Theme Of Three Girls By Joyce Carol Oates

Decent Essays
“A sex symbol's currency lies in her youth, her curves, in the suggestion that a sexual encounter lurks around the next corner.” (Sharon Krum, The Guardian) The media is one of the easiest ways to exemplify the power struggles between genders. In today’s society, celebrities, especially women, are judged largely on their appearance and sex appeal because it is critical for them to stay in the spotlight. This is a clear example of the inequality between the male and female, and what their roles are intended to be in society. Three Girls by Joyce Carol Oates is a story about a lesbian couple, and their observation of the behavior of a disguised Marilyn Monroe who, surprisingly to the narrator and her companion, wants to be seen as nothing more than a common person. During the progression of the story, the author provides perspective on the gender roles women faced in 1956 New York, and gives the reader insight into the thoughts and reservations of a lesbian couple in this time period. Through both implicit and explicit expression, Oates implements feminist and marxist ideas of power struggle into Three Girls in order to establish themes of imbalance and subordination by women in society.
Feminist ideas are used throughout this story in both explicit and implicit ways to help describe the gender roles placed upon females in the 1950s. “That figure was a garish blond showgirl, a Hollywood ‘sexpot’ of no interest to intellectuals”. (Page 79) The author explicitly includes the
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