Fried Green Tomatoes

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My first impression of Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Café was that it was a “woman’s” novel. This was because the movie, which was more popular than the book, was advertised as a “chick flick”. To say the least, I was wrong. The novel poses many issues that face the people of the 1920’s and 30’s, and makes one think about what people have struggled through. The novel addresses the issue of racism before the time of Martin Luther King Jr. and the Civil Rights Movement. It tells of the struggles women must go through when they reach menopause; the big change. However, the main plot line tells the story of two women, Idgie Threadgoode and Ruth Jamison, and the trials and tribulations of their life in the 1920’s and 30’s. Idgie and Ruth are business partners, best friends, and in the eyes of many, also lesbians. “[Fried Green Tomatoes] represents around the issue of lesbianism, depicting a strong and intense friendship between two white women (the tomboy Idgie Threadgoode and the fern Ruth Jamison), but never committing itself one way or another” (Pelligrini 7). There have not been many stories written about homosexuality in the first half of the twentieth century. That is why Fannie Flagg does not just come out and say that Idgie and Ruth are lesbians. In turn, the idea that Idgie and Ruth are lesbians is a subject that has been under heated debate. However, there are many episodes between Idgie and Ruth that are undeniable proof that they are homosexuals. The idea that Idgie and Ruth are lesbians is rampant throughout the story. It is evidenced by the way they speak to each other and act towards each other, but the idea is subverted due to the fact that everyone in the town sees Idgie as a man. The idea that Idgie and Ruth are lesbians can be misunderstood. To say that they are a lesbian couple does mean that they are sexually involved with each other. However, whether...
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