Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Café and feminist theory

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Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Café and feminist theory


Abstract for Abuse, Exploitation, and Feminine Bonds in Fannie Flagg’s Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Cafe

Fannie Flagg’s novel Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Café is a story about strong female relationships. The story focuses on two sets of relationships, that of Idgie and Ruth, and that of Evelyn and Ninny. Both of these set of relationships include a woman that has had to deal with some sort of abuse from males, and with a woman who understand strength and how to get along in a patriarchal world. The adherents of some feminist theories believe that men not only benefit from exploiting women but are also responsible for the exploitation as well. Theory blames the patriarchy for women exploitation. Men exploit women by forcing them to do unpaid work and by denying them positions of power and influence in society (Payne 2012). In the novel Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Café, Evelyn is having troubles in her marriage, but no one seems to care until she meets Ninny. Ninny’s solution is to console her with Idgie’s and Ruth’s stories. In their stories, we find that Ruth has been abused by her husband, but with the help, strength, and support of Idgie she finds a way to get out of the relationship and support herself and her son. Ninny tries to show Evelyn through these stories that many women have to deal with being abused and exploited by men, but that there are ways to be strong. The society all these women live in can be described as patriarchal; a society where men exploit women (Riley et al. 2012). The strength of women can be seen in the bonds in their relationship. This strength is the main way that women are able to push back some of the chains that patriarchal society tries to place on them. This research paper will compare and contrast the relationships of these two sets of women to show how their strength has enabled them to push past the abuse and exploitation of men to entertain the possibility of better lives through the power of their bonds of friendship.

Work Cited

Flagg, Fannie. Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Cafe: A Novel. Ballantine Books,


Riley, Roger, Dwayne Baker, and Carlton S. Van Doren. “Movie induced tourism.” Annals of

tourism research 25.4 (2012): 919-935.

Payne, Jenny Gunnarsson. “Feminist Media as Alternative Media?.” Feminist Media:

Participatory Spaces, Networks and Cultural Citizenship 9 (2012): 55.

Van Hove, Geert, Griet Roets, and Dan Goodley. “Disability studies: About relationships, power

and knowing as form of participation.” Another disability studies reader? People with

learning difficulties and a disabling world (2015).


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