Representation of female wartime bravery in Australia’s Wanda the War Girl and Jane at War from the UK

Chapman, Jane (2014) Representation of female wartime bravery in Australia’s Wanda the War Girl and Jane at War from the UK. In: Fashion and war in popular culture. Intellect Publishing, Bristol, pp. 21-34. ISBN 9781841507514

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Abstract

Jane Chapman opens this collection with a detailed examination of the images of women in two Second World War comic strips - Wanda the War Girl from the (Sydney) Sunday Telegraph and Jane at War from the UK's Daily Mirror. There are essential differences in how the two heroines respond to the animated dangers of wartime, as drawn by respectively, Kath O'Brien and Norman Pett. As Chapman reveals, both characters portray typical 1940's values, but in different ways: the female character of Wanda was powerful and productive in the largely masculine wartime arena, whereas Jane was brave and well intentioned, but accident prone, that is, regularly losing her clothes. For both characters, fashion provided pin up value. These fictionalized portrayals were exaggerated for dramatic effect, but on a deeper level these images pushed to the fore the reality of how women throughout Australia, England and the United States acted for the Allied war effort. In hindsight, the added responsibilities for women during wartime would ultimately prove useful for bettering the women's position in the debate for equality between the sexes. In Wanda and Jane's depictions of war-time bravery, their efforts became a valid cultural record of the period. The presence of women in wartime, however fictionalized, could be viewed as a move that would further collapse the 19th century notion that 'women's place is in the home.'

Keywords:jane at war, daily mirror, comics, wanda the war girl, australian comics industry, 9th art, Australia, representation, Gender, Cultural record, Second World war, fashion
Subjects:V Historical and Philosophical studies > V271 International History
P Mass Communications and Documentation > P990 Mass Communications and Documentation not elsewhere classified
L Social studies > L321 Women's Studies
V Historical and Philosophical studies > V200 History by area
P Mass Communications and Documentation > P590 Journalism not elsewhere classified
V Historical and Philosophical studies > V320 Social History
V Historical and Philosophical studies > V350 History of Art
V Historical and Philosophical studies > V390 History by Topic not elsewhere classified
P Mass Communications and Documentation > P400 Publishing
P Mass Communications and Documentation > P300 Media studies
Q Linguistics, Classics and related subjects > Q200 Comparative Literary studies
V Historical and Philosophical studies > V146 Modern History 1920-1949
V Historical and Philosophical studies > V900 Others in Historical and Philosophical studies
V Historical and Philosophical studies > V261 Australian History
V Historical and Philosophical studies > V140 Modern History
V Historical and Philosophical studies > V300 History by topic
V Historical and Philosophical studies > V391 Military History
P Mass Communications and Documentation > P900 Others in Mass Communications and Documentation
P Mass Communications and Documentation > P305 Paper-based Media studies
P Mass Communications and Documentation > P390 Media studies not elsewhere classified
P Mass Communications and Documentation > P500 Journalism
V Historical and Philosophical studies > V100 History by period
Divisions:College of Arts > School of English & Journalism > School of English & Journalism (Journalism)
ID Code:11718
Deposited On:22 Aug 2013 11:50

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