze the social situation of women. Feminism saw clearly that the widespread of negative stereotyping of women in literature and film constituted a formidable obstacle on the road of true equality causing the men to act exploitative, denigrating and repressive in their relations with women. The Feminist criticism displays that independent women are either a “seductress or dissatisfied shrew”. They either use their sexuality or they are bad tempered and aggressively assertive which doesn’t give a very positive view. Dependent women are viewed as the “cute but helpless or self-sacrificing”. They lose something in order to help someone else which received appraisal. The “Great Gatsby” is an example of negative stereotyping, what the Feminism fights against. The “Great Gatsby” is about the adventures of Nick Carraway in East/West Egg and his perceptions about the people there, especially the women (Daisy, Jordan and Myrtle). The women represent the negative stereotyping of women; Daisy the “cute but helpless” and Myrtle the “Unworldly, self-sacrificing angel” representing the typical stereotyped woman and Jordan the “Dissatisfied shrew”
Secondly, in this novel, the female characters rely heavily on men for support and survival. Furthermore, society views the female characters as delicate beings that can not survive by themselves. As a result, they need a man to protect, cherish and provide for them. In fact, all of the female characters have a male character to which they depend on. First of all, Caroline is unable to survive after her father’s death and as a result, marries Alphonse. Alphonse “came like a protecting spirit to the poor girl.” (Pg. 18) This simile compares Alphonse to a hero and Caroline to the weak and desperate women that she is portrayed as. Furthermore, Alphonse takes care of Caroline “as a fair exotic is sheltered by her gardener, from every rougher wind.”(Pg. 19) This metaphor describes Caroline to be a “fair exotic” who is treated like a possession rather than a capable human being. By making this comparison, Shelly alludes to the idea that the female characters are as delicate as flowers and they can’t survive without the male characters. This is true in both Justine and Elizabeth’s case. Justine is dependant on Victor to free her from the accusations.
These were well illustrated in the film Gilda. The film noir genre develops when Ballin is involved in an illicit and covert business deal with two German businessmen. The deal gets sour when the businessmen want to take back their share but Ballin refuses. Gilda is a typical example of femme fatale in that like many of their male victims, have lost their independence primarily because they married to a man for money basically seeing them as just one more of their owned possessions. Gilda represents a female character who is involved with a man she really doesn’t love for the pure motive of cash and financial stability. She is terrified by Ballin but it didn't stop her from marrying him for his money.
These three brides represent the femme fatale, the fatal woman. The over sexualised women whose charms ensnare her lovers in bonds of irresistible desire, often leading them into compromising, dangerous, and deadly situations. These women serve as monstrous reminders of what happens if the boundaries of proper behaviour and traditional gender roles are crossed. These women, although beautiful, possess the wrong type of beauty, one of which brands them as evil, openly sexual and seductive women. Who, in addition lack the chaste passivity and fragility of the ideal Victorian lady, thus making them deserving of some form of punishment in order for them to be returned to their pure, innocent, albeit dead, human form.
Does deviating from one’s gender norms inevitably doom one down a spiral of moral corruption? Tim O'Brien, author of “Sweetheart of the Song Tra Bong” and Ernest Hemingway, author of “The Short Happy Life of Francis Macomber”, certainly seem to hold this view, as evident by the fates of the major female characters in their respective works. The deviance of the major female characters in both works appears to corrupt not only themselves, but also pollute their partners, causing them to suffer injury or harm as a result. The degree of injury ranges from negligible, like Fossie’s demotion and broken heart, to fatal, like the bullet that rips through Macomber’s skull. It begs the question, are these stories meant to serve as cautionary tales for their female readers, or possibly for their husbands, so they may recognize gender deviance and stop it in its tracks before their wives transform into Margot Macomber or Mary Anne Bell? This essay will analyze what such characters say about pervading views of women, both in society and in literature.
The most prominent woman figure in this play is Linda, but the male characters in this play also give us insight into women’s roles and help feed the feminist analyses
The women of these novels showed feminine empowerment. Although they had obstacles that could have over come them they still stood against them and showed that females can be strong and independent too.
Mrs. Mulwray would be considered a femme fatale, an attractive and seductive woman who brings disaster on her lovers, because Mr. Gittes found himself in more danger while he was involved with her. This danger was evident when Mr. Gittes’s nose was cut open, he had to flee gunfire from an old retiree home and at the end when he was upset by Mrs. Mulwray’s death. These dangers
((INTRODUCTION)) Hawks' denotes the epitome of the femme fatal by challenging the archetypal pin-up girl figure held by men in WWII. Symbols of corruption are a motif that contrast to women's formerly submissive roles, as the opening credits reveal a female silhouette smoking seductively. Film noir converted American culture's endorsement of traditional "nuclear" family values by redefining the established roles of men and women in the intervening years. Hawks' film exploits sexy raw-edged women who represented the developing female power in the 30s and 40s, as Vivian Rutledge is "spoiled, exacting, smart and quite ruthless". Her body language and posture dominates the early frames, however, high and low angle shots between Vivian and Marlowe show their changing relationship and power structure. She is a strong character who equals Marlowe in wit as they verbally taunt each other through their sexually charged dialogue. When Vivian states, "I don't like your manners", Hawks discards manners and social niceties by emphasising their equality, with Marlowe sardonically responding, "They're pretty bad. I grieve over them on long winter evenings." Despite her strength, Vivian's femme fatal edge was softened by Hawks to create a loyal Hollywood
For the most part the women seem to play a part oppose to the antagonist though their supporting role when things turn nasty, however there does seem to be some who think otherwise. When Mr Goodman’s was being accused with no evidence whatsoever a woman yelled in the mist of others about his absurd behaviour through the night.