Gendered Tropes In Popular Culture: Film Analysis

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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. …show more content…
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 often used for escapism. With terrors going on such as The Great Depression and World War Two, people flocked to the movies for entertainment. With the number of films being released increasing, movie-going audiences were also increasing. The demographic for horror films was largely teenagers: a very impressionable age group [Neale, 322]. Seeing how people act and look in horror films would likely have an influence on audiences and could possibly have a negative

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