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Roles of American Women During World War II Sample Essay

During World War II. Hollywood movies strongly influenced the functions American adult females played. both while work forces were off and straight after they returned. These movies frequently sent the message that while their work forces were off. adult females must be romantically loyal and maintain a secure place for the work forces to return to. The movies besides frequently bucked up adult females to make their loyal responsibility and their portion in the war attempt by making war work.

In the movie “Since You Went Away” the chief character Ann is an illustration of these ideals. She is faithful to her hubby. even when tempted by another. and struggles to maintain her place in order while patiently waiting her husband’s return. She and her older girl are besides shown making their portion for the state by making war work. Ann in a mill and her girl as a nurse’s assistance.

The movies besides gave adult females the message that when their hubbies and fellows returned from the war. they must be wholly understanding and accepting of them. Many work forces returned from the war with both physical and emotional disablements. and Hollywood movies told adult females that they must accept these disablements and be sensitive to the demands of the work forces. even if that meant giving their ain demands and desires. As Emily Rosenberg provinces in her article “Foreign Affairs After World War II” . “American work forces who served overseas will happen it hard to reintegrate themselves into postwar household and civilian life. Adjustment depends on the grade to which American adult females grant them understanding and go submissive to their needs” ( Rosenberg. 64 ) .

Womans were told that they should be maternal towards their work forces and take attention of them. while at the same clip being sexually available. Sonya Michel provinces in her article “Danger on the Home Front” . “The movies showed that the veterans needed both sexual and maternal attending. While picturing the dangers of surpluss of either. they at the same time tried to extenuate the contradiction between the two female functions. Resolution often took the signifier of reliefs by married womans and sweeties who knew how to equilibrate trueness. respect. and support with a discreet sensuality” ( Michel. 114 ) .

The movie “The Best Old ages of our Lives” depicts female characters that are understanding and accepting of their work forces upon their return place. One of the characters is shown as nurturing and loving towards her hubby who returns from the war with a imbibing job. because she understands that it is a consequence of the adversities of war. and hence accepts it. Another character is shown welcoming place her fellow who lost both his custodies at war. and comforting his frights of rejection. These theoretical account characters encouraged adult females to possess their qualities in order to be good married womans and girlfriends.

One of the grounds Hollywood took this attack and delineated adult females so idealistically was basically because of the authorities. In 1942 President Franklin Roosevelt established the Office of War Information ( OWI ) . which focused on advancing the war to the populace and portraying it positively. It was similar to the Committee on Public Information that Wilson established during World War I which controlled the intelligence that got across to the populace. One of the occupations of the OWI was to supervise movie content and “suggest” that it travel in certain waies. such as portraying the war positively. The OWI wanted adult females to be shown as basically good hearted and faithful. every bit good as apprehension and accepting of their returning hubbies. and all the luggage they may return with. Womans who were romantically faithful were portrayed positively. while adult females who betrayed their hubbies and sweeties were portrayed negatively. As Susan Gubar provinces in her article “This is my Rifle. This is my Gun” . “Men dichotomized adult females. separating – in the words of the storyteller of Battle Cry – between the 1s who waited and the 1s who didn’t” ( Gubar. 246 ) .

Hollywood devoted so much attending to adult females in these movies because they felt adult females were the key to continuing the stableness of place life and household. every bit good as patriarchate. which were basiss of traditional American society. Film was a immense influence in people’s lives at the clip. and on the place forepart it was a major manner people. particularly adult females. were larning about the war. Movie-going was at an all clip high. and they felt that adult females would pattern the ideal qualities the female characters displayed in these movies. and hence continue the ideals of American civilization.

There were many facets of war non shown in Hollywood movies. specifically unfaithfulness and force. Graphic force was barely seen and the ferociousness and atrociousnesss that occurred ne’er were. at least on the portion of Americans. The OWI did non desire American soldiers portrayed as violent. and they did non desire the populace to believe that Americans could be merely every bit barbarous as the enemy. Work force were besides barely of all time shown being romantically or sexually unfaithful to their married womans back place. because the OWI wanted the adult females at place watching films to swear their hubbies. and in bend be trustworthy. They wanted the American soldier depicted as inherently good and loyal. and eager to return to their committed relationships. They wanted him depicted as a just combatant. who killed merely in defence of democracy and American ideals. and ne’er unnecessarily or because he enjoyed it.

These darker facets of war were expressed through other locales. such as postwar fiction. Norman Mailer and Kurt Vonnegut both wrote histories of soldiers who were violent. brutal. and even immoralities. They were non interested in “American ideals” or committed relationships. and were non eager to acquire place. They enjoyed the exhilaration of being at war. and even enjoyed the killing. They had sex with cocottes and were violent towards adult females.

Some may state that Hollywood movies by and large took a more sentimental attack to the war while fiction took a more realistic one. Although we see some negative facets of war in movies. such as the physical and psychological harm war did to soldiers in “The Best Old ages of our Lives” . and the desolation war created on other states in “A Foreign Affair” . these issues are normally resolved or forgotten by the terminal of the movie. In fiction nevertheless. we see a more inexorable and stalking portraiture of the effects of war.

Hollywood movies had a strong influence on the functions of adult females during and after the war. The OWI had a major portion in determining these movies. and hoped that by exposing Americans as good and loyal. Americans would be good and loyal and continue the traditional moral values they felt were maintaining the state stable. I personally feel the movies to a great extent influenced the populace. although some people may hold realized the movies were more sentimental that realistic.

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