The Women's Room Summary
Marilyn French

Everything you need to understand or teach The Women's Room by Marilyn French.

  • The Women's Room Summary & Study Guide

The Women's Room Summary

The profound aloneness of a woman walking on a deserted beach frames the book with an image of the impossibility of achieving both personal independence and loving heterosexual companionship. The central theme is not simply that women are victimized by individual men, but that the chasm of incomprehension between women and men precludes any foreseeable future for coexistence so long as patriarchy is ingrained in the economic system, in underlying values so universal they remain unperceived, in the psychology that shapes the family, and in all social institutions.

Patriarchal values also compromise women's ability to support and sustain one another. The first group of suburban women, who had nourished each other in their shared experiences, breaks up over sexual competition: shaped by the attitudes of the 1940s and 1950s, they cannot imagine fulfillment except through attachment to a man. A brief vision of peace and harmony that includes...

(read more from the Short Guide)

Study Pack

Follow Us on Facebook