No Word from Winifred Summary
Amanda Cross and Carolyn Gold Heilbrun

Everything you need to understand or teach No Word from Winifred by Amanda Cross and Carolyn Gold Heilbrun.

  • No Word from Winifred Summary & Study Guide

No Word from Winifred Summary

The overriding theme in No Word from Winifred is self-determination.

Winifred's early desire to be male instead of female springs directly from her perception that men have more freedom — in dress, in education, in activity. Her work as a hired hand on a dairy farm constitutes a self-imposed exile following her break-up with Martin Heffenreffer, and her final departure for India, although done at Martin's insistence that she leave the country, is undertaken in a spirit of adventure. By contrast, Martin exhibits little self-determination: his obsession with Winifred and his inability to tolerate her friendship with his wife isolate him from all human contact. A second theme is the necessity of just that contact, not only between women, but between genders. One illustration of this is the relationship between Toby Van Dine, a partner in Kate's brother's law firm, and Charlie Lucas — a relationship based on...

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