The Female Body as Icon: Edna Millay Wears a Plaid Dress
American Literature | Literature in English, North America | Women's Studies
The female body has never been so prominently displayed or so critically examined as it is today under the dominance of late capitalism. The results of this display, we can now see, have been mostly negative: women regard themselves at best self-consciously, at worst with disgust. Given this emphasis on self-scrutiny, it comes as no surprise that middle-aged women experience a reduction of self-confidence regarding their physical presences and a concomitant increase in self-dissatisfaction. It is also worth noting that a querulous tone often afflicts them as they grow older, suggesting that they are at odds not only with others but with themselves. These reflections are useful in considering the work of Edna St. Vincent Millay, especially with regard to the relatively new set of emphases that appear in Millay's 1939 volume Huntsman, What Quarry? published when the poet was forty-seven.
© 1995 Southern Illinois University Press
Walker, Cheryl. "The Female Body as Icon: Edna Millay Wears a Plaid Dress." Millay at 100: A Critical Reappraisal. Ed. Diane P. Freedman. Carbondale: Southern Illinois University Press, 1995. 85-99.