The collapse of France during World War II was as abrupt as it was unforeseen. A major work of art that reflected the provocative history of France during the German occupation and the lives of the French captives was that of Irene Nemirovsky’s Suite Française, a book she wrote in 1941. Her portrayal of the women may have been diverse, but it didn’t do justice to the real French women who were left behind to not only serve their families as the men of the household left to serve the country, but also to the ones who didn’t have much of a choice but to join the Resistance in order to fight for their very rights against the tyrant.
Irene Nemirovsky was born in Kiev in 1903 to a wealthy family, and like most prominent Russian-Jewish families,…show more content… Some of the roles that these women illustrated in the book were roles that women in reality played; roles that they didn’t necessarily choose, but rather was forced upon them by the French society and the circumstances that the war has brought upon them. One of the women that Kline wrote about was Danielle Casanova, which she described as “a fiery orator of the Resistance movement… a Corsican woman who organized the wives of the prisoners-of-war and led them in a demonstration, two thousand strong, on the quai of a Paris Metro early in 1941” (13).
In seeing drive, it would be deceptive to classify only in terms of women’s identification with the then current political configurations. Whether it was political, philosophical, or religious, ideology was imperative. However, for some, it was a matter of the daily degradation of the Occupation, or an initial act of collaboration that led to deeper involvement, as Casanova later on explained:
…each one of us was moved to pursue the task which was assigned to her by her circumstances… Under these conditions, the militant Catholic, the militant Communist, those who did not belong to any movement, but who had been aroused or who simply had reflected, all these women became involved and sometimes met each other. (Kline