In A Time Of Posturing, Didion Dared Slouching, By Joan Didion

Superior Essays
A quick glance into Joan Didion’s life would put readers under the assumption that she identifies as a standard second-wave feminist. A prominent female writer in the 1960s, Didion had initially left me drawing connections to the likes of Betty Friedan and Gloria Steinem. Even her stern gaze present on book covers and articles seems to give off a sense of feminine mystique. But after careful venture into her work, it is my understanding that while feminism plays a role in what Didion tackles as a writer, it is merely one lens out of many that she uses to advance her writing. Didion has had an upbringing in Northern California as a “daughter of the Golden West” (Fabian 1), and the stories of her family, along with personal observations during …show more content…
Both her work and how she works inspires the minds of many who wish to become an improvement upon society but also reaches out to those who have yet to realize their faults and dreams as well. Jonathan Yardley’s “In a Time of Posturing, Didion Dared ‘Slouching’” praises Joan Didion through his own experiences in reading her work. Yardley describes her as “a clear-eyed observer who declined to be roped in by fads” (Yardley 3) which allows Didion to comment on society from a broader perspective. In her “On Keeping a Notebook,” Didion discusses her own experiences in recordkeeping from a young age. She uses her own narrative to establish a collective understanding of people and notes that she is able to define an identity for herself and the people around her. This is her motivation in commenting on society from an observant lens that still remains subjective and fairly critical. Didion understands that “we are brought up in the ethic that others [...] are by definition more interesting than ourselves” (Didion 136). She notes that we are quick to compare ourselves to the success of others, which is why she turns to notekeeping to recall who she is and what she stands for. Didion is able to focus herself through her writing on society, which in turn allows her to be observant …show more content…
In “I Can’t Get That Monster Out of My Head,” Didion points out that nearly everyone in the industry is aware of the machine that Hollywood is, but even the “directors, with a handful of exceptions, are not much interested in style; they are at heart didactic” (Didion 153). No one calls into question the authenticity of moviemaking, but Didion articulates that the cinematic experience must make an upgrade to keep up with the changing times, reflective of how people are so afraid of change and difference. Didion understands that we must improve ourselves to improve society, and perhaps she constantly refers to this claim because of her own fear of becoming the exact people she critiques. Didion had never intended to become a hippie or a feminist, a hypocrite in the sense that she would not have carried out her actions in accordance with her personal values. She turned to writing to address her own fears in hopes that she would improve herself and help others as well. She realizes that she too may have to face the truth that she contributes to a failing society, so uses her platform to speak out about the issues she feels need to be criticized. But of course, Didion herself is approached with criticism from others, as people often dislike facing harsh realities. Critics and readers alike have stated that her

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