The author of The Feminine Mystique, a pioneering book that was the first of its kind to address the issues white, middle-class women faced in their society. The reason for Zinn including her was just to bring in the perspective of a woman who had lived through all the experiences a woman of her position faced. Her literary works were so popular in rallying women together to find solutions to escape the repetitive and imprisoning lives that it is featured in both of our sources, PHOA and For the Record. The main problem amongst these specific women is that their lives solely revolved around what her husband/children wanted.
“I feel as if I don’t exist.” Sometimes…. “A tired feeling … I get so angry with the children it scares me. … I feel like crying without any reason.”
An anonymous black man:
Although we do not the identity of this man, his story explains what young black men faced at the time and the steps, regardless of how minute they were, that were taken in an attempt to send a message saying: We want to be recognised for who we are! Even if it meant adding a year or two to his already unfair sentence for not registering for the draft during the Vietnam war, this man represented his style and personality through his clothes/hair at the court.
“That’s all of my life,” he said, looking at me with a combination of dismay and confusion. “Man, don’t you know! That’s what it’s all about! Am I free to have my style, am I free to have my hair, am I free to have my skin?”
Their Sheltered Honeymoon (1959), Life Magazine
“One owner assured his neighbour that his bomb shelter was actually a wine cellar.”
Much like how Pinocchio felt threatened by the effect lying would have on his wooden nose, Americans in the 1950’s sought refuge beneath the surface from total annihilation by Soviet nuclear weapons. Was a 22-ton, steel and concrete 8×14-foot shelter 12 feet underground going to protect them from nuclear fission? NO. But the opposite was what the Eisenhower administration sought to implant in the minds of the terrified and easily controllable population. A vicious chain of deception, formed out of fear, stretched from the highest level (government) to the local level (average citizen). The American public needed assurance that they would survive a nuclear attack and turned to their government for answers.
“Bomb shelters will protect you from the Soviets!” was the word around town and every American who could afford an underground escape rushed for them. Little did they know that they were being lied to by the very people elected to protect them. Now proud owners of a second chance at life, these “lucky” Americans were unwilling to share and denounced its existence to their neighbours. Unfortunately for the public, the government was much better at masking their deception than our childhood fairytale protagonist, Pinocchio.
Daniel Plainview is the personification of capitalism. His stubborn obsession for profit consume and turn him into an oil-seeking devil willing to give up everything(including his adopted son) for the promise of wealth. Much like Heisenberg from Breaking Bad, Daniel is an antihero in the sense that his actions and personality lack traditional heroic values. Some may see him as the movie’s antagonist but I believe the true villain is Eli Sunday.
Daniel is forthcoming about his intentions of finding oil whilst Eli uses the cover of the Third Revelation church(religion) as a tool to manipulate the minds of the people. Eli is a “false prophet” and secretly chases after Daniel for oil money. The “milkshake scene” is the conclusion to a longstanding battle between capitalism and religion in this film. Daniel has the upper advantage in that he has gained and lost everything he truly loved (including H.W) and nothing is worth fighting for anymore. Eli, on the other hand, is a desperate snake in need of quick cash. Daniel lays out the cards flat on the table and tells Eli that capitalism and religion had nothing to do with the oil digging and it was the man who would seize the opportunity the quickest that would reap its benefits.
The milkshake mentioned in the scene that both men possess is a metaphor for the opportunity to amass wealth(in this case, the oil fields) and the straw that Daniel seems to be the sole owner of could refer to the effort one must make before he/she can gain that wealth. Eli’s milkshake did bring all the boys to the yard but it was Daniel who ended up drinking it all.