Feminism In Anita Loos's 'Gentlemen Prefer Blondes'

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To most, Anita Loos’ Gentlemen Prefer Blondes would not be considered a feminist text. The main characters, Lorelei and Dorothy, seem to be characterized as typical women in the 1920’s. Lorelei can almost be seen as a superficial character who will only marry a man for his money, and Dorothy, is the type of girl who would settle for any attractive man. However, feminism is defined as the belief of equality of the genders, that both men and women should have the same rights and equal opportunities. As the story progresses, and as we learn more about the characters, the story does end up having a feministic theme. The 1953 film adaptation of Loos’ story definitely enhances and adds to this theme as well. The feminism of Gentlemen Prefer Blondes …show more content…
The original story was not written to be a musical, but the performances in the film do enhance the fact that Lorelai wants more rights as a woman. The “Diamonds Are a Girls Best Friend” sequence tells a story of women wanting to be more independent in a male-dominated world. While the performance almost over-sexualizes Lorelei with her flamboyant costume and having her surrounded by men who are staring at her throughout the song, the song itself tells a different story. Women were still considered the inferior gender during that time period, and men were typically more successful and more rich than women were. This song shows that Lorelei does not want to be dependent on men for her own well-being. She wants money, she wants financial stability. She understands that as a woman, it is more difficult for her to do well and have a career that will get her the money she needs without having to rely on a man. One of the most popular lines, “A kiss may be grand / But it won 't pay the rental / On your humble flat / Or help you at the automat” implies that although gentlemen are nice, money is more important. She wants to be able to take care of herself, even when her husband cannot. Lorelei recognizes the value of money, and uses her assets to ensure that she will be well off. In addition, parts of the first performance of the film, “Two Little Girls From little Rock”, …show more content…
But, their relationship in the novel differs from the relationship in the film. Lorelei and Dorothy seem to be closer friends in the film than they are in the novel. The way that the adaptation altered that aspect made the story more feministic. Dorothy seems like the type of woman who would leave her friend for another man, yet in the film viewers see that she is loyal to Lorelei no matter what, when she finds out that Ernie Malone is a private detective. She was willing to do whatever she could to help Lorelei get the photo back, even after she admitted that she was in love with him. Likewise, Lorelei looks over Dorothy in the same way. One of Lorelei’s first tasks when she boarded the ship was to look over the passenger list and find an accomplished, wealthy man for Dorothy, even though a man’s wealth was Dorothy’s least concern. Then, when Lorelei first meets Mr. Malone and asks what he does for a living, this shows that Lorelei only wants the best for her friend. She wants to make sure Mr. Malone is good enough for Dorothy, and she wants to make sure Dorothy will be well off if she marries him. Since the film was set up to be a romantic comedy, it was unexpected to see a friendship as positive as Dorothy and Lorelei’s. Viewers would expect to see the two women end up fighting over a man at some point in the story, however Lorelei

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