Analysis Of The Movie ' Mildred Pierce ' Essay

Analysis Of The Movie ' Mildred Pierce ' Essay

Length: 1157 words (3.3 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Better Essays

Open Document

Essay Preview

Moreover, the film Mildred Pierce follows the struggles of a hard-working mother, Mildred Pierce, as she divorces her husband and supports herself and her spoiled daughter, Veda, by starting a successful restaurant business chain. In different ways, the film challenges the notions of masculinity and femininity as gender roles are reversed with different characters but identify this, you have to look at the films ideology. Ideology is a system of ideas that structure and make sense of society. If you look at 1940s America, post World War 2, the society at the time adhered to a very hegemonic patriarchy in which men were the ones with power, the ones providing for the family; where as the women of the time were seen subordinate and were more or less expected to stay at home and take care of the family. But if you look at Mildred Pierce, the ideology it presents is a similar yet different society to that of the time where some gender roles are reversed. “Every film is political, inasmuch as it is determined by the ideology which produces it (or within which it is produced).” (Comolli and Narboni, 1990: 60)
At the beginning of the film, there is a sequence which shows Mildred Pierce baking in the kitchen and her husband at the time, Bert, is outside doing handy work. The mies-en-scene in this sequence further reinforces the housewife stereotype she is fulfilling in which there’s a contrast in lighting in that outside is quite bright where Bert is and inside the lighting is quite low key. It is a statement showing her lack of freedom as she is kept inside expected to the housework while Bert is free do as he feels. It is a microcosm of the society of the time.
As the film progresses, Mildred goes on to portray herself as a ‘working gi...


... middle of paper ...


...ly quite lazy and useless and focuses more yard work than supporting his own family as he is unemployed which is not expected for men at the time. It was more common for women to be doing this. Wally you could say has a feminist vibe about him in that he is constantly going out of his way to help Mildred find a place for her restaurant in which he probably sees her as an equal member of society and not subordinate. And then Monte who is this big playboy could actually be considered a ‘gold-digger’, a stereotype for women who cultivates a personal relationship in order to attain wealth for their own pleasure. He is visually wealthy while virtually bankrupt and so when he marries Mildred, he acts a gold-digger in that Mildred becomes financially in dept while she is the one providing for her family, while Monte and Veda go off and do whatever fun activities they want.

Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »

James M. Cain's Novel Mildred Pierce: Comparing the Book and Movie Version

- James M. Cain's Novel Mildred Pierce: Comparing the Book and Movie Version Mildred Pierce is one of the greatest novels written by James M. Cain. After the success of the novel, the Hollywood film came out, produced by Jerry Wald. The novel and the movie are very different from each other. “James M. Cain sent several letters of complaint to producer Jerry Wald, objecting to the changes Wald wanted to make, especially the dramatic idea of making Veda a washout musically and putting her in a tawdry nightclub” (Bennett Notes)....   [tags: Mildred Pierce Essays]

Better Essays
872 words (2.5 pages)

Themes in the Novel and Movie Adaptation of James Cain’s Mildred Pierce

- Themes in the Novel and Movie Adaptation of James Cain’s Mildred Pierce In contemporary film making, “Hollywood-ization” generally refers to the re-creation of a classic work in a form more vulgar and sexually explicit than the original in an effort to boost movie attendance. After all, sex and violence sell. However, from the mid-1930’s to the 1950’s, “Hollywood-ization” referred to the opposite case where controversial books had to be purified to abide by the Production Code of 1934.[1] This occurred to many of James Cain’s novels as they moved from text to the genre of “film noir.” As has been said about Cain’s The Postman Always Rings Twice, “The property, bought several years ago,...   [tags: Mildred Pierce Essays]

Better Essays
1568 words (4.5 pages)

Mildred Pierce and the Domestic Role of Women in the 1930's Essay

- Mildred Pierce and the Domestic Role of Women in the 1930's Women’s place in society during the 1930’s was very different compared to the role that women have in today’s society. Fortunately, these days women are free to decide what type of jobs to have when to marry and when to have children. Unfortunately during the thirties women did not have these choices. According to Mary Kinnear in her book Daughter of Time, “In the United States the proportion of women workers engaged in professional work increased only from 11.9 percent to 14.2 percent between 1920 and 1940.” During this time, the role of housewives meant that they were responsible for most of the household duties and taking care...   [tags: Mildred Pierce Essays]

Better Essays
883 words (2.5 pages)

