Feminism In Mona Lisa Smile

1127 Words 5 Pages
Set in the circa of the 1950's, the movie, "Mona Lisa Smile" is an inspirational film that explores life through feminism, marriage, and education lead by a modernist teacher at the end of a traditional era (Mona Lisa Feminist/ Conflict Theory). The film is very true to the period it was set in; taking great lengths to ensure authentic depiction of the era. Katherine Watson, played by Julia Roberts, is the main character of the film. The film takes place at Wellesley College, a very prestigious all girls’ school. Katherine lands her dream job as an art professor at Wellesley, teaching some of the smartest women in the country. But when she arrives the school isn’t what she expected. “It’s the perfect ruse, a finishing school disguised as a …show more content…
But underneath the surface, you see there are more to the characters then the gender roles that the society of the time assigned to men and women. Throughout the film there is this grand assumption that women want to be married. “No woman chooses to have a life without a home,” Betty Warren (Kirsten Dunst) Says to Giselle Levy (Maggie Gyllenhaal), talking about Katherine not being, or not wanting to be married. During the time period it was unheard of for a woman not to want to be married. The same didn’t go for men, although it was also expected of men to get married and have a family, they weren’t raised with the idea that they had to be the perfect husband. There was a gender assumption in the 1950’s that women had to get married and become mothers. That was their goal and purpose in life. Many women conformed to society’s ideals simply because everyone else was. This is still true with some women today. Many women become wives and mothers simply to conform to the expectations of the family and society around them and not really because that is what they want (Natarajan). In the scene where Joan (Julia Stiles) tells Betty she applied to Yale, Betty response to the idea that Joan might want to go to law school with disgust saying, “Why?! You don’t want to be a lawyer!” There was no question in Betty’s mind that Joan should want to get married. Betty ends the talk saying, “You are this close to getting everything you wanted; and this close to losing

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