In 1849 the ideal French woman was often depicted in the artwork of the recent Impressionist movement as beautiful, idolized, and silent. In that same year George Sand’s work La Petite Fadette presented an alternative image of a woman; one who was strong and intelligent. La petite Fadette is a multi-faceted character who both embodies traditional female roles and puts them into question, most notably the role of beauty. However, through these critiques and representations one must question whether Sand is truly liberating women from traditional roles, or reaffirming the belief that it will always be the beautiful who are most accepted in society. Regardless, Sand illustrates that an ideal woman should not be one put upon a pedestal, but instead an intelligent woman worthy of a voice, a voice which she gives.
Beth Lueck, ’08 Westminster, CO
Sponsor: Devan Baty