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Social Relevance of She-Devil

The 1989 film, She-Devil, that starred Meryl Streep as Mary Fisher and Roseann Barr as Ruth Patchett, and was directed and produced by Susan Seidelman for Orion Pictures, delved on the societal conditions prevailing in the American society encompassing fields such as gender employment inequality, family problems, and the norms existing in contemporary American life style.

As was evidenced in the film, it is clear that several problems in these fields are indeed existing, especially those that cause us to question the ethical foundations that serve as the bases for a society’s action, particularly the ones pertaining to its definition of success and the social gender hierarchy inherent to them. The line by Mary Fisher stating, “I’m taking back control of my life, Bob!

” (She-Devil), had clearly illustrated the societal tendency to relegate women to lower levels of the society, especially in contemporary American cultural environs, such as what was depicted with Ruth Patchett’s case. This was also the claim made by Larry Gross’, where he observed that “Close to the heart of our cultural and political system is the pattern of roles associated with sexual identity: our conception of masculinity and femininity” (Gross 21).

Likewise, it was strongly implied in the film that the American society cultivates a perception of success as those individuals who were able to accumulate enormous wealth. Thus, Mary Fisher and her friends were regarded as successful, while Ruth was considered as struggling. Merton lamented of this reality, in his statement that “The extreme emphasis upon the accumulation of wealth as a symbol of success in our own society militates against the completely effective control…of acquiring a fortune” (Merton 675).

Works Cited Gross, Larry. Out of the Mainstream: Sexual Minorities and the Mass Media. Journal of Homosexuality 21. 1 (1991): 19-46. Merton, Robert. Social Structure and Anomie. American Sociological Review 3. 5 (1938): 672-682. 5 May 2010 <http://chss2. montclair. edu/klajmang/Courses/SOCI100/COURSE%20DOCUMENTS/Merton%20Social%20Structure%20and%20Anomie. pdf> She-Devil. Dir and Producer Susan Seidelman. 1989. United States: Orion Pictures.

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