The Artificial Silk Girl Analysis

1503 Words7 Pages
The Artificial Silk Girl by Irmgard Keun has been hailed by many as a feminist tale, which makes one wonder how famed feminist filmmaker Margarethe von Trotta has yet to make a movie adaptation of this book. From her own experience in the film industry, she would understand how the "glamor" of it would attract Doris, and von Trotta would no doubt admire Doris 's determination to make it into the industry. If von Trotta were to make a movie adaptation of Keun 's novel, she would focus on how Doris is the "artificial silk" girl of the title. Much like artificial silk, Doris herself is easily "ruined," in the eyes of others, is always trying to look like something she is not, but is reliable when treated right. The path Doris takes that leads…show more content…
While many people would have given up within the first week or so of their hardships of being alone in such a large, unforgiving city, Doris keeps her head held high. Though, this is because she is willing to do whatever it takes to survive. In a letter to her mother, Doris remarks: " . . .you [my mother] were poor as I am poor, you slept with men because you liked them or because you needed money - I do that too" (Keun 73). Doris 's self-candor is both her best and worst quality: it helps her make sense of her surroundings and stay a step ahead of others, though she often is self-critical because of it. One such moment of self-critizing comes later in the novel, though Doris does not realize it: ". . . a woman should never wear artificial silk when she 's with a man. It wrinkles too quickly, and what are you going to look like after seven real kisses" (94)? Much like artificial silk, Doris…show more content…
Doris is fiercely loyal to the women around her, especially those that have helped her during her journey through Berlin, resulting in a since of debt towards these women. For Margarete, Doris admits she ". . . bought three diapers and I plan to have a green branch embroidered in the corner for good luck," as Margarete took Doris in while heavily pregnant with her first child. As payment for Doris 's help during the birth, the baby girl was named after Doris. To Doris, such a good dead should not go unpunished, especially for a woman who was already doing so much for her by taking her when Doris first arrived in Berlin, despite being low on funds to support herself and her husband. Though, this is not the first time a husband has gotten in-between the relationship of Doris and another woman. When she arrives at Margarete 's friend 's, Tilli 's, apartment, she soon notices that her and Tilli relationship becomes strained when Tilli 's husband Albert comes home: "They 're always fighting," Doris remarks, and later she gets into an argument with Tilli, " 'No, ' Tilli tells me, 'don 't iron Albert 's shirts. ' And then we 're both all tears and kisses" (113). Once Doris realizes that she is the reason for the strain in the relationship, she does what she thinks is
Open Document