• On Dorothy Parker’s “Big Blonde”

    Posted Posted by David Duhr in WBN News & Events     Comments 2 comments
    Aug
    14

    Last week we considered the opening of Hemingway’s The Old Man and the Sea. This week, let’s discuss the lead paragraph of Dorothy Parker’s short story, “Big Blonde”:

    Hazel Morse was a large, fair woman of the type that incites some men when they use the word “blonde” to click their tongues and wag their heads roguishly. She prided herself upon her small feet and suffered for her vanity, boxing them in snub-toed, high-heeled slippers of the shortest bearable size. The curious things about her were her hands, strange terminations to the flabby white arms splattered with pale tan spots—long, quivering hands with deep and convex nails. She should not have disfigured them with little jewels.

    What do we learn in these opening lines, about Hazel and, perhaps more interestingly, about the narrator? What kind of tone is Parker setting?

     

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    Barry O.

    Narrator seems to dislike both men and women. He’s/She’s inquisitive, and observant. And *probably* has a pretty cool sense of humor.

    I’d read more.

    Alex botny

    I see Hazel as someone who is uncomfortable with her self image and willing to go the extra mile for the social image of beauty. The narrator in describing her seems a bit angry or possibly jealous of Hazel and the desire she evokes in men. The narrator definitely is critical of Hazel and appears not to like her.




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