How do Willa Cather, Gertrude Stein, and Angelina Weld Grimke let lesbian readers know that they are reading a lesbian story or poem without ever using terms like “lesbian” or “third sex”? Lillian Hellman said The Children’s Hour is not about lesbianism but about a “lie. ” Do you agree with her? Why or why not? In The Well of Loneliness, Radclyffe Hall took the position that members of the “third sex” are different from birth. Though today, some critics use different terminology and label characters like Stephen “butch,” mannish” (Esther Newton), or even “transgendered,” do you think that Hall was ahead of her time in suggesting that lesbians are biologically (essentially) different in some way? How is Stephen different from most of the other lesbians in the novel? Even Hall sees two types of lesbian. Though this essay allows for you to be speculative, try to ground your thoughts in some details from the novel, please. Do only one of the following questions that relate to Beebo Brinker: Many lesbian novels have been banned or prosecuted for “obscenity. ” Start with the trial and content of the Well of Loneliness.
Then connect it to the Gathings Hearings and government concern about pulp novels like Beebo Brinker. You should consider some of the following questions: Why were they banned? Were similar non-lesbian books banned? What is the impact of banning books on lesbian readership? You MUST credit all research in the text. Please do not use Wikipedia, as it is not a reliable source. What did you learn from Beebo Brinker about gay and lesbian life in Greenwich Village in the late 1950s? Don’t retell the story but use specific details of to characterize the life that people led.