Janet Madelbaum Analysis

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Janet Madelbaum, on the other hand, was unable to reach the same privileged status, although her family managed to provide her the same elite education which Janet completed with success equal to Kate's (cf. 22, TEXT??????). After an outstanding critical publication – and several more mediocre ones – receiving tenure at Harvard should have marked the peak of Janet's career. Kate points out that Janet has “accomplished the highest, at least in the world's view, in the academic marketplace” (45).
However, the English faculty at Harvard does not welcome her the way she was used from her old university where she had been “one of the boys” (59). In addition, Janet struggles with the expectations other women at Harvard have in her as the new 'woman
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In their first and only conversation at Harvard, Janet attempts to establish a connection between them as women professors, who face the same judgments and unreasonable demands; she complains about being mistaken for a lesbian after being found in the bathroom with Luellen May, replicating misogynist sentiments when she admits to thinking that “those women in overalls and boots are horrible” (49). Janet herself did not dare to defy social conventions or her family's expectations, which are revealed to Kate by Janet's brother Bill. He claims that Janet would not have killed herself had she been content with the “life of a normal woman” (145), had had children and given up her work. At the same time, he recognized that “Janet wasn't made for marriage” (146), a sentiment he shares with Moon, who tells Kate about how much Janet struggled to embrace traditional femininity, wanting to be 'ladylike' but being too smart to not be opinionated (130). This can be read as an indication that Janet is by nature more androgynous than she would like to be; being a wife did not come easy to her, and in the end the marriage did not

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