In Fannie Flagg’s Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Café it is possible to discuss the characters through the scope of 2nd and 3rd wave feminism. By analyzing characters and applying key concepts and writings that these movements heralded respectively, (such as Betty Friedan’s 1963 work The Feminine Mystique et. al.), we are able to provide context for behaviors present in the book and gain a sense of the feminist tone that Flagg’s work conveys. Through character analysis, observation of parallel sociological frameworks at play within the book itself, and comparisons to other feminist and proto-feminist authors and their works (Kate Chopin, Virginia Woolf, Zora Neale Hurston, etc.), it is immediately apparent that Flagg’s work is not merely a piece of fiction, but is, in fact a positive representation of modern day feminism, and a welcome addition to the literary canon as such.
Zachary Piette is a senior at Kent State Stark. He is completing his major in English, as well as a dual minor in sociology and writing. After graduating, Zachary plans to attend graduate school in order to obtain either his MFA or master’s degree in literature. When he is not in class, Zachary can be found working, writing, or playing guitar - his goal to become a writer for an independent music publication and a college professor.