La garçonne (French) by V. Margueritte
La garçonne” is a novel by Victor Margueritte, first published in France in 1922.
The novel caused a sensation upon its release, as it challenged traditional gender roles and sexual mores in French society at the time.
The novel’s title, “La garçonne”, translates to “the flapper” in English, a term that was used to describe young women in the 1920s who challenged social norms by wearing shorter skirts, smoking, drinking, and engaging in sexual behavior that was considered scandalous at the time.
The novel tells the story of Monique Lerbier, a young woman who rebels against the strict gender roles of her time and becomes a garçonne. Monique rejects the traditional roles of wife and mother that are expected of her, and instead embraces a life of independence and freedom.
Throughout the novel, Margueritte explores themes of gender identity, sexuality, and societal norms. He portrays Monique as a complex character who is not easily defined by traditional gender roles or expectations, and who must navigate a world that is often hostile to her choices.
The novel is also a reflection of the cultural and social changes that were taking place in France in the 1920s. The post-World War I era saw a loosening of traditional social mores and an embrace of new forms of art, music, and literature. Margueritte’s novel was a product of this cultural shift, and it played a significant role in shaping the cultural landscape of France in the 1920s and beyond.
At the same time, the novel was also met with controversy and criticism. Many conservative French critics saw the novel as a threat to traditional gender roles and societal norms, and it was banned in some places. However, the novel also found a passionate audience among young women who identified with Monique’s struggle for independence and self-expression.
Margueritte’s writing is bold and provocative, and he challenges the reader to question their own assumptions about gender roles and sexuality. He portrays Monique as a fully realized character, with all the complexities and contradictions that come with being human. Through Monique’s story, he offers a vision of a world in which women can be free to pursue their own desires and aspirations, without being constrained by societal expectations.
In conclusion, “La garçonne” is a groundbreaking novel that challenged traditional gender roles and societal norms in France in the 1920s. Margueritte’s writing is bold and provocative, and his portrayal of Monique as a garçonne is a powerful commentary on the limitations placed on women in French society at the time. The novel remains a significant cultural artifact of the 1920s, and a testament to the power of literature to shape and reflect the world around us