Adam's Rib Gender Analysis

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Although Adam’s Rib have often been analyzed and presented as a very frivolous romantic comedy, advertised by the studio as the “funniest picture in 10 years”, it is really a very interesting analysis of gender dynamics in the late 1940’s, still genuinely accurate nowadays. Adam and Amanda Bonner are a married couple, both lawyers, fighting each other outside and inside the courthouse about a lawsuit regarding the attempt of a woman to kill her cheating husband, defended on the basis of some kind of “unwritten law”. At the end of the movie, following as some kind of documentary would do the lawsuit during the day and the daily life of the couple in the home day, we can see both characters put on hats. This ending scene follows a huge symbolic …show more content…
As a matter of fact, it is interesting to see to what extent the meaning of the hat changes also from the point of view of Audrey : she tries to use it first to emphasize the femininity of Doris, playing with clichés of what is feminine and what is masculine. However, even if it was a frivolous gift at the beginning (Just the best hat in the world. For the best head, as Adam said), it was then turned as a big feminist symbol. At the end, Audrey hesitates between those two visions, as she tries to burn the hat and then wears it. Subsequently, she gives his hat back to Adam, like he was given back his manhood. In the penultimate scene, we can also see that, by fake crying, Adam reverses some kinds of gender norms, as crying was analyzed by him as a feminine, almost evil trait, saying that “a few female tears are stronger than acid”. At the end, when she wears the hat, she seems to embrace it as a symbol of power, even though it can be seen as a classic gender symbol: the same mechanism operes for him. Also, the result of the trial - and the epiphany Amanda has about defending someone who tried to commit a murder, even though she’s a woman - shows us how this movie can easily be applied at today’s fights for women’s

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