All That Men Allow

                All that Heaven Allows is a film on melodrama.  It follows a widowed woman Cary, who ends up falling in love with her gardener, a man of a lower class. The movie then depicts her relationship with this man, while also showing the drama that follows due to his lower class status.  Cary chooses to salvage the relationships she has with her children and forsake her love for Ron.  After Cary’s educated daughter gets engaged, her children undergo a change of heart and encourage Cary to again marry Ron.  Ron then falls in a coma, and Cary finally works up the nerve to rekindle her love with Ron.

                Cary reinforces the stereotype of a strictly patriarchal society.  Throughout All that Heaven Allows, Cary illustrates a submissive female; she struggles to make up her own mind.  In the first stages of her relationship with Ron, Cary is hesitant to date him, but Ron commands her, and she gives in.  Even when Ron and his best friend are hunting, his best friend tells Ron that women need men to make up their minds.  The director chooses to portray women in a negative light by forcing them into this submissive role.

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2 thoughts on “All That Men Allow

  1. Good that you analyzed patriarchy in the film. But by representing a patriarchal society doesn’t make the director patriarchal. He is not putting women in a negative light but rather trying in a subtle way to point out gender inequality in his society. That’s why some think Sirk is a feminist. 10/10. JB.

  2. I agree that Cary illustrates a submissive female. However, I believe that Cary and her relationship with Ron depict a balanced relationship rather than a relationship that is completely ruled by the man. Although it is not clearly portrayed, women do have a say in the relationship. I believe that the relationship of Cary and Ron show that an equal amount of power is necessary in a happy relationship.

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