The images of marilyn monroe as an icon in American popular culture
E.Retno Anggrahini - C.0302024 - Fak. Sastra dan Seni Rupa
The Images of Marilyn Monroe as an Icon in American Popular Culture
This thesis is conducted within a frame of American Studies. To apply the frame of American Studies means that the problems are analyzed through interdisciplinary studies. It evolves various angles of field study in viewing the problem. This thesis discussed about the constructed images of Marilyn Monroe as a Hollywood celebrity and how the image made her an icon in American popular culture.
Marilyn Monroe was one of the most popular celebrities among the American society during 1950s until 1960s and now she becomes a legend and an icon. Along her career as a celebrity that expanded for about sixteen years Marilyn constructed certain images that enabled her to be accepted in American society and brought her as an icon.
In accordance with the theme of the thesis, the research was focused on the images of Marilyn Monroe as an icon in American popular culture. The researcher used two forms of source of data. The first was taken from Marilyn Monroe’s movie The Seven Year Itch (1955) directed by Billy Wilder. This movie was chosen because it has been noted that The Seven Year Itch was the greatest movie of Marilyn Monroe which could hit the top of Box-office chart for several weeks. The second main data was taken from the biographical book Marilyn Monroe Unseen Archives written by Marie Clayton. While the supporting data were information and articles from internet, some other movies of Marilyn Monroe, and various printed articles. The objectives of this thesis are to figure out what images constructed by Marilyn Monroe and to find out how the image of Marilyn Monroe as an American celebrity made her an icon in American popular culture.
To achieve the goals, the researcher applied a library research that focused on bibliographical sources and purposive sampling technique in collecting the data. The main data and the supporting data were also analyzed thoroughly.
The researcher concludes that Marilyn Monroe as a celebrity in American society constructed three images during the 1950s until the 1960s. They were innocent, sexual, and materialistic. The innocence and the sexuality worked together like two faces of a coin and created the duality of images. Through this duality Marilyn was able to accommodate the conflict among the society especially accommodating the issue about sex, since the American society was transitioning from the conservatism to the aggressiveness of individual freedom. Meanwhile the materialistic image was stuck by the society as the result of public point of view toward the Hollywood glamorous life. The materialistic image also reflected the spirit the society in 1950s era which was in the Golden age period. Her iconic status in the American society was also supported by her controversial personal life. Her life that ended in a tragic death led her to be a legendary person, because there is a theory of popular icon mentioned that most popular icons achieved their iconic status through death, typically at a young age or at the top of their career.