The relevance and controversy of Dorothy Parker's works
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Dorothy Parker -- writer, poet, satirist, journalist -- was in her literary prime in 1920s and 30s America. America at the time was faced with considerable tensions, much of which was due to the burgeoning Women's Movement. Much of Parker's work focused on such issues as the tense relationship between men and women, abortion, and the strained relationships among women. Not only were the topics pertinent and controversial in American society, but they were relevant to events in Parker's private life as well. In my thesis, I begin by providing biographical material surrounding Dorothy Parker and continue with information concerning the social setting. I examine Parker's works in anthologies and look to numerous journal articles that pertain to the social issues in America in the 1920s and 30s. I also refer to various articles relating to Parker's life. Following the background information, I use several examples from Parker's oeuvre to demonstrate how she expresses social history and her personal history in her work. The poems I examine are: 'Chant for Dark Hours', 'Men', 'Indian Summer', 'General Review of the Sex Situation', 'On Being a Woman', 'Women: A Hate Song' and 'The Flapper'. I also analyze three of Parker's short stories: 'Mr. Durant', 'Lady with a Lamp' and 'The Standard of Living'.
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