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“Women, who had gradually been disappearing into the hidden spaces of the new style, had at last become invisible”

In Millhauser’s “A Change in Fashion”, the popular fashion for women shifts away from the current style of fashion where skin and body shape were displayed to a fashion where the entire body, even the face, is hidden beneath fabric. What I found strange was the focus on Western culture. The narrator compares the dresses to “Victorian” style where, when I read the story I was reminded of the Islamic head coverings (172). I especially was reminded of the burka when the story describes how the face was covered by “an opaque fabric that permitted one-way vision” in much the same way burkas are made (175). I also felt that Millhauser juxtaposed societal views of the Hyperion dresses with the intent behind Islamic head coverings. In Islamic culture, the head coverings are used, for the most part, to erase the body of the woman which leads to, for many, a deeper emotional connection when a relationship is considered due to the fact that the person would fall in love with the woman and not the body. In Millhauser’s story the dresses were a method in which to “inspire fiery passion”, a direct contrast to the intent of the head coverings which seem to inspire the Hyperion, whether intentionally or not (174).

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