21st Century: Query 185 (Isadora Duncan)
“Any intelligent woman who reads the marriage contract, and then goes into it, deserves all the consequences.”
~ Isadora Duncan was an American and French dancer who performed to acclaim throughout Europe. In both professional and private life, Duncan flouted traditional mores and morality. She was bisexual and an atheist, and alluded to her communism during her last United States tour, in 1922–23: she waved a red scarf and bared her breast on stage in Boston, proclaiming, “This is red! So am I!” Her two out-of-wedlock children drowned in the care of their nanny in 1913 when their runaway car went into the Seine. Born in California, she lived in Western Europe and the Soviet Union from the age of 22 until her death in 1927 at age 50, when her scarf became entangled in the wheels and axle of the car in which she was riding.
Duncan lived in an era when premarital sex and bearing children out of wedlock was considered to be taboo. Given her era, what does her attitude toward marriage reveal about her, and how does it differ from the average woman of her time?
Would such a viewpoint about marriage be shocking in 2020? Why or why not?
How is her manner of death a metaphor for her life in general?