All That Heaven Allows

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Essay topic: Pick a prop from the first two scenes of All that Heaven Allows and discuss its meanings. Douglas Sirk’s “All that Heaven Allows” is a melodramatic love movie of the 1950’s. It is about an unconventional love affair between a young, lower-social-class man and an older high-class woman. They fall in love but the society and the social conventions separate them. The whole movie is about the role of the society and how, especially in a closed community, it affects the personal relations of the people. The director, even from the very beginning, tries to show how much restricted and conventional the society is. The dressing of the actors as well as the setting and the colors are carefully chosen. They all end up conveying the same feeling to the viewer, that people are restricted by the conventions and the rules of their society. They even sometimes have to sacrifice their personal happiness over their “image” towards the society, but there are always exceptions. The first scene starts with a high-angle view of the town which seems to be quite peaceful and quiet. The church, the empty, yet full of trees roads, the pigeons, all convey a feeling of peacefulness to the viewer. A closer look at the setting, however, gives the impression of a strictly homogeneous, low-abiding society. All the houses in the neighborhood look alike; they are of the same type. It seems like they represent the people that live inside them. People that live under the same strict rules. Even the pale color of the houses is carefully chosen since it gives the impression that their inhabitants are low-profile, conventional people. In this first scene, we can also see Cary, the main protagonist of the film. We notice that the way she is dressed or even her make-up, make her a perfect example of these low-abiding people. She is dressed in a grey dress that goes along with the pale

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