This ability is certainly applicable to Morrison’s novel. Film reinforces the Breedloves’ place in society, teaches Claudia to love Shirley Temple and constructs women as sexual objects for pleasure. Mulvey’s article also examines the powerful, active male gaze. In The Bluest Eye the female gaze is constructed as dirty, unnatural and wrong. Women and children in this novel are relegated to the role of passive sexual objects.
Do chick flicks give woman unrealistic expectations? The solemn purpose of these movies are to sooth a woman’s soul mainly dealing with love and romance that usually target a female audience. They are typically heavy in emotion and are relationship-based; for example, A Walk to Remember. However, there’s more to it. Woman use romantic movies as a form of catharsis, to give innocent men a break from their emotional girlfriends, and to satisfy a women’s mind by giving them higher, often unrealistic expectations.
She was almost sucked into the porn business by a pathetic man who she worshipped as a Hollywood star. Plus, she handled Humbert perfectly in setting her escape to live with Quilty.	Humbert was also played brilliantly, yet I felt there was more longing in the novel Humbert, though we were still able to see his burning desire for nymphets and Lolita in general.
Laura Mulvey, a feminist of the Second Wave, observed the evolution of female representations in films. She concludes that films still display dominant ideologies that prevent social equality between men and women. Mulvey came up with three common themes that mainstream films continuously promote within their films. These three common themes reinforce that women are always going to be seen as nothing more but objects. They do not serve any symbolic purposes except to help advance the story by motivating the objectives of the male characters.
This attraction can be described through the concept of Scopophilia, The Desire to see, which according to Freud, is a fundamental drive. Classical cinema motivates the desire to look by incorporating structures of voyeurism and narcissism into the story. Voyeuristic visual pleasure; looking at another as our object, Narcissistic visual pleasure; self-identification with the image Mulvey explains narcissistic visual pleasure with the help of Lacan's concepts of ego formation and the mirror stage. Both, Ego formation and cinema is formed by imaginary functions. She added that cinematic identifications are built around the sexual difference by presenting the male hero as the more perfect, more complete, more powerful ideal ego' and female character as the passive and powerless, making the spectator is actively identify with the male rather than with the female character in
", "to own and activate the gaze...is to be in the masculine position" (Kaplan 30). Therefore the visual pleasure in cinema is mainly geared towards a male spectator who maintains subjectivity and a sense of voyeurism, while his female counterpart must be both subject and object, she must see herself being seen. At first glance, women's films or family melodramas such as Now Voyager seem to reverse such spectator roles as one is made to identify with a female protagonist. Yet as E. Ann Kaplan suggests, by using psychoanalysis one can deconstruct these films in order to show how they only work to reinstate the dominant patriarchal order of man as subject and woman as object. She suggests that "the family melodrama, as a genre geared specifically to women, functions both to expose the constraints and limitations that the capitalist nuclear family impose... ... middle of paper ... ...trol of the gaze as abnormal.
On the other hand accepting the masculinisation of the female spectator but arguing that due to sexual difference the spectator therefore will get different visual pleasures from the text. I will look at three main theorists who argue against the Mulvey male gaze theory of the 1970’s. Firstly, Raymond Bellours work, as written in ‘Psychosis, neurosis, perversion’, from Camera Obscura, has taken a physiological understanding of sexual difference in Hollywood cinema claiming a space for female desire. (Stacey,1994, p24) By investigating the dialogue of Hitchcock films, Bellour discovered an analysis of the way the gaze is created. Bellour stated “The mechanisms for eliminating the threat of sexual difference represented by the figure of a woman, are built into the apparatus of the cinema” (Bellour, 1979, p97) Although, his version is a very pessimistic ideology for the female desire, Bell... ... middle of paper ... ...tic pleasure.” (Stacey 1994 p29) The female spectator therefore “takes on a specific meaning in cultures where women are so constituently defined as both subject and object of the gaze.
In the early 1990s Laura Mulvey’s thesis concerning the patriarchal structure of an active male gaze has influenced feminist film critiques and Hollywood. Mulvey’s project is to use psychoanalysis to uncover the power of patriarchy in Hollywood cinema. Patriarchal influence upon cinema is found primarily in pleasure (pleasure in looking) or as Freud’s has put it, scopophilia. Mulvey suggests that it may be possible to create a new for of cinema due to the fact that patriarchy power to control cinematic pleasure has revealed. Many critics have noticed that Mulvey’s application of psychoanalysis and filmmaking appears in an ironic return to Freud and Jacques Lacan.
In a bigger picture, where Scopophilia derives from, 'Voyeurism' is also known as feeling visual pleasure when looking at another. Narcissism on the other hand means identifying one's self with the role played. It is not hard to notice that in classical cinema, men often play the active role while the women are always the object of desire for the male leads, displayed as a sexual object and frequently the damsels in distress. Therefore, the obvious imbalance of power in classical cinema shows how men are accountable to moving the narratives along. Subconsciously, narcissism occurs in the audience as they ... ... middle of paper ... ... for women to do the same.
These are often done to increase the attractiveness of the female character, and creates a sign for the audience to accept and decode. The effect of the female character is limited to her physical traits and the impact that her presence has on the male protagonist, typically to send him off on an Oedipal journey. Molly Haskell's From Reverence to Rape:The Treatment of Women in the Movies was a landmark in establishing reflection theory. In it, she assumes that the way that women are represented on screen is reflective of the way that society treats women. She also asserts that these representations are distortions of the reality of what women 'really are' and what they 'truly want'.