Discussion Questions for Group 4: HC, AC, RT, BW
1. Claiming to be a single and independent woman, Bridget contradicts herself when she caves in and begins to obsess over Daniel Cleaver: “Panic stricken, I reached for the Silk Cut. Which girls? What? Somehow I made it through the day, got home, and in a moment of insanity left a message on Daniel’s answer-phone” (Monday 9 January).
Finding herself at one of her low points in this section, how do her actions support or fail to support the idea of women’s independence? What is the significance of Bridget’s actions in calling Daniel Cleaver?
2. Walking into the apartment, Bridget’s mother’s presence captivates Bridget in a way that is unexplainable: “I know what her secret is: she’s discovered…and everyone is sensing her power and wanting a bit of it, which makes her even more irresistible. So all I’ve got to do is find someone or something to have power over…” ( Saturday 4 March).
With Bridget’s mother finding this new sense of self, how is this power she has relevant to Bridget’s life and the life of the new “independent” woman in this time period? How is this power role significant in the relation between Bridget’s ideals of herself as a woman and society’s ideals?
I think that at this point in the book, Bridget is an independent woman, but not by a choice. She wants a man, and she is willing to call Daniel and make herself look desperate. It does not support the idea of women’s independence, in fact it does the opposite. It showed that she couldn’t go a day without seeing him, and she felt she had to call to remind him she is still there. Bridget’s action in calling Daniel shows a weakness to me. What happened to making the man chase you?
Although Bridget is a woman who strongly believes in independence and freedom, this moment of “weakness” demonstrates that she still yearns, despite her resistance, a chance at finding love and fulfillment with a man. She sees it as a weaknesses because she has tried to make herself believe and assume the role of the independent, self-sufficient woman who does not want, need or crave attention from a man. The significance of her caving into temptation and calling Daniel further demonstrates her deep desire to be wanted by a man.
Women are by nature full of contradictions. For a woman like Bridget is especially difficult to find a balance in this subject. She’s desperate to find a mate who will respect her, but yet finds herself admiring a man who will do anything to get in her pants. She wants to feel “complete without boyfriend, as best way to find boyfriend.” She writes her frustration with all the people around her and the way it makes her feels, but how does she act? She just surrenders to what they have to say; Bridget is weak in many ways. To reach her goals, she will have to go through major changes; being so hard on herself day after day is not helping her. This horrible fear of dying alone and being eaten by a dog is completely pathetic! Yet, she wants to be this strong independent woman in control of her destiny. She is in no from or shape supporting this feminist idea of being independent. She needs to find herself first. I sympathize with the fact that she’s focused on her career, but not the fact that she’s letting society drive her life. I really hope she unlocks her Inner Bitch.