Reviving Ophelia

Length: 8 Pages 1970 Words

Reviving Ophelia Adolescent girls growing up in today’s society endure many more hardships than in previous years. Adolescence is no longer a time of endless sunny days spent on the back porch with a glass of country time lemonade and a smile extending ear to ear. Adolescence for girls is now generalized as a dark and depressing period of life that often seems hopeless and never ending. Mary Pipher PH.D tries to illustrate just how drastically life has changed over the years for teenage girls through her best selling book “Reviving Ophelia: Saving the Selves of Adolescent Girls”. Although Mary Pipher was once a clinical psychologist, she articulates very well for everyone to clearly understand her ideas and perspectives. One way she is able to transfer her ideas to her readers without losing any of the emotion and feeling is by using actual quotes by her adolescent girl clients. I feel this is a very effective way to keep the readers attention and to convey the reality of the problems many teenagers are trapped in. I agree with Pipher that our society has changed for the worse even though we are persuaded to think that we are moving in the right direction. Yes, equal right movements have been placed in the law, but Continue...


Boys are twice as likely to be seen as role models, more likely to receive teachers attention, and more likely to speak up in class. This was true of Cindy age fourteen who was brought in for depression. This may be due to the fact that girls place being popular as a higher priority, or they might give up on their hopeless efforts at trying to gain the teacher's approval. This kind of put some humor in a very serious matter. It is also difficult for girls to manage pain because at this age they take everything so personal. This is also a time when Pipher believes girls should search deep for their values and beliefs. Pipher recalls early in the book the image of Shakespeare's Ophelia drowning herself due to failed attempts to please both her father and hamlet. You can't avoid it; it is not just going to go away without changing people's views on acceptance. Many young girls are so concerned with making other people feel better that they forget about their own problems. This is definitely a reality with severe consequences that our society wants to avoid. However, some parents can actually impact the girl's choices negatively by insisting that they grow up too fast or to confine to the norm. I, too, miss the days when I could go to a social gathering without a mask, and I could actually be myself without worrying if I was acting proper or if I wore the right thing. We must strive for something better for our teens.