ESSAY # 1
In the film Imitations of life, we meet four women who try so much to make their lives more than mere imitations of life. Together they struggle to make it in New York City. It is the story of two mothers and their daughters, both of whom take different paths in regard to the roles they play in the lives of their children. The daughters too, have a different way of seeing or appreciating their mothers. This movie is a clear representation of a genre called the women’s film because all it does is talk about the struggles that women have to go through in an effort to bring up their children.
Over the years women have been tasked to bring up their children and these two women, without the men in their lives in sight, single handedly take up that task though with each giving it a different approach. Each of them is faced with dilemmas but in their own ways bring the role of women as go getters who cannot by hampered by anything in their quest to make it in life. Annie survives in two worlds, a black one and a white one. Even when racial discrimination was very rampant, she manages to live well with her boss Lora though her daughter Sara Jane feels intimidated and wants to pass for a white and not the black girl that she is.
The movie tries to show the viewers, specifically women, that struggling in life to achieve their dreams cannot destroy one’s happiness. Happiness as portrayed by the film can come from the natural domestic roles that only a mother can get when taking care of their families. The film tries to communicate to women, young girls and society in general, that happiness comes in a more natural way by accepting oneself and this leads to happiness.
ESSAY # 2
The American society of the 1950s was undergoing changes in almost all aspects of the American life. This was particularly evident in the way the society started viewing the American males and the societal expectations in regard to their cultural positions in society. In the film The Rebel Without Cause, pause an assertion on how a young man wants to go against the grain and become a different man, a man of his own and not like his father whom he thinks is not strong enough to withstand criticism from his mother.
Through Jim, it is clear that the American fathers of the 1950s were a weakling. His father lacks the strength and masculinity that he ought to have in the first place. His definition of defending his manhood is defending his honor and this he does by doing things out of the ordinary like racing stolen cars over a cliff and by participating in such adventures, he is out to prove himself. According to him, this was a show of masculinity.
Jim is not happy about the fact that his mother controls the family. As children delinquency, Jim wants to go against all odds to show that he can do things his way and prove to himself that he is not like his father.. his father lacks the moral authority of controlling his life and he goes against all odds to show that he can be in control in areas where his father has failed. The lack of manliness was evident in his father but Jim sought to change this trend that included weakness and failure just like it is see nin Jim’s father.