Is Nancy Drew a Role Model?

I picked up a copy of vintage Nancy Drew (The Phantom of Stone Hill) this weekend.  This was one of the classics – cloth bound late 60/70s version.  Nancy, the titian haired beauty lives with her father and her housekeeper (no mother to rein her in).  Drives her convertible, perennially dates Ned Nickerson of Emerson College football fame.

It never bothered me growing up but now it seems odd to me – why doesn’t Nancy go to school?  Did she finish high school, but isn’t going to college?  And why not – she’s obviously smart enough. 

And why doesn’t she have a mother?  Is it because a good mother would never let Nancy out of the house after her first mis-adventure?  Is it because a dad can be clueless and doting, but a mother would be taken up on charges?  Or would a mother want Nancy to settle down and get married, so did the creator make Nancy a true feminist – there is no one telling Nancy what to do…

So is Nancy (and I mean classic Nancy – not any of the new incarnations), a good role model?  She doesn’t have a job, she doesn’t aspire to higher education, or in fact any other career other than “Amateur Sleuth”… Why doesn’t she go to the Police Academy? She could be running River Heights in no time.

Or she the ultimate fantasy career girl – getting to do exactly what she wants, how she wants and only when she wants it?  And she has no money problems,  great car, (for the time) cool clothes, and a man… 

So Nancy – Role Model, or No Model?


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