Why you should know about Dorothy Parker

Leilani-Jade Pecher –


Who is Dorothy Parker? She was a famous journalist, writer and poet, as well as a legendary literary figure and satirist. She worked for magazines such as Vanity Fair and Vogue, but also wrote for The New York Times. Parker was also a regular at the Algonquin Hotel’s “Round Table.” She was known to spark witty debates and conversation. Parker had also associated with the Communist Party and during her time was a blacklisted screenwriter.

When was she around? Date of Birth: August 22, 1893. Dorothy Parker was quite successful during the Roaring ‘20s. She worked as a book reviewer for The New Yorker. She passed away in 1967.

Where: Parker was born in West End, New Jersey. She grew up and worked in New York, until she moved to Hollywood, CA during the 1930’s and ‘40s. Parker returned to New York right before she passed away.

What did Parker do? Parker had satirized subjects such as racial prejudice and gender issues. Dorothy Parker used her writing skills for reviews, magazines, short stories and even her banter to criticize racism. This topic is approached in her short story “Arrangement of Black and White,” she uses humor and satire to reveal her personal beliefs and experiences towards injustices between races. Parker critiqued others who were narrow-minded. Through her blunt personality and writing skills, she tried to encourage others to be more open-minded.

How she became known: Dorothy Parker’s sense of style was blunt and clever. Parker used a lot of wordplay in order to convey more than one meaning at once. For instance, a quote by Parker will explain her skill, “You can lead a horticulture, but you can’t teach her to think.” Parker is best-known for her quick wittedness and humoring with “wisecracks.”

Extra Parker information: Dorothy Parker was ahead of her time and legendary in the satirical world. She had her own thoughts and opinions which she was not afraid to stand by, both verbally and written. Parker didn’t even consider herself a humorist. She said that “there must be criticism, for humor.” Parker’s very way of thinking was satirical. She found ways to turn situations into a critique, all the while being humorous. Though Parker enjoyed satire, she did not consider herself a “satirist.” Parker was a satirist without claiming to be one. She believed that in order to truly understand satire that it had to leave an impression.

Successful satire has got to be pretty good the day after tomorrow.” -Dorothy Parker

Longer Parker with quote


Leilani-Jade Pecher, from Lakewood, Wash. is a sophomore double-majoring in Communications and Management and Organizational Leadership. Leilani is the Director of PR & Advertising and writer for The Rambler. She is the Vice-President for the Coalition for Ethnic Awareness, PR for Enactus, and a member of several clubs.

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