Section 1

Cole, Victoria. “The Ghost That Haunts Marilyn Monroe.” Modern Screen Jan. 1960: 48-50. Print.

This article describes Marilyn Monroe as “the most difficult star in Hollywood.” Still, the author of the article tries to justify the strange and antisocial behavior of the famous woman. Based on the facts from the childhood of the actress, the author deduces that the cause of such behavior was her childhood trauma. As it emerges, the mother of Norma Jean has diagnosed schizophrenia as well as some other relatives from her mother’s side. Mother’s condition bothered Marilyn a lot, so the ghost that haunted Marilyn Monroe is the ghost of insanity. These revelations are the key to understand the personality of Marilyn. The author recognizes the hidden motives of Marilyn Monroe’s behavior long before she confessed about it in her autobiography. For that reason, it would be useful to those who admire Marilyn and track her autobiography. Still, they should rather read it with a skeptical eye as the author tends to portray the actress as the victim of circumstances. Thus, it pleads for sympathy making the audience support the woman despite her unacceptable behavior.

Parsons, Louella. “I Am Going to Adopt a Baby.” Modern Screen June 1960: 64-65. Print.

This article belongs to the first gossip columns in the United States. It includes an interview with Marilyn Monroe on the verge of her success. Still, the dialog was dedicated more to the personal life of the actress than to her career. The interview reveals that Marilyn’s marriage to Arthur Miller was happy. They did not quarrel and genuinely loved each other. Furthermore, the interview depicts Hollywood diva in a new light. First, it reveals that Marilyn was as an ordinary woman who served the interests of her husband, loved cooking and was dreaming of having children. Second, it shows that Marilyn Monroe was open about her personal life. Even when she faced blunt questions that most celebrities dislike, she responded: “with intelligence, humor, understanding, and the complete honesty” (64). Despite unveiling a mystery of actress’s life, the readers should remember that Louella Parsons and Marilyn Monroe were good friends. It could be a good explanation for why the actress was willing to discuss private matters with her. On the other hand, friendly disposition could encourage the actress to be more honest indeed.

Tusher, Bill. “Marilyn Monroe: The Wedding of Sex and Culture.” Screenland Sept. 1956: 22-25. Print.

The author of this article makes an attempt upon the reputation of Marilyn Monroe as he criticizes the actress for being deceptive. He argues that despite all the evidence that points to her affair with Arthur Miller, the actress denied it. She did not admit romantic relationships with the married man claiming they were nothing but friends. The author of the article compares her manner of answering the questions to the style that politics are famous for saying, “anything she says must be evaluated in terms of what she does not say as well” (24). Bill Tusher also recalls the previous cases alike in her biography, which all ended up in romantic relationships. Thus, the main purpose of the article is to prove that the words of the famous star are not worth credibility. I think this article belongs to the ones that adored discrediting Monroe at her best days. Though it appeared later that Marilyn Monroe and Arthur Miller did have an affair, she did not deserve that disapproval. After all, private life is private life, and she had a right not to have such details revealed to the public.

Wiseman, Thomas. The Seven Deadly Sins of Hollywood. London: Oldbourne Press, 1957. Print.

This book is dedicated to the dark side of the movie stars from Hollywood. The author sees his mission in breaking the myths about careless lives of celebrities showing the things they have to deal with on a daily basis. At the same time, the book provides readers with a glance at the situation in which Marilyn Monroe lived. The book depicts Marilyn Monroe as a positive character, a woman who wanted to be perceived more than just as a movie actress. She wanted people to see intellectual and spiritual potential in her. Nevertheless, the surrounding of the actress was far from that. With the example of Marilyn Monroe, Wiseman uncovers the greatest sin of Hollywood, snobbery. It appears that it is hard to maintain positive and trusting relationships in cinema circles. As Wiseman writes, “of all people I talked to in Hollywood about Marilyn Monroe, only two or three showed any sincere admiration for what she had achieved (218). Thus, the main motive of the book is that it is difficult to be a star.

Section 2

Farran, Denise. “Analysing a photograph of Marilyn Monroe.” Feminist Praxis (RLE Feminist Theory): Research, Theory, and Epistemology in Feminist Sociology (2013): 262-273. Print.

