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The Feminine Mystique Themes

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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Before World War II, many women had the choice of becoming housewives or having careers, and many sources supported either choice. Friedan measures this public opinion of women by examining the images of women in women's magazines from before and after World War II. As she notes of the magazines before World War II: "The majority of heroines in the four major women's magazines . . . were career women—happily, proudly, adventurously, attractively career women—who loved and were loved by men." However, after World War II, Friedan notes that women were increasingly encouraged to become housewives and mothers alone, and to avoid becoming a "careerwoman- devil." Many sources provided this encouragement, including psychologists who followed the teachings of Sigmund Freud. As Friedan notes, Freud believed that "It was woman's nature to be ruled by man, and her sickness to envy him." Freud called this concept, "penis...

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This section contains 787 words
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Nonfiction Classics for Students
The Feminine Mystique from Nonfiction Classics for Students. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.