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The Heroine as Social Redeemer in the Plays of Jean Giraudoux

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Victoria Korzeniowska

There are very few full-length critical studies of Jean Giraudoux’s work in English and none dealing with his most memorable creations, his heroines. This study fills this important gap, drawing on recent research on women’s history and feminism in the inter-war period, and work on gender, to provide an original evaluation of the gender politics at play in Giraudoux’s theatre. Focusing on the extent to which Giraudoux’s portrayal of his heroines is consistent with the inter-war years’ idealization of women as saviours of society, the study examines the heroine’s role in both the domestic and public spheres and explores issues of conformity and rebellion, reflecting critically on the extent to which Giraudoux’s theatre formed part of the wider contemporary debate on the woman question and on the future of French society.
Contents: Role of the heroines in Giraudoux's plays – Gender in Giraudoux's theatre – Woman as saviour of society in inter-war years' France – Woman's role in inter-war years' French society – Reassessment of Giraudoux's theatre in the light of recent work on gender in the inter-war period – Contribution of Giraudoux's theatre to the inter-war debate in France on the woman question.