The author of this article shows how the female image is constructed with the help of the example of Marilyn Monroe. The actress became famous because of her “dumb blond” characters and managed to create and maintain the image of a sex symbol. The author of the article assumes that the actress was a visual phenomenon to a great degree. At the same time, the meaning of her photos was socially constructed because people related their perception to the biography of a movie star. Despite all the accusations about treating Marilyn Monroe as a sex object, the author holds a different view. She believes that “instead of seeing Marilyn Monroe as a victim of exploitation of men, […] it is more persuasive to suggest that […] she was […] exploiting them: Marilyn Monroe did what she did in order to get what she wanted – fame and fortune. […] Along the way she was both exploiters and exploited” (272). Thus, the article proves that Marilyn Monroe was a strong and powerful woman even when her surrounding thought she was a helpless victim of the Hollywood cruel laws.

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Monroe, Marilyn, and Ben Hecht. My Story. Lanham: Rowman & Littlefield, 2006. Print.

The book is a first-person narrative about the life of one of the most demanded film stars in the 1950s. Originally published in 1974, the book lists the main stages of the life of Marilyn Monroe and expresses her views regarding different things. Comparing to other books, her autobiography shows what intelligent and complex woman she was. The book is full of pictures of Marilyn Monroe from different periods of her life. Still, the content of the book is much more interesting than its appearance. Two chapters of the book would be of particular interest to the readers, “Why I am a Hollywood misfit” and “My own recipe for fame.” These chapters portray the actress as a rebel who did not meet the expectations of society. Here, the actress admitted that she had bad social habits but she justified them in her own manner. As most of the narratives of Monroe’s life, this one explains all her social failings as related to childhood trauma. For example, she defended her unpunctuality by the feeling of being unwanted. The book creates a positive image of the Hollywood diva but seems to hide her dark sides. Thus, it should be viewed as a primary source of information that requires further analysis of the secondary sources.

Summers, Anthony. Goddess: The Secret Lives of Marilyn Monroe. Hachette, 2013. Print.

This book gives a critical look at the life of the actress. Though it is based on the autobiography of Monroe, the author warns the readers that this book should be accepted with a dose of criticism as the actress loved to fantasize. Even when the actress did not give more interviews of such scope, the truths from the autobiography are “highly selective” (5) according to the author. The book retrieves the prehistory of the autobiography and consequences of its publications. It presents the passages from the life story of Marilyn Monroe and then interprets them. What is more, the book makes hints about Marilyn’s insanity based on the inconsistencies in her writings. The author provides the readers with the evidence of the contradictory descriptions of her marriage. In particular, Jim Dougherty and Marilyn Monroe were telling the opposite things about their marriage. With such evidence, the book tends to disprove the reputation of the actress rather than approve it.


The research shows that the depictions of Marilyn Monroe varied at her time. Those who liked her were inclined to support her and justify her oddities. The journalists were likely to praise her personal qualities and her success as a loving wife and talented actress. On the other hand, those media representatives who disliked Monroe concentrated more on her negative traits and contributed to her reputation of “the most difficult star in Hollywood.” Therefore, they liked to judge her personal life and her bad social habits. As far as Marilyn Monroe and her surrounding acknowledged that she had some psychological problems, there was no need to fabricate information about it. Still, when the autobiography of a star requires interpretation, it raises the questions of its credibility. Besides, many authors tend to say that Marylyn liked to fantasize, so the information from her own biography could be inaccurate.

An interesting thing is the construction of the star’s persona, which does not seem to reproduce any particular ideology. Meanwhile, the lifestyle of Marilyn Monroe has helped to shape particular values in mass conscience. Marilyn Monroe introduced an image of a sexy blond whom all the men adore. She became a role model for many women around the world.

She made people believe that sexual attractiveness helps women to succeed in both personal life and professional career. Moreover, Monroe contributed to the appearance of a stereotype that men like blond women. Apart from that, Marilyn Monroe was an embodiment of the “rugs-to riches” idea. Everybody knew that she had a miserable childhood, suffered from abuse, and had no real family. Despite all the difficulties, Marilyn achieved success in the movie industry. Therefore, the industry tried to manage that image in order to inspire others in trying their luck in a place like Hollywood. It is a usual practice in movie circles. On the other hand, Marilyn Monroe sold herself as a sex symbol, and she was ready to maintain it. Her image was a thing that insured high demand for her starring in the movies apart from her acting skills. The loss of her image would put her entire career at risk. After all, she was a perfectionist, and that came at a high price. In my opinion, the rules of the game have not changed even today. Most the actresses rely on their sex appeal to become successful in the industry. Also, entertainment news depicts celebrities from different views nowadays. Tabloids tend to intrude into the private lives of movie stars and influence public opinion in one way or another. Thus, the example of Marilyn Monroe is one more confirmation of the influence that the press has upon the manufacturing of stars’ public personas.

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