The Cinderella-Makers: Postwar Adolescent Girl Fiction as Commodity Tales
Abstract

Postwar/Cold War “commodity tales” were adolescent girl romance novels produced by a powerful female network, and aimed at the teenage girl consumer of the 1940s through 1960s. This paper focuses on two representative commodity tales, Betty Cavanna’s Going on Sixteen (1946), and Mary Stolz’s Rosemary (1955), examining them as Cinderella case studies. Analyzing these texts against Bourdieu’s theories of distinction reveals the magical power embedded in each protagonist’s purchase of a “Right Dress,” while Irigaray’s theory of women as commodities further demonstrates that the “Right Dress” fosters both a female rivalry and a paradoxical alternative to patriarchy.


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