The Pain of Secrecy

During the 1950’s, American society dropped its own Iron Curtain around women and completely limited their social, economic, and political freedoms. While there were still certain laws in place that separated men and women, the main divide came from unspoken social laws. A clear example of a model, suburban American woman is portrayed in the film Far From Heaven with Cathy’s character. While she is in essence, the “ideal” type of woman during this time period, she is incredibly unhappy.

While on the outside she is Mrs. Magnatech, the wife of a successful salesman, and has a nice home and two children, she does have internal family issues. After hosting a great party and increasing her social standing, she is left alone in the dark with Frank. With the rules and regulations of society removed, her drunken husband abuses her because he has issues with homosexuality. Although the male figures in this movie have the ability to take action, like Frank pursuing his new lover and Raymond moving away, women are the most trapped because they are bound to either their husbands or their homes. When she loses Frank she loses her economic freedom, which in American society at the time was also the source of social freedom. So while Frank was free to continue life with a new man, and Raymond was able to start anew with his daughter in a different town, Cathy is left to live the life of a divorced, black-loving, friendless woman.