To Be Independent? or Not to Be Independent? Feminism

Topics: Gender, Gender role, Woman Pages: 3 (1083 words) Published: November 30, 2005
To be Independent? Or not to be Independent?
According to Webster's Dictionary, femininity is defined as: the quality of looking and behaving in ways conventionally thought to be appropriate for a woman or girl (Webster). In "Breakfast at Tiffany's" and "Shakespeare's Sister," femininity is defined very different. Audrey Hepburn portrays a young lady looking for a new challenge wherever she may go in the classic 1961 film, "Breakfast at Tiffany's." The femininity in the role she plays as "Holly," can be defined as independent. This is unlike the femininity described in Virginia Woolf's excerpt, "Shakespeare's Sister," from her novel, A Room of one's own. In "Shakespeare's Sister," femininity is defined as dependant. Examples of this can be seen in "Breakfast at Tiffany's" when Holly is seen with her own apartment and in "Shakespeare's Sister" when Judith is a shadow compared to her famous brother.

In the movie, "Breakfast at Tiffany's," femininity is shown as being independent. Audrey Hepburn's character, "Holly" is characterized as an independent woman, but rather her gender role is switched. Holly plays a very feminine woman in the movie. She has a lot of sex appeal with her wardrobe. Holly would wear bright sundresses with enormous size hats over head. Holly got the attention she craved with her femininity. In the movie, she dressed as if she was apart of the high social class. In fact, she wasn't at all. Her attitude toward men and her lifestyle can assure you that she is feminine. Men lavish after her throughout the movie.

Even though she is very feminine, her gender role was switched in the movie. She takes care of herself, supports herself, and is determined to live on her own in a big city. In the movie, she does not depend on a man to take care of her. Holly is able to make decisions on her own without a man telling her what to do, wear, or whom to marry. Holly makes her living by visiting Mafioso, Sally Tomato, at Sing Sing, a prison. She visits...

Cited: The Merriam-Webster Dictionary. Springfield: Merriam-Webster Incorporated, 1997.
Jacobus, Lee A. A world of Ideas. Boston: Bedford/St. Martin 's, 2002.
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