Can you summarize more of Haskell's arguments of depictions of women in films of the 1920s and 1930s?

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Ashley Kannan | Middle School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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For Haskell, the depiction of women in films of the 1920s and 1930s represents a time in which directors displayed a greater respect for women and their depiction on screen.  For Haskell, women in this time period were shown to have greater freedom and represented an ideal of women that featured a wider sense of autonomy:

...[Films in the 1920s and 1930s depicted women to] the degree to which a woman, however small her part, is seen to have an interior life: a continuum which precedes and succeeds her relationship with men and by which she, too, defeats time temporarily and transcends her biological fate.

Actresses like Bacall, Davis, and Hepburn were part of this continuum, a depiction of women for Haskell that reflected directors like Hawks and Cukor that respected the depiction of women on screen.  At the same time, this is reflective of how women's depictions in this time period is one in which women were able to be shown and displayed with a sense of divergence in their depiction.  It is here where Haskell believes that a position of reverence was evident, something that would be transformed as cinema widens its scope and reach and as women's political and social transformation of rights becomes evident.


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