Lively Uncanny Character You'll love; Somewhere Between Conformity and Feminism A Female Comedian Sets the Stage for the Many, of Both, that Follow

Essay by KayshaUniversity, Master'sA+, February 2004

download word file, 21 pages 4.2

On January 20, 1953, Lucille Ball was on the front page of the newspaper after giving birth to a beautiful baby girl. Ironically, President Dwight D. Eisenhower was inaugurated that very same day and his news was posted at the bottom of the page.

In this statement, Davis (who is one of the writers for the I Love Lucy show), brags about Lucy. Not only did she give birth (a major domestic issue at the time -child bearing), but she also made the headlines (she was more important that day than the President of the United States). This is just one of the many examples of the impact one female comedian can have on American culture in the 1950's. Lucille Ball is remembered for her comedy. Not only was that humor a mask for the underlying problems facing women at this time, but it was also a way to challenge, or at least subtlely alter, the dominant female gender norms of the 1950's.

After World War II, women's roles began to change dramatically. Because the soldiers coming home needed jobs, women who had previously held those jobs during the war were sent back home. Society changed its mind about workingwomen and looked down on women who wanted to pursue a career. Because the war had interrupted family life in America, few people complained about these changes. With a strong post-war economy, homes became more comfortable and suburbs began to flourish. Families could afford refrigerators, cars, air conditioners and televisions. Those televisions would prove to be a great invention in some ways, and not so great in other ways. They became a way to shape American culture, and consumerism was at the top of the list.

Most major television families of the 1950's like Leave It to Beaver, Remember Mama, and...