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The Feminine Mystique Characters

This Study Guide consists of approximately 94 pages of chapter summaries, quotes, character analysis, themes, and more - everything you need to sharpen your knowledge of The Feminine Mystique.
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Sigmund Freud was an Austrian psychologist who tried to define life in completely sexual terms. Friedan says that the basic ideas expressed in Freudian psychology—which emphasized freedom from a repressive morality—support women's attempts at emancipation. However, Friedan says that Freud's specific theories about women, which were equal parts chivalry and condescension, and which were largely a product of his observations of the repressed Victorian era in which he lived, helped to reinforce the repression of modern women. Freud called women's yearning for equality penis envy, a term that was seized upon by promoters of the feminine mystique. Friedan notes that the type of concrete scientific thinking that provided the basis for Freud's theories has since been replaced by a more complex system of scientific thought. Nevertheless, while many of Freud's theories were reinterpreted in this new light, Friedan says that the promoters...

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This section contains 656 words
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The Feminine Mystique from Nonfiction Classics for Students. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.