Reviving Ophelia Summary & Study Guide

This Study Guide consists of approximately 47 pages of chapter summaries, quotes, character analysis, themes, and more - everything you need to sharpen your knowledge of Reviving Ophelia.
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Reviving Ophelia Summary & Study Guide Description

Reviving Ophelia Summary & Study Guide includes comprehensive information and analysis to help you understand the book. This study guide contains the following sections:

This detailed literature summary also contains Topics for Discussion and a Free Quiz on Reviving Ophelia by Mary Pipher.

In Reviving Ophelia, clinical psychologist Dr. Mary Pipher discusses the social and cultural pressures faced by today's adolescent girls. She analyzes the case histories of her young patients in an attempt to understand them and make recommendations for change. She explains why girls suffer from eating disorders, the desire to hurt or even kill themselves, friction with their parents, and problems in school. Dr. Pipher discusses the changes that occur when girls enter adolescence. Her observations provide valuable insight into the reasons why many confident, well-adjusted girls suddenly become sad and angry.

Dr. Pipher draws upon her years of experience teaching and counseling young women in order to show how each girl is uniquely affected by the changes that take place. She compares the theories of many psychologists and philosophers. Girls today are accomplishing goals that many of their mothers find impossible. Yet many of these girls are still hindered. They may not reach their full potential unless serious changes are made in the way that young women are educated and treated in America. Dr. Pipher also stresses that boys need to learn how to treat young girls fairly. Young girls should not be belittled and objectified. Their accomplishments and goals should not be pushed aside. As burgeoning young women, they deserve to be respected as much more than decorative sex objects. Dr. Pipher also discusses the cult of thinness and its impact on young women.

Dr. Pipher lists many ways in which parents can help their daughters through this difficult period. She points out the difference between dangerous behavior and the typical behavior that adolescent girls exhibit as they test new boundaries. She encourages healthy exploration and autonomy, but reminds parents to listen to their daughters and maintain supportive relationships with them. She explains the delicate balance that parents must strike as they encourage their daughters to be independent and autonomous, yet cautious and mindful of danger.

Dr. Pipher fears that women are now much more oppressed compared to years past. She is concerned about the influence that the mainstream media is having on American culture. Girls now face increased pressure to use drugs and become sexually active as early as junior high. Influences from popular music, television, and movies, along with sexist advertising, are damaging their delicate psyches. Dr. Pipher writes Reviving Ophelia to share her thoughts and suggestions for cultural change with parents and others who play an influential role in these girls' lives.

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This section contains 411 words
(approx. 2 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy the Reviving Ophelia Study Guide
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