The Rules Do Not Apply: A Memoir - Chapter 8 Summary & Analysis

Ariel Levy
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Summary

Ariel gets hired at The New Yorker. For her first story, she writes a profile of a woman named Lamar Van Dyke who was a member of a lesbian separatist movement in the 1970s. These women all changed their last names to Van Dyke and lived out of VW buses, "stopping only on 'womyn's land' where men were banned" (71). Van Dyke challenges Ariel's desire to fit into mainstream culture and rejects the idea of gay marriage because it represents conforming to traditional values.

Although Ariel admires Van Dyke's lifestyle, she cannot escape her desire to achieve standard markers of success. Levy flashes back to her grandparents' youth in the 1930s, when they struggled to attain financial security. Ariel's grandmother, Tanya, thought she had escape poverty when she married Ariel's grandfather. Tanya was dependent on her husband and, when he lost everything, so did she...

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This section contains 705 words
(approx. 2 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy The Rules Do Not Apply: A Memoir Study Guide
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