Not So Black and White

Far From Heaven uses Raymond Deagan to reflect the black American struggle during the 1950’s. The contrasting relationships between him and Cathy Whitaker as well as him and white society as a whole, reflect this theme of ‘authenticity in isolation’ that finds itself spilled over the era. Their ability to find themselves in each other, what seems to be the tip of a romantic relationship, shows that Cathy, Mrs. Magnatech herself, the WASP incarnate, is not offended by the idea of equality and friendships between blacks and white. White society as a whole, however, lashes back when a group of schoolboys throw rocks at Raymond’s daughter, who is knocked unconscious.

Raymond understands the consequences of their relationship. Though their interracial platonic relationship harms no one, it tears away from the normal spectrum that the 1950’s has molded for society. It is surprising that though Cathy can keep her husband’s homosexuality a secret till their divorce, she can’t do the same with her friendship with Raymond. Unlike homosexuals, black Americans cannot hide their identity behind a wife and two kids, and white supremacist society uses this to its advantage. Raymond is more cultured and tamed then most of the white men and women in the town, yet he is seen as an animal, having rocks thrown through his windows for befriending a white woman, not by racist whites, but by racist blacks. Raymond is trapped by whites and blacks, loses his job, and has to move to Baltimore because he and his daughter can be at peace where their past in unknown.