Reviving Ophelia

In: Novels

Submitted By blaine
Words 1717
Pages 7
The book, Reviving Ophelia, is about the hardships girls go through when they are growing up and trudging through puberty. As the author Mary Pipher states it, adolescent girls tend to lose their “true selves” in order to fit in and comply with the standards that society sets for women. Pipher, a practicing therapist, uses her own case studies to show how pressures put on girls forces them to react in often damaging ways. In most case studies she tells the audience how she helped these girls heal and regain control of their lives. It seems that her primary goal is to warn people of what certain effects can have on girls and what not to do. The one thing that Pipher tends to overlook is what parents can do right to raise healthy children. Pipher named this book after a character named Ophelia. “The story of Ophelia, from Shakespeare’s Hamlet, shows the destructive forces that affect young women. As a girl, Ophelia is happy and free, but with adolescence she loses herself. When she falls in love with Hamlet, she lives only for his approval. She has no inner direction; rather she struggles to meet the demands of Hamlet and her father. Her value is determined utterly by their approval. Ophelia is torn apart by her efforts to please. When Hamlet spurns her because she is an obedient daughter, she goes mad with grief. Dressed in elegant clothes that weigh her down, she drowns in a stream filled with flowers” (20). Pipher wants to Revive Ophelia. She wants to save her from her sorrows that eventually led to her suicide. If Ophelia could have been stronger, and true to who she was, she would have never had to rely on a man for her own happiness. She wants this for all girls; to keep alive who they are rather than give in and conform for others to rule our lives.
“Girls have been trained to be feminine at considerable cost to their humanity. They have long…...

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