Collapse of the American Dream

Cathy Whitaker is a prime example of a housewife during the 1950’s for she embodies all the characteristics of a loving mother and doting wife, the roles in which she is expected to play by society. This image that she had portray thanks to the ideals during that time, is what kept her from living a fulfilling life, free of oppression. Cathy was living the American dream with her successful husband and kids in a beautiful home located in the suburbs. However, with Cathy and Frank’s marriage falling apart because of Frank’s realization of his attraction to men and Cathy’s growing feelings for Raymond Deagan, the black gardener, the dream quickly collapses. Because homosexuality and interracial relationships were seen as a horrible crime, Frank, Cathy and Raymond are forced to sneak around in their pursuit for happiness. Unfortunately, people in town begin to gossip about the nature of Cathy and Raymond’s relationship leading them to alienation from the townspeople and the downfall of everything they worked so hard to achieve.

The ending scene of Far From Heaven when Cathy drives away with her kids from the railroad stations shows how in the end, Cathy suffered the most, still trapped in her life with no way of escaping. With a divorce from Cathy, Frank would be free to pursue his authentic way of living but Cathy would be obligated to stay and take care of the children since she was their mother and it was considered to be her duty. Raymond had the ability to move with his daughter and start anew because he was capable of finding work to support him and his daughter. Cathy however, has no savings, no job, no education, no husband and no way to support her family. With hardships that she is bound to face, she can’t pursue a fulfilling life due to the limits that have been imposed upon her thanks to the ideals of the 1950’s.