Patricia Highsmith | Critical Review by Ursula Hegi

This literature criticism consists of approximately 1 page of analysis & critique of Patricia Highsmith.
This section contains 293 words
(approx. 1 page at 300 words per page)
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Critical Review by Ursula Hegi

SOURCE: A review of Little Tales of Misogyny, in New York Times Book Review, Vol. 91, April 6, 1986, p. 22.

In the following review, Hegi criticizes Highsmith's portrayal of women in Little Tales of Misogyny.

Punishment is the central theme of this collection of stories about women that was first published in a German translation in the mid-70s. The titles of the stories give an indication of their content: "The Mobile Bed-Object," "The Middle-Class Housewife," "The Breeder," "The Fully-Licensed Whore, or, The Wife." Patricia Highsmith's women destroy men and, as a result, most of them are punished. Yvonne, "The Coquette," is killed by two of her suitors "with various blows about the head." Claudette, "The Dancer," is strangled by her partner for refusing to sleep with him. Mildred, the bed-object, is dumped into a canal and drowned. "She had been thrown away, as one might throw away a cricket lighter when it is used up, like a paperback one has read." Catherine, "The Victim," wears makeup and platform boots though she isn't even 12; her rapes are portrayed as a direct result of her appearance: "As time went on, when Cathy complained about rape, her parents paid not much attention. After all, Cathy had been on The Pill." Patricia Highsmith is the author of several books, including The Animal-Lover's Book of Beastly Murder and Ripley under Ground. In Little Tales of Misogyny she uses her women characters to perpetuate the worst stereotypes. Her selection of titles certainly indicates that she is aware of the hatred of women that fills the pages of her book, but this awareness does not make up for it. Her tales seem intended to be witty and sarcastic; yet they come across as shallow and vicious.

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This section contains 293 words
(approx. 1 page at 300 words per page)
Buy the Critical Review by Ursula Hegi
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