I was struck by the repeated reference in the readings on auteur theory to Howard Hawks and his frequent use of female characters that are just one of the guys, affectionately dubbed the Hawksian women. In my paper, I would like to try to apply ideas about gender and female perspective to examine these characters’ potential appeal to a female audience and how the audience might relate to an idea of woman as constructed by a man. I’d like to examine how this construction tackles ideas about femininity and sexuality and the relationship between men and women. I might also look at the lasting influence these characters have had on the concept of a strong woman in popular culture. I will take a look at Rosalind Russell’s character in His Girl Friday, Lauren Bacall in To Have and Have Not, and if I have room Katharine Hepburn in Bringing Up Baby, or Jean Arthur in Only Angels Have Wings.

I haven’t had a chance to look at any of the readings on these topics closely, but it looks like I’ll definitely want to take a look at Mary Ann Doane and Laura Mulvey.

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