ESSAY_III_PROMT_II - Olivia Burke Essay III Prompt II TA...

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Olivia Burke Essay III, Prompt II TA: Marina Folescu Professor Ed McCann CLASS, LOVE, AND MARRIAGE Made over fifty years apart, the films “The Lady Eve” and “Titanic” represent orthodox views about the issues of class, love and marriage. In “The Lady Eve,” the main character (Jean/ The Lady Eve) manages to ensnare a rich man and ultimately marries him. Although Jean is portrayed as a strong and relentless woman who is not daunted by class or wealth, she ultimately triumphs through the use of her cunning and seductive powers, as well as her perfume. Indeed, the opening film credits conjure the story of Eve who seduced Adam and caused him to fall from grace. Thus, while Jean conquers the barriers of class and money with ease, she relies on sexual cunning to get what she wants. The filmmaker might have seen things differently – clearly, the film is an attack on the pretentions of the moneyed class. However, in the end, it plays into orthodox views about the deceptive side of women, who rely on their sexual powers to “get their man.” The later film “Titanic” is orthodox in its views as well, although it also has an interesting twist. Jack is a drifter and artist who meets Rose, presumably a wealthy traveler on the ship. The connection between Jack and Rose is real from the start. There is no suggestion that Jack is attracted by Rose’s money. The irony of the situation is that Rose’s mother is penniless and is forcing Rose to enter into a loveless marriage. Thus, only the outward trappings of wealth and class (and the fact that Rose is engaged) separate the two lovers. The film’s ending reflects a traditional view that lovers who are not meant to be together can only be united in death. Jack, the impoverished artist, freezes to death while Rose is doomed to live a life of remembrance. In sum, while the two films approach the issues of class, love and marriage with an interesting (and 1
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perhaps political) perspective, they ultimately fail to shatter long held beliefs about these subjects. “The Lady Eve” presents a politically radical view of social class and the ability of the “lower classes’ to mix with, be accepted by, and eventually marry into the “upper classes.” This film reflects a deep hostility on the part of the filmmaker towards the rich. They are portrayed as easy targets for the smarter, and wiser, lower classes who earn money by taking advantage of
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This note was uploaded on 02/06/2011 for the course ENGL 261 at USC.

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ESSAY_III_PROMT_II - Olivia Burke Essay III Prompt II TA...

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