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Writing and Rhetoric II: Women in Film


Casey Vickers

on 27 September 2011

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Transcript of Writing and Rhetoric II: Women in Film

Women in Cinema The body of traditional tales concerning the gods, heroes, and rituals of the ancient Greeks. Critical Greeks, such as Plato in the 5th-4th century BCE, recognized the considerable element of fiction in the myths, although in general the Greeks viewed them as true accounts. There is a separate area for Greek people, containing all about Greek mortals. (encyclopedia mythotica) Sirens In Greek mythology, the Sirens are creatures with the head of a female and the body of a bird. They lived on an island (Sirenum scopuli; three small rocky islands) and with the irresistible charm of their song they lured mariners to their destruction on the rocks surrounding their island (Virgil V, 846; Ovid XIV, 88 Medusa She was the first wife of Adam; However when she denied him
she was banished by god out of eden and cursed to represent all
that was wrong with the female form Mythology Early Cinema Modern Cinema Psychologists Vagina Dentata This is lore that depicts a vagina with teeth. There is an inherint fear with this because during intercorse, it is said that, the vagina will "bite" off the phylus. Therefore men see the female form as castration. Vampires These are strong and beautiful creatures who lure their "prey." They are seducers, the key trait to a female monster. Female monsters are typically vampires, they take cues from the sirens luring men in with their beauty only for the men to find that they are soon to be devoured. A person who studies the mind and behavior in humans. In relation to the study I will look at Sigmund Freud's analysis of women and compare to those who analyse women in film. Sigmund Frued A well renowned psychologist from Germany. He believed that women suffered from a few things.
First he believed that because women had no penis they were inferior.
Second women had "penis envy" meaning that in psychosexual development they realized they didn't have a penis and boy realized women didn't have one (castration anxiety).
The third. women are hollow. Women are defined by their surroundings.
"The vulva is void while the penis is presence" Gérard Lenne Lurie Linda Williams The female form in film is the representation of the insecurity of the male form.
Women are whole in their state, they are perfect.
Men will see the female form and relate it to their own.
If men were in a female state they would be mutilated.
This is what causes women to be cast in a distastful light; the victim or the monster There is a connection between the female character and the monster
Women are deformed (they aren't male) and the monster is deformed "biological freaks"
This similarity forms a connection between the monster and the female charater
Examples: "Phantom of the Opera" or "Nosferatu" Casablanca Rear Window Forest Gump Devil Wears Prada Twilight Revolutionary Road Women should play women
Women are the vitims and are inferior to men
Women are meant to "faint, cry and scream on cue"
The only true female monsters are those who are the seductress (vampires and whitches)
The female monster in "Mommy Dearest" can't be declared a true female monster because she is schizophrenic and schizophrenia is a "normal female trait" In this film Ilsa plays the prefect victim. She relies on the men in her life completely for her decisions. She tells Rick that she can't decide and asks him to take care of everything. Even when she doesn't agree she goes along with the situation. This film was by Hitchcock. Lisa is played by Grace Kelly. She is given a stronger role than the female characters before her. She has job in fashion however she is still put down. She is an executive at a fashion corporation but she is put down for it because R.J. is a photographer. She has a strong personality but she still follows the will of R.J. In this film the female lead is Jenny. She is the represetnation of the "hollow female" that Freud mentions. She embodies the decade that she is currently. She is completely defined by her surroundings.
When the sixties came around she became the quintessential hippie.
In the seventies she became the drug addict
She hits the ninties andhas a child. Suddenly she is the good reformed mother
She also plays the victim in this. She is constantly needing to be saved by forest. this shows how weak she is because she needs to be saved by a man who was declared mentaly ill. "The Devil Wears Prada" portrays two stereotypes of women in film.
Anne hathaway is the vitim
She starts the film off and life is good. She has the guy and friends but no job.
Then she goes out and gets an excellent job. "The job every girl wants."
She struggles at the begining but she becomes successful in her position.
When she becomes successful her love life falls apart.
She is only happy again when she quites the "dream job" and is reunited with her boyfirend, also finding a not so impressive job.
Meryl Streep plays the Monstrous Feminine
She is the powerful buisness woman that scares and imasculates many of the men in her life
Not only that but she is the anti-femminist's warning about working women
She is dominearing and looses track of her personally life
She is on leaving the third husband and has two children she rarely sees. Bella shows the stereo type for another woman defined by her surroundings and the victim.
She surrounds herself with vampires. She makes herself a villian
She is constantly putting herself in situations when she needs to be saved
She is defined by her surroundings because she becomes the outcast that the Cullens make themselves be
She also becomes the vampire by the end of the saga, one of the people she surrounds herself with. April has a transformation in this film.
She starts as the seductress.
At a party in the start of the film she lures Frank to her from accross the room.
Her beauty tempted him
She tranforms into the stereotype of the house wife.
She is a stay at home mom, when she wanted to be an actress
The decisions she makes at this point are all for Frank
Move to France--- for Frank
The one decision that she wants for herself, not to have a baby is the same decision that kills her.
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