The Feminine Mystique Summary & Study Guide

This Study Guide consists of approximately 102 pages of chapter summaries, quotes, character analysis, themes, and more - everything you need to sharpen your knowledge of The Feminine Mystique.
This section contains 1,285 words
(approx. 4 pages at 400 words per page)
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Chapter 1: The Problem That Has No Name

Friedan begins The Feminine Mystique with an introduction describing the problem that has no name—the widespread unhappiness of women. Using a practice that becomes common throughout the book, Friedan offers several case studies of unhappy women from around the United States, and she wonders whether this unhappiness is related to the female role of housewife.

Chapter 2: The Happy Housewife Heroine

Friedan examines women's magazines from before and after World War II. In 1930s magazines, stories feature confident and independent heroines, of whom many are involved in careers. However, in most women's magazines in the late 1940s, 1950s, and early 1960s, the Happy Housewife, whose only ambitions are marriage and motherhood, replaces the career-oriented New Woman. Friedan calls this homemaker ideal of femininity the feminine mystique.

Chapter 3: The Crisis in Woman's Identity

Friedan remembers her own decision to conform to...

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This section contains 1,285 words
(approx. 4 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy The Feminine Mystique Study Guide
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The Feminine Mystique from Gale. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.
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