CCTE: Gender and Literature- All the King’s Men

Holly Fletcher, adjunct prof at Dallas Baptist University
“Mom’s Gingerbread and the Lace Negligee: The Shifting Role of Women in All the King’s Men”

This is a live blogging of the session.

Lucy & Sadie show women’s social status, past and present
status does not equal whole

See Jack’s description of Willie’s relationships with his wife and mistresses and the voter’s view of those relationships (Warren 493).

Frederick Lewis Allen, qtd in Gourley (6, 7)
Gourley, Catherine. Flappers and the New American Woman. Vol. 2. Minneapolis:
Twenty-First Century Books, 2008.
Despite these proclamations of sexual freedom, concerns of marriage and competition for relationships with the opposite sex became an obsession as never before (Evans 178).
Evans, Sara M. Born for Liberty: A History of Women in America. New York: The Free Press, 1989.

Lucy described p. 22, 26, 89, 209, 638

Sadie described p. 110, 112, 126, 127, 211, 212,

“Sadie is unable to feel whole because she cannot measure up to the standard of beauty that society demands and therefore believes that she cannot have a relationship with a man who will be faithful to her.” (seen in Warren 214, 215)

juxtaposition for the two women comes:
Sadie and Lucy at the hospital when Willie has been shot
Sadie and Lucy over Tom’s surgery

nice if Willie “might have all been different” (Warren 603), doesn’t seem real
Willie needs “Mom’s gingerbread,” and “the black-lace negligee”

Lucy & Sadie live, but not “as complete women.”
fragmented beings
attempting to find their way in changing world
believe “[Willie] was a great man…” (643)
want to believe “they can also be great.”

Audience response:
Huey Long fictionalization.
Of the literature about Long, this was the version that was the least accurate in regard to his life. Were there accuracies in regard to the women in his life? Interesting idea.

professional women and careers… Yet Sadie is still waiting for him to come to her.

Eleanor Roosevelt to political wives: “Make sure you do not block the view to your husband’s face.”

New style v. old style
classical v. new? Or just the new style with the last style?

Lucy, Edwardian, Gibson girl
Sadie, flapper generation

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