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Analysis of "Mona Lisa Smile"

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  • Essay length: 2170 words
  • Submitted: 01/11/2006
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GCSE Sociology

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Analysis of "Mona Lisa Smile"

Set in the American Housewife circa of the 1950's, the movie, "Mona Lisa Smile" is an inspirational film that explores life through feminism, marriage, and education lead by a modernist teacher at the end of a traditional era. It begins by introducing the lead character, Katherine Watson (Julia Roberts), a liberal-minded novice professor from California, who lands a job in the art history department at a snobbish, all-girl college, called Wellesley, in the fall of 1953. Despite warnings from her boyfriend Paul (John Slattery) that a Boston Brahmin environment was out of her element, Katherine was thrilled at the prospect of educating some of the brightest young women in the country however; her image of Wellesley quickly fizzles after her first day of class, in which, was more like a baptism by fire. Her smug students flaunted their exhaustive knowledge of the text and humiliated her in front of a supervisor. However, Katherine, determined not to buckle under pressure, departs from the syllabus in order to regain the upper hand.

She quickly challenged the girls' idea of what constituted art and exposed them to modern artist not endorsed by the

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