Examine the significance of the attitudes toward women are reflected in The Kugelmass Episode?

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Ashley Kannan eNotes educator| Certified Educator

I think that one aspect of the significance in which women are displayed in Allen's work is that it raises questions about the socially defined roles that women must play.  Allen constructs Emma Bovary as a woman who is defined by her culture through her literature.  One of the reasons she is so immediately attracted to Kugelmass is that it enables her to escape the condition of French society.  She escapes it only to find that there is a similar condition in modern American society.  In both settings, women are "expected" to play particular roles and those gender- stratified roles help to limit the full characterization of women.  Daphne Kugelmass represents this.  At one point, she was full of what Kuglemass would have seen as "potential."  Yet, now she represents what women are supposed to be seen as in modern society.  She is perceived as trivial, someone incapable of something substantial.  I think that Allen's primary motivation is to show both the hollowness of conceiving in reality in one dimension.  This same emptiness is evident in the way in which such a social expectation can limit how people are perceived by both others and themselves.  In this, the attitudes towards women are significant in that they show how social limitations impact the way in which individuals view themselves and one another.

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The Kugelmass Episode

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