Rock A Bye Baby

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Media Essay Discuss how the film Rock-A-Bye Baby highlights the prevailing social attitudes of the late 1950’s. Explain how the film both supports and challenges these attitudes. The film Rock-A-Bye Baby directed by Frank Tashlin, depicts several social values of the 1950’s. In 1958, people believed that only married couples should have children, and that males were incapable of staying at home and looking after children, as they were expected to go out and work. It was a woman’s job to care for the child, as she were assumed to have natural maternal instincts, as well as training at school. Smoking was a habit taken up by everyone, weather they were old or young, men or women, and it was deemed as acceptable by society. These social values are evident in the entirety of the film, as the director both supports and challenges these values. A vast majority of the evidence of the social values is within the dialogue in the film, as well as the general storyline and development of the narrative. Clayton Poole, who is established as the clumsy single male who can’t even care for himself, becomes the carer for Carla’s babies as she resumes her career. As time progresses, Sandy persists that Clayton will need to get married if he wants to keep the babies. “You’re not married Clayton…they’re not going to let a bachelor raise three little girls.” “They’ll put them with married couples”. Whilst Clayton is willing to learn how to care for the babies the way a mother would, he is still challenged by the court, a case which came about due to the dismay and the gossiping of the townspeople. As time progresses, Clayton is seen dressed in more pink and soft colours to accentuate his feminine sort of parenting. Sandy represents a typical girl of the 1950’s. She is young, and her main ambition in life is to get married, have babies, and raise her family, hence the reason

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