Mona Lisa Smile Essay

626 WordsAug 24, 20123 Pages
1. How did Wellesley College, its faculty and the community reflect the cultural/societal views of women and gender roles at the time? In the film, Wellesley College, it's faculty, students, and community demonstrate what life was like for young women during this time period. Although the students of this school were incredibly intelligent, they did not expect to do anything with their lives besides get married and start a family. This strongly represents the cultural and societal views of the time because they believed being a housewife was their "sole responsibility". Katherine, the teacher, was criticized and gossiped about because she was older than thirty and not married. My own grandmother, who was about the same age in the 1950's as the students in the film, in fact graduated with honors and a Bachelor's degree in Sociology. However, shortly after, she married, started a family, and did not pursue a career. She has never expressed regret for her decision, but it is a real life example of what society expected of women during that time period. I would like to think that I would identify with Katherine if I lived during that era, but who knows what society would have influenced me to believe. I am very grateful that expectations for women have changed so dramatically in the last sixty years. 2. What were the issues and challenges faced by the main characters regarding the choices they had to make regarding college education, marriage, relationships, and family? The main characters of the film faced many difficult challenges during their time at Wellesley. There were many burdens placed upon the young women of the school, particularly Joan and Betty. They each had to face issues that women today wouldn't dream of dealing with. Joan was a very smart girl who was taking pre-law courses and thought about going to Yale and becoming a lawyer. However, her

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