Arms and the Woman: War, Gender, and Literary Representation

By Helen M. Cooper; Adrienne Auslander Munich et al. | Go to book overview

bers only an earlier lost love. Both characters are cured of their delusions. Before and during the war, Teitjens is plagued by his estranged wife Sylvia; though he loves Valentine, he is unable (being another good soldier) to consummate their relationship because of his strongly bred Edwardian morality. After the war, however, he overcomes this obstacle, and he and Valentine plan to consummate their love on armistice day. It is a perfect ending--too perfect, in fact, for it implies that peace between women and men came naturally with peace between England and Germany. Rebecca West presents a similar scenario more sternly. When Baldry is cured of his memory lapse, he must return to a woman he does not love, a life he does not value--and a war that has not yet ended. Ford's protagonist is reborn into a new life; West's is reborn into the life he has always known, and there is no sense that one age has ended and a new age begun. Neither the Great War nor the war between women and men comes to an easy conclusion in The Return of the Soldier. Even before the war began some suffragettes recognized that their "sex war" was initiated "long before Votes for Women was first whispered." And if the men of 1914 wanted to believe that the battle of the sexes had been won with the Great War, the women of 1914 suspected that more battles would be fought.


Notes

In writing this essay I have benefited from the advice and criticism of Carol Barash, Samuel Hynes, A. Walton Litz, Bette London, Joanna Scott, and Keith Waldrop.

1.
Pound, "Wyndham Lewis,"233.
2.
For a discussion of prewar suffragette militancy see Vicinus, Independent Women. The most sophisticated discussion of the movement's battles (in both public and private spheres) is Kent, Sex and Suffrage. Useful information may also be found in Liddington and Norris, One Hand Tied Behind Us; Mitchell, Monstrous Regiment; and Rosen, Rise Up, Women. For a discussion of changing constructions of gender during the prewar period see Smith-Rosenberg, Disorderly Conduct; for a discussion of the war's effect on gender construction in psychotherapy see Showalter, The Female Malady, 167-94.
3.
Lewis, "TO SUFFRAGETTES,"151-52.
4.
Sinclair, The Tree of Heaven, 233, 162, 233, 299.
5.
Woolf, The Captain's Death Bed, 96. Woolf made this comment in "Mr. Bennett and Mrs. Brown," first delivered as a lecture at Cambridge on May 18, 1924.

-118-

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Arms and the Woman: War, Gender, and Literary Representation
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents vii
  • Acknowledgments xi
  • Notes xix
  • War and Memory 1
  • Arms and the Woman: The Con[tra]ception of the War Text 9
  • Notes 23
  • Works Cited 23
  • "Still Wars and Lechery": Shakespeare and the Last Trojan Woman 25
  • Notes 39
  • Works Cited 40
  • Rewriting History: Madame de Villedieu and the Wars of Religion 43
  • Notes 55
  • Works Cited 57
  • Southern Women's Diaries of Sherman's March to the Sea, 1864-1865 59
  • Notes 75
  • Works Cited 77
  • Civil Wars and Sexual Territories 80
  • Notes 95
  • Works Cited 96
  • The Women and Men of 1914 97
  • Notes 118
  • Corpus/Corps/Corpse: Writing the Body in/at War 124
  • Notes 159
  • Works Cited 164
  • May Sinclair's The Tree of Heaven: The Vortex of Feminism, the Community of War 168
  • Notes 179
  • Works Cited 182
  • Combat Envy and Survivor Guilt: Willa Cather's "Manly Battle Yarn" 184
  • Notes 201
  • Works Cited 203
  • "Seeds for the Sowing": The Diary of Käthe Kollwitz 205
  • Notes 221
  • Works Cited 223
  • A Needle with Mama's Voice: Mitsuye Yamada's Camp Notes and the American Canon of War Poetry 225
  • Notes 241
  • Feminism, the Great War, and Modern Vegetarianism 244
  • Images of Love and War in Contemporary Israeli Fiction: A Feminist Re-vision 268
  • Notes 277
  • Works Cited 280
  • Nuclear Domesticity: Sequence and Survival 283
  • Notes 299
  • "Epitaphs and Epigraphs: 'The End(s) of Man'" 303
  • Notes 319
  • Works Cited 321
  • A Bibliography of Secondary Sources 323
  • The Contributors 331
  • Index 335
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