Floriane Place-Verghnes examines the work of this great American animator. Focusing primarily on four facets of Avery's work, the author first concentrates on Avery's ability to depict the American attempt both to retrieve the past nostalgically and to catch the Zeitgeist of 1940s America, which confronts the questions of violence and survival. She also analyzes issues of sex and gender and the crucial role Hollywood played in reshaping the image of womanhood, reducing it to a bipolar opposition. Thirdly, she examines the comic language developed by Avery which, although drawing on the work of the Marx Brothers and Chaplin (among others), transcended their conventions. Finally, Place-Verghnes considers Avery's place in the history of cartoon-making technique.
Floriane Place-Verghnes teaches in the School of Languages, Linguistics and Cultures at the University of Manchester.