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Following the background information, I use several examples from Parker's oeuvre to demonstrate how she expresses social history and her personal history in her work.The poems I examine are: 'Chant for Dark Hours', 'Men', 'Indian Summer', 'General Review of the Sex Situation', 'On Being a Woman', 'Women: A Hate Song' and 'The Flapper'.
I also analyze three of Parker's short stories: 'Mr.
Durant', 'Lady with a Lamp' and 'The Standard of Living'.
When you've told your love what you're thinking of Things will be much more informal; Through a sunlit land we'll go hand-in-hand, Drifting gently back to normal.
While the pale moon gleams, we will dream sweet dreams, And I'll win your admiration, For it's only fair to admit I'm there With a mean interpretation.
Wit has truth in it; wisecracking is simply calisthenics with words.” () For talking to people who owe you money: “To me, the most beautiful word in the English language is cellar-door. The ones I like, though, are ‘cheque’ and ‘enclosed.'” (quoted in ) For turning down a proposal: “By the time you swear you’re his, Shivering and sighing. Lady make note of this— One of you is lying.” (her poem “Unfortunate Coincidence”) For overpriced restaurants and/or pretentious people: “[T]ripe is tripe, even though it be served with every recommended precision of elegance.” (from a review of ) For when you hate a book everyone else loves, and you know you’re right: “But on second thinking, I dare to differ more specifically from the booksie-wooksies. But now, what with a series of events that have made me callous to anything that may later occur, I have become locally known as the What-the-Hell Girl of 1931.” (from a review of Theodore Dreiser’s ) For Monday mornings: “To my own admittedly slanted vision, industry ranks with such sour and spinster virtues as thrift, punctuality, level-headedness, and caution.” (from a review of Sinclair Lewis’s ) For leaving the party early to get into the bath (also, truncated, for use as a solid insult): “It has lately been drawn to your correspondent’s attention that, at social gatherings, she is not the human magnet she would be. Always it believes that something good is about to come off, and it must hurry to meet it. Each day, as you go out, you feel the little nervous quiver that is yours when you sit in the theater just before the curtain rises.
Indeed, it turns out that as a source of entertainment, conviviality, and good fun, she ranks somewhere between a sprig of parsley and a single ice-skate.” (from a review of ) For book events: “My life and my arms are now and hereafter consecrated to the services of the Society for the Abolition of Charm. Other places may give you a sweet and soothing sense of level; but in New York there is always the feeling of “Something’s going to happen.” It isn’t peace.
In response to a simple question “would you like to dance? Just think, not a quarter of an hour ago, here I was sitting, feeling so sorry the poor girl he was dancing with.
” a woman is often heard to reply in the affirmative. and now I'm going to be that poor girl.” (Parker 1942) As one reads on through the story he realizes that it is rather a satirical parody of women’s attitude towards men. The monologue, through which the entire story is narrated, is a true expression of the speaker which is not only outright but also comforting. It not only parodies the feminine language but also the masculine aspect of it making it all the more interesting.
In the sunrise glow we will whisper low Of the scenes our dreams have painted, And when you're advised what they symbolized We'll begin to feel acquainted.
So we'll gaily float in a slumber boat Where subconscious waves dash wildly; In the stars' soft light, we will say good-night— And “good-night! Our desires shall be from repressions free— As it's only right to treat them.