Essay on Art As An Art Form

1328 Words Nov 1st, 2016 6 Pages
Art imitates life and life imitates art. As an art form, films surrounds society in popular culture and general daily life. What an audience sees in film would be considered to mirror how people construct themselves. Gender portrayals in the movies can often be based on continually perpetuated stereotypes and expectations of how people should act. Firstly, the two films that will be discussed in this essay come from a time where there were believed to be only two genders and sexes. One was either male or female and that heavily determined a person’s role in society. Through discussion of Frankenstein (1931) and Cat People (1942), this essay will seek to explore the use of gendered tropes in classical Hollywood horror films and their negative effect on how individuals are treated in popular culture.
Oxford English Dictionary defines gender as: “The state of being male or female (typically used with reference to social and cultural differences rather than biological ones)” [Oxford]. This definition is saying that gender is a social construct and tends to be how society determines how people should act. Often “feminine versus masculine” comes down to passivity versus aggression in terms of actions or behaviours. This dichotomy of gender expectations was especially present at the time Cat People and Frankenstein were released. Men were expected to be tough and provide security for a family while women were expected to be housewives [Smith, 2013].
In the 30s and 40s, film was…

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