During the first half of the twentieth century, the United States, along with much of the world, saw great strides made in the feminist movement. The rights of and respect toward women were beginning to take an upward momentum, and at the same time, traditional ideas of masculine infallibility and superiority were being brought down. Literature, as always, had its finger on the pulse of this social change, and many authors chose to write about not just the women gaining power, but the men losing it.
Keywords: F. Scott Fitzgerald, Babylon Revisited, Bowman
[...] Bowman has recently recovered from an illness that left him weak and helpless in a hospital bed. Time and time again Welty brings us back to Bowman's affliction, “when he was sick he had learned to sink submissively into the pillows, to wait for his medicine” (Welty 238), showing Bowman's distrust for illness, he distrusted the road without signposts” and his fear of it. As a result of this illness, his heartbeat is irregular, and he eventually dies of an apparent heart attack at the end of the story. [...]
[...] In some ways Doc is trying to get back to something, his marriage couldn't have always been like that, and he had to learn to threaten men that were big and liked to fight from somewhere. The emasculation of these characters in all three cases was something that came along at some point, and all three of them want to go back to a time before that happened. What are the authors trying to say about emasculation? Charlie is a sympathetic character trying to recover from past mistakes, and Marion seems unreasonable. [...]
[...] He has no control over his situation, he has no power over anyone or anything, he has been emasculated by a man who is lesser in his eyes, and now by his wife. The only thing he can do is go find his son and escape with Nick to find some squirrels. He allows Nick to disobey his mother, which is much like Doc disobeying her himself. He takes the book from Nick and puts it in his pocket, a small act of seizing what he can from who he can, and playing a role of a guardian, even of a small insignificant item. [...]
[...] After Marion says, “Please don't swear at Lincoln takes the side of Charlie, chiding her for the petty objection, and later refuting her opinion of Charlie's role in Helen's death. It is through Helen's eyes that the reader is brought to the conclusion that Charlie has “somehow arrived at control over the situation” (421). The next day he returns to the house to take Honoria away, the victory is at hand, but once again Charlie's control over the situation is taken away by a woman when Lorraine and Duncan arrive. [...]
[...] He is confident in his task; in fact he draws more confidence from his daughter when he first arrives at his brother and sister-in-law's house, who have been taking care of her. Later, when out to lunch with Honoria, he runs into old socialite friends who he has left behind, Lorraine and Duncan, and he appears strong to them. When they had last seen Charlie he was not in control, he was in the throws of alcoholism, and as a result of that lifestyle, he lost everything. [...]
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