Study Guide

The Reivers Women and Femininity

By William Faulkner

Women and Femininity

Well, folks, most of the women we meet in The Reivers work in a brothel, so you can bet your behinds there's going to be some questions raised about the role of women here. The women in this novel are often seen as objects to be used and then disposed of—although, as we'll see, the women themselves have some opinions about this attitude.

In his transition to adulthood, Lucius learns that men's treatment of women is an important issue, so when he doesn't like what he sees, he takes action. He gets into a physical brawl with Otis when he objectifies Miss Corrie, and he lashes out when he learns what she had to do to free Lightning, Ned, and Boon from prison. All part of growing up, we guess?

Questions About Women and Femininity

  1. How are women viewed in Jefferson? In Memphis? In Parsham?
  2. Did Miss Corrie have other options? Or was she forced into a subservient position by Butch?
  3. What is Lucius's view of women? Does it change over the course of the novel?

Chew on This

Women drive the action in the story: it's Miss Corrie and the brothel that cause Boon to take the car in the first place, and it's Miss Reba who helps get Lightning on the train.

Women only react to the action in the story; they don't cause it.

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