Evolution of Women: An Analysis of Women Leads in the Films Adam's Rib, City Lights, and His Girl Friday

Essay by rsato8College, UndergraduateA+, April 2004

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Evolution of Women

From the birth of feminism to present day, there have been many accomplishments in the struggle for equal rights. Born in the late twentieth century where women are equal to men, it can be difficult to comprehend what changes women have gone through in the last hundred years. However, through cultural mediums such as movies, which encapsulate the sentiments of our generation, it is possible to peer into the sentiment of women 70 years ago up until today. In the three films that we viewed, City Lights, His Girl Friday and Adam's Rib, there is an evolution of the lead woman's gender role in relationships and in society. Furthermore, according to Cavell, the changing of the woman's role in the community results in a "creation of the new human": a change in women's societal role unavoidably results in a change in men's roles. Although given equality from the beginning of time, women have had to realize and pursue their power, equality and strength in their gender, not only resulting in a stronger woman, but also a transformation in men's gender role.

Biblically with the birth of mankind, women were created equal to men. Adam's Rib, 1949, makes a clear allusion to this through its title alone; according to the Bible, God created Eve from Adam's rib bone. Taking a bone not from the head, which would symbolically make women superior to men, or from the foot, which would imply the opposite, God chose to take a bone from the mid-section. Taking a bone from the mid-section, God conceived that women were equal to men. However, women must realize this implication in order for any efforts at equality to transpire in society.

In 1931, the earliest film, City Lights, the Blind Girl has a traditional role in society,