Heung, Marina. "’What's the Matter with Sara Jane?’: Daughters and Mothers in Douglas Sirk's ‘Imitation of Life.’” Cinema Journal Vol. 26, No. 3 (Spring, 1987): pp. 21-43. <http://www.jstor.org/stable/1224906>.
In this article, Marina Heung argues that the 1959 remake of Imitation of Life, which can be classified in the woman’s film genre, represents a body of work that at least purports to assume a feminine perspective and to address the conflicts and aspirations of a predominately white audience. The film flouts Hollywood’s typical inherently patriarchal films and deals with issues that are oftentimes ignored, particularly the mother-daughter relationship. Although the film deals with race through its development of the black-white relationship between two single mothers, the overarching theme is not of race, but of melodramatic elements. Heung cites Jeanine Basinger’s essay, “When Women Wept,” which suggests that at the core of the film, like other women’s films, is the “rise-to-power” plot. She believes that the film focuses on the white mother’s career aspirations and desire to become a famous actress, which leads to her
Although this article focuses on the remake of Imitation of Life, most of the arguments can be applied to both films. For example, both works assume a feminine perspective; however, they focus on the conflicts and aspiration of a predominately white audience, ignoring the needs of a black audience. Black women appear marginally in the film, forcing black female spectators to look beyond what is presented to them as what others may call entertainment or “pleasure.”
Guiffrida, Douglas A. “African American Student Organizations As Agents of Social Integration.” Journal of College Student Development. 2003,
American College Personnel Association. University of Pennsylvania. April 2008.
It is no surprise that African Americans would have difficulty integrating socially and academically into a predominantly white institution. Interviewed students admitted to changing their appearance and speech for a white crowd. They cannot easily fit into large student organizations, but instead create small ones to help maintain their ethnic identity. Universities directed student organizations in the direction of integrating African Americans into PWIs and making them comfortable. Minorities found it beneficial to attend a PWI because it prepared them for the real world, but had difficulty growing close with white students.
Faber College is the quintessence of the predominantly white institutions talked about in this article. Animal House is entirely about the social life in universities, and the first institution to present it is the Omega House. Pretentious, WASPy phonies welcome freshmen Larry Kroger and Kent Dorfman into the fraternity house, and seat them next to the socially awkward rejects: Mohammet, who wears a turban, Jugdish, who possesses an unidentifiable ethnicity, Sidney, a nerd, and the blind, handicapped Clayton. Surely these students could never express their ethnic identity in such a tight atmosphere.
A contrast to this image is the all-black band, Otis Day and the Knights, playing at a Delta party, whose attendees are all white. Everyone is having a great time. Otis seems like a band that would play for a different crowd at a university, and this inference is reinforced in a later scene. Delta brothers unknowingly walk into a blacks-only club where Otis performs. Boon’s, one of the brothers, disposition alters, like when he shouts, “Otis! My man!” It is clear the members of the band are not so friendly in this atmosphere. The whites have their places to let loose, which is almost everywhere as demonstrated in Animal House, and the blacks have their place to do so.
Bacchilega examines the similarities and differences in three different written versions of “Snow White”: Barthelme’s Snow White, Carter’s “The Snow Child,” and Coover’s “The Dead Queen.” It is not unusual to change and embellish upon a traditional story; people have been doing it for centuries. However, fairy tales maintain their key characteristics. In the case of “Snow White,” those include flat characterization, supernatural setting, and isolation of characters in a strange, exaggerated world.
“Snow White” dramatizes the association of the good angel-like character with the evil devil-like one. This interaction is monitored and incited by a male voice: the mirror. This man in the mirror defines the identity of both the main characters as well as their relationship. The protagonist is “the fairest of all” and the antagonist is the former bearer of that title, and their interactions are marked by rivalry and jealousy.
Most folklorists interpret the story as a female initiation tale, symbolizing the process of sexual, psychological, and social maturation in women in general. Snow White’s story shows the necessity of culture in the transformation of self, but also illustrates the boundaries beyond which she cannot venture. Snow White is stifled by her obligate domesticity. The men’s influence in Snow White’s life is clear. The huntsman, dwarfs, and prince all aid in her socialization. This implies that her initiation will only be complete once the white and red parts of her life – semen and menstrual blood, representing male and female opposites – unite through her black ritual “death.” In this way, the thematic colors of the story (skin as white as snow, lips as red as blood, hair as black as ebony) apply to Snow White’s personal growth.
The three versions of “Snow White” analyzed here differ in point of view, adherence to the original storyline, and even primary message. Disney’s Snow White is more similar in all three points to the Grimm version of the tale.