Gender And Gender Roles In The Movie Pleasantville

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Pleasantville is a film set around two teenagers who happen to fall into the predictable 1950s’ black and white sitcom, Pleasantville. The show represents a very stereotypical image of what American culture was known for in the 50s’, in regards to gender roles, segregation of races, and basic societal standards. With a society, so bland, David and Jennifer bring along their personalities that influence new ideas and innovation, keenness for knowledge and most importantly a display of freedom. As the citizens of Pleasantville became exposed to new experiences and opportunities, an eruption of “intense” emotions took over the town, which led to the outburst of the symbol of colour. These abrupt changes to the society’s norms highlight the uneasiness…show more content…
Herbert Gans piece on the mass production of suburban styled homes like Levittown with its homes on the outskirts of the city and mixed land uses closer within the core “ analyzes the suburbs and makes it evident that they are not a utopia” no matter the societal segregation they represent (Herbert Gans). These areas have their burdens resulting in physical and social isolation, no access to transportation, the start of gender roles, and inadequate decision making. In comparison, Pleasantville was a society of segregation due to the land constraints and urban planning of the society. Its visible that there is an increase in segregation between the suburban population and inner city. The higher class living in the suburbs would remain in that area unless it was for work. This is evident when Mrs. Parker goes to visit Mr. Johnson just through expressions its clear to the audience that they have not seen each other in years. Moreover, Pleasantville was an automobile dependent society. This reliance on a vehicle to take you from one place to another ultimately led to the mentality of gender roles. This sprung the idea that women should stay home and be housewives and the man would go off to work. “Honey, I’m home” was a line over used in the film outlining that these gender roles were dominant at the time. We do see a shift in this mentality by the end of the film when Mr. Parker comes home she makes it very clear to him that dinner is not prepared and shows him how to turn on the stove for his meal to cook that night. She then leaves the scene which shows a clear line that these roles have diminished in her

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