Date: April 19, 2012
Creator: Jones, Carina & Weber, Christoph
Description: Abstract: This paper discusses research on the urban experience of German women in the late Weimar Republic as portrayed in the character Flämmchen in Vicki Baum's 1929 novel 'Menschen im Hotel'. During the Weimar Republic from 1918 to 1933, Germany's large cities appeared to offer women financial and professional independence outside traditional gender roles. To examine how Baum portrays women's pursuit of success and autonomy in the city, this paper analyzes the text according to feminist theory. Flämmchen faces sexual discrimination that limits her ability to live and define herself independently, and she struggles with the sexualized, objectifying image of women present in modern urban society, which represents the female body as a commodity. While 'Menschen in Hotel' breaks from tradition by challenging bourgeois social values, Flämmchen fails to completely break free from traditional definitions of women's roles, reflecting women's disillusionment with the difficult pursuit of emancipation.
Contributing Partner: UNT Honors College