Marilyn Monroe Term Paper

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Marilyn Monroe

I have selected the book Marilyn Monroe by Barbara Leaming. This book is 480 pages long, and was published by the Three Rivers Press in February of the year 2000. Many books have been written on the subject of Marilyn Monroe, and many critics will argue that there is nothing new to be said about this famous Hollywood actress. However, Leaming has said something new in this book, and not in the tradition of Hollywood storytelling. Many biographers have been less than truthful in their reports of Monroe's life. However, instead of making up a lot of stories about Marilyn Monroe that will help sell books by being extremely controversial or Tabloidesque, Leaming has presented a very truthful account of Monroe's life, based on hardcore facts. In addition to reporting the known facts about Monroe, Leaming also did additional research, uncovering new testimonies from the people who lived and worked beside Monroe. Marilyn Monroe is more than a deceased Hollywood actress. Marilyn Monroe has found her way into the mythological American history, and she will continue to leave an impact on many generations to come. The reason Leaming's book was selected is because it portrays a true American Idol in a respectful and interesting way.

Marilyn Monroe was born on June 1, 1926, and died on August 5, 1962. This popular star is known for being a sex symbol and source of controversy. She was born in Los Angeles under the name Norma Jeane Baker. Her mother was a film-cutter at a film studio, and her father is unknown. Monroe was placed with a religious foster family for the early years of her life, and it was a painful realization for her to find out this couple was not her biological family. Monroe's biological mother stayed in contact with her, but was not very loving, and would not give permission for the foster parents to adopt Monroe. When the girl was around seven years old, her mother regained custody, but it was only a few months later that she was taken to a mental hospital and Monroe became a ward of the state. In Los Angeles orphanages and foster homes, Monroe was reportedly abused severely, though it is suspected that her reports of such incidences may have been exaggerated. Her childhood was painful regardless, and this intelligent -- perhaps even genius -- girl was depressed.

Monroe made the switch from parachute inspector to star quite by accident when a photographer took her picture. She wound up getting a modeling contract and soon small parts in movies. The name "Marilyn" was suggested by Fox studios, and "Monroe" was an old family name, so this was the origin of her stage name. Some speculate that she is a descendant of President Monroe, but there is no proof of this. Monroe was noticed by Johnny Hyde, an influential man in Hollywood, who landed her first big roles in movies. Marilyn is well-known for having posed nude for Playboy. The interesting story behind that is that she had posed anonymously for a calendar, and several years later a blackmailer threatened to reveal it had been her. Monroe quickly stripped him of his power by announcing it herself, and then the image was used on the first issue of Playboy. When Hyde passed away, Monroe attempted suicide, but survived that tragedy to be in lots of movies, and then to form her own production company. She had many marriages, and was connected to the Kennedy family. Finally, Monroe overdosed on drugs and died in 1962.

Monroe faced a lot of challenges in her life, and the way in which she handled herself with pride and respect is incredible. Monroe came from a dysfunctional family background, and several family members died in mental institutions. However, she made something significant out of her life. The way in which she handled difficult situations, such as the blackmailer, is inspirational. Instead of letting the cruelty of the world get her down, she faced it headfirst and pursued greatness. Another inspirational message she gave to the world was her pursuit of true art. Monroe was highly successful and the most popular actress in Hollywood, yet she broke her contract and went to study acting in New York because she did not want to continue playing "dumb blonde" roles. After that, she produced her own films and gave female actresses a respectable name. Her biggest obstacle was the prejudice against her for being a beautiful, powerful, and talented woman, combined with her difficult social background. She was not just beautiful, she was also intelligent, involved in literature, and wrote poetry.

Marilyn Monroe has touched my life in a personal way. She has served as an inspiration for me to pursue the arts. Despite not being able to finish high school, Monroe continued to be an intelligent thinker and always in pursuit of greatness. Her physical beauty was always presented in an honorable way, even when posing nude or sexually, because she had a true sense of pride and understanding of the arts.

Quotes from Marilyn Monroe

"My illusions didn't have anything to do with being a fine actress. I knew how third rate I was. I could actually feel my lack of talent, as if it were cheap clothes I was wearing inside. But, my God, how I wanted to learn, to change, to improve!"

This is a wonderful quote from Marilyn Monroe because it shows her dedication to her work. Monroe believed in creating good art, and she went to great lengths to become the actress she wanted to be. She had a natural understanding of art that many actors are lacking that really set her apart from the crowd. Her desire to improve and learn is inspirational to anyone who wants to do something great but doesn't yet have the training needed.

"It's often just enough to be with someone. I don't need to touch them. Not even talk. A feeling passes between you both. You're not alone."

This quote reveals part of what made Monroe so excellent on the screen. She had an ability to make the audience of her movies feel like they were having a personal relationship with her. This also reveals that she was not the over-sexed bimbo many biographers try to make her out to be. She had an understanding of the human relationship that extended far beyond sex.

"Please don't make me a joke. End the interview with what I believe. I don't mind making jokes, but I don't want to look like one. I want to be an artist, an actress with integrity."

This shows Monroe battling the obstacles that she faced so often. She was an intelligent and talented woman that worked hard, not a blonde dummy that had the world handed to her on a silver platter just for being cute. It was a constant battle for her to be taken seriously, and this in itself makes her a rolemodel for not giving in.

Reader Response

1. The author is an excellent writers, so as she reveals bits of Monroe's life, I feel like I was really there. Especially when people who knew Monroe tell their stories, I feel like I was a part of her life.

2. The author has used a very journalistic style of writing. It helps to bring forth the truthfulness of the story. It makes it more real, as if I was reading a news story rather than a biography, yet without the density.

3. The dialogues tell me that Monroe was a misunderstood, misrepresented, and highly motivated individual. Monroe left a strong impression on those she worked with, and everyone seemed to fall in love with her. The accounts of her in this book reveal how hard working and talented she was.…[continue]

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