Final Paper Sample - Student Last Name 1 Student Last Name...

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Student Last Name 1 Student Last Name Ms. Kent ENGL 1023 Due Date Fat or Fiction: Cultural Influences on Beauty and Weight Trends play an important role in society. They also influence literature of the time. The issues of beauty and women’s weight are no stranger to literature. Though the issue of physical beauty seems like a more modern discussion, it actually has quite a history. Some issues date back to as early as the later part of the nineteenth century. “At its height, in the 1880s, young U.S. women worried about being too thin. They used padding and they ate” (Mazur 285). At this time it was more important fro a woman to have a curvy figure. By current standards, however, it is the exact opposite. No one worries about being too thin at this point in time. Even though there was a shift in the way women’s bodies are viewed, the idea of thinness in women is not that new. Author Allen Mazur explains that, “the rise of mass media in the twentieth century, including the use of still and motion pictures, seems to have imposed more uniform standards of both beauty and fashion” (284). With the beginning of visual entertainment the actresses of the times have been getting thinner and thinner. The shift is also visible in women’s literature of the twentieth century, in particular Edith Wharton’s The House of Mirth first published in 1905. It is, however, even more apparent in Helen Fielding’s 1996 chick lit novel Bridget Jones’s Diary . Though other cultural issues are present in both novels, the trends of beauty and appearance, particularly weight, are strongly represented. Both
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Lilly Bart, of The House of Mirth , and Bridget Jones, of Bridget Jones’s Diary , allow their appearance and their self image to overrun their lives. Beauty and the issue of weight, even in literature, now play an overwhelming part in cultural trends. This is visible in both the characters’ self perception of beauty and, in the case of Bridget Jones, even in their eating and dieting habits. Women in Literature and their Beauty When it comes to having female characters in a work of literature, the general consensus is that the woman must have an unusual amount of problems. The issue of these problems must then be figured out. The problems of women exist when it comes to having female characters in a work of literature; the general consensus is that the woman must have an unusual amount of problems. The issue of these problems must then be figured out. The problems of women exit because in the society of the time they lived in or still live in, Lilly and Bridget must both seek perfection of themselves, or at
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This note was uploaded on 04/14/2008 for the course ENG 1021 taught by Professor Kent during the Spring '08 term at Texas Woman's University.

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Final Paper Sample - Student Last Name 1 Student Last Name...

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