Feminism in 'Mona Lisa Smile" Essay

915 Words Oct 18th, 2008 4 Pages
Mona Lisa Smile takes place in 1953 and tells the story of a feminist teacher who studied at UCLA graduate school and left as a first-year teacher from Oakland State University. She also leaves her boyfriend behind in Los Angeles, California, to teach at Wellesley College, a conservative women's private liberal arts college in Massachusetts, United States. Katherine Ann Watson tries to open her students' minds to their freedom to do whatever they want with their lives. She encourages her students to believe in themselves, to study to become career professionals, and to improve their economic futures. She uses her art teachings as a vehicle to put across her opinion to the young women; that her students needn't conform to stereotypes of …show more content…
She breaks away from traditions and has affairs with married men. Betty Warren is extremely against Watson’s feminist perspectives. Betty is engaged and gets married during the film. She has the idea in her head that once you get married, life is grand while taking care of your husband and staying at home to raise the children. While on her honeymoon she misses a lot of classes and Ms. Watson doesn’t stand for it. Connie, another young woman in the art class, says that the staff at Wellesley turns their head when a recently married girl misses class. There is a heated battle between Warren and Watson for the majority of the film until Warren realizes that married life isn’t what it was supposed to be. Katherine Watson’s character goes in two opposite directions. In the beginning she is very liberal and feminist with her teachings and values. She came to Wellesley to make a difference and push the idea of careers vs. marriage. She encouraged the students to think for themselves and arrive at their own judgments. But as the movie goes along, she becomes the teacher that follows rules and traditions and looses herself. She was told to stick to the syllabus and only teach art. She was not to befriend the students and counsel them on anything other than art history. Ms. Watson realized what she isn’t doing isn’t her and decides to leave

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