[Throughout] Blume's novels the age-old image of the female, a dependent, ineffectual creature whose importance can only be derived from a man, remains drooped over its pedestal. Conservative watchdogs accuse Blume of iconoclasm; but in fact her portrayal of young women helps perpetuate both the female stereotype and the status quo. Her adolescents may sprout breasts, but in a more fundamental sense they do not develop. Bland, passive, and unfocused, they are locked in Neverland where the future is a dirty word.
The static quality of Blume's heroines is particularly striking in novels about twelve- to eighteen-year-olds. More than any other stage of life except infancy, adolescence is characterized...
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