Love and Hate in James Cain's Mildred Pierce Essays

- Love and Hate in James Cain's Mildred Pierce       Some may say that the character Mildred Pierce of the novel, Mildred       Pierce by James Cain, may be a good role model for an entrepreneur or a       single working mother.  Some may say that she was hopelessly devoted to       her ungrateful daughter, Veda.  Some may also argue that Veda was a       terrible daughter who lacked compassion, sincerity, and most of all,       respect.  As true as that may all be, the candlelight glowing about the       flawless, sugar-coated heroine shall be blown out.  Fluorescent lights,       please.               Mildred Pierce loved her daughter.  Perhaps she had l...   [tags: Cain Mildred Pierce Essays]

Free Essays
1106 words (3.2 pages)

The Love Story in James Cain's Mildred Pierce Essay

- The Love Story in James Cain's Mildred Pierce In Mildred Pierce, by James Cain, the novel revolves around some very interesting and universal concepts that seem to be themes in many of his novels. “As in his previous work, the novel revolves around love, money, and sex, but though success is perverse and wish fulfillment destructive, there is no murder” (Gale Group Biography) One most interesting theme is the theme of love and lust, and what drove the characters to their actions, and what motivated them....   [tags: Mildred Pierce Essays]

Free Essays
1071 words (3.1 pages)

Mildred Pierce - A Woman’s Place is in the Kitchen Essay

- Mildred Pierce - A Woman’s Place is in the Kitchen A woman’s Place is in the Kitchen. Mildred Pierce uses her talents as a cook to manipulate her way through the world. Mildred has her own style of characteristics. She is fast, active, swift and inescapable around the kitchen. She turns out to be wise and brilliant around many things. For example: running her business. Unfortunately, one thing she never did was use her gut to comprehend Veda. She did everything to please her but Veda was never satisfied....   [tags: Mildred Pierce Essays]

Better Essays
1102 words (3.1 pages)

The Female Entrepreneurial Role in James M Cain's Mildred Pierce Essay

- The Female Entrepreneurial Role in James M Cain's Mildred Pierce A woman's place in the post-depression era is usually one where a woman would commonly be known to have a role in the economy; only to be waiting in her kitchen to cook for the "money-making husband." It was often rare to encounter one woman who had the ability to take her inner interests and turn them into an entrepreneurial role in society. Yet, through this novel by James M. Cain, one will encounter Mildred Pierce, in which Mildred uses her inner talent, and cooking....   [tags: Mildred Pierce Essays]

Free Essays
961 words (2.7 pages)

The Relationship Between Mother and Daughter in James Cain’s Mildred Pierce

- The Relationship Between Mother and Daughter in James Cain’s Mildred Pierce I have always been of the belief that in order to truly love, hate must exist within the core of the relationship. Nowhere in modern fiction is this dictum examined more accurately than in the novel by James Cain, Mildred Pierce. Looking at the concept in a familial context, James Cain has created two well-developed characters, Mildred Pierce and her daughter, Veda, that not only emphasizes the nature of mother-daughter relationships, but looks at how love and hate permeates the very essence of the relationship....   [tags: Mildred Pierce Essays]

Better Essays
1074 words (3.1 pages)

Comparing Movie and Book Versions of Cain's Mildred Pierce Essay

- Comparing Movie and Book Versions of Cain's Mildred Pierce I pity the screenwriter who had to adapt the novel, Mildred Pierce, from 289 pages down to an hour and 57 minute movie. The main character, Mildred Pierce, repeatedly steps out of the traditional role for women of that era, and challenges society’s norms about class. Significant changes were made to the plot while converting it from book to movie. These changes add up to a significant difference in the meaning. In both the book and the movie, the story is about a housewife who dramatically changes her life....   [tags: Comparison Compare Contrast Essays]

Better Essays
987 words (2.8 pages)

Mildred Pierce Essay

- Mildred Pierce The protagonist of the film Mildred Pierce does everything in her power to help her children. Mildred dreams that one day her daughters will be prima donnas and concert pianists, and pursues these fantasies to the best of her abilities. By twenty-first century standards, she could be considered a good mother—she works as a waitress to make her single mother ends meet and starts her own business. The filmmakers, however, labor to portray her as the a bad mother according to standards in the 1940s: Mildred attempts to shoulder fatherly responsibilities, which makes her the worst kind of mother possible....   [tags: Movies Film]

Free Essays
1957 words (5.6 pages)