The Modern Woman and the Slim Silhouette
Opens by contextualizing the modern woman within the socio-historical and fashion currents of the 1920s before moving into a clothing-based examination of her representation in novels of the era by prominent male authors: Hemingway’s The Garden of Eden, Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby (1925), and Faulkner’s Mosquitoes (1927). Contends that while Fitzgerald’s and Faulkner’s approaches make their female characters appear cold and immature respectively, Hemingway’s Catherine Bourne comes across as highly sexual. Theorizes that Hemingway portrays Catherine’s masculine wardrobe choices as something to be envied and desired, and as such indicate the ways by which the modern woman challenged and changed societal expectations. Briefly comments on Brett Ashley of The Sun Also Rises as a precursor to Catherine.
Fashion and Fiction: Self-Transformation in Twentieth-Century American Literature