Jul 11, 2019 in Literature

Life Told Through Life

The novel, Life Told through Life, is a story about young pregnant teens in the1950s in Cuba, who were taken to the Institutional homes, and forced to give their children to be adopted in those Institutions. Despite being seen as out of social orderfor young girls to be pregnant, there were many cases of such occurrence. In addition, it was shameful for the families that experience this and it was a taboo to speak about such pregnancies and subsequent birth. Therefore, the essay is about the stereotype of a woman, who prominently featured in most of the thrilling Television shows during the 1950s.  The essay also presents a comparison of two shows, which stereotypes the communal social disorders such as teenage pregnancies, racism and drug abuse among others.  

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Indeed, the essay clearly shows the relationships of the two video shows that analyze the amazing life of the young girl called Lucy, in her unsuccessful quest for a career. Also, her resistance to the traditional beliefs and determination to succeed are highlighted.  However, it is noted that stereotyping of women is depicted as sill rampant in the contemporary society. As brought out, most people still do not recognize the contributions and the desire to undertake diverse roles in the community.


“I love Lucy” was the most popular television sitcom in the 1950s. The show was premiered at a period when the directors were unsure of the public reception of a mixed race couple. It nevertheless pushed through. Arnaz Desi was Cuban. When he appeared in the television series, the directors substituted his name with the ‘I’ in the show, ‘I love Lucy’. The show centered on Lucy’s frequently unsuccessful career at a show business and in all other endeavors. She would get Ethel mixed up in her hilarious schemes all the time trying to hide everything she does from Ricky (Arnaz) which would in most cases fall apart.

Everyone tried to discourage Lucy but her ambition to achieving all she wanted would not let her live an honest life. Her comical ideas is what put made the show a success. She always was cornered and her husband or friends would bail her out. She longed for attention and was not the type to be satisfied in being a homemaker. She would go clubbing and even though she could not play instruments or sing, she was determined to become a star. The show was very hilarious and innovative in its approach to filming.

The 1950 television was insistently domestic with images of marriage and family. The show displays a young couple residing in a converted brownstone in the east of Manhattan. Ricky is an orchestra leader for a nightclub and Lucy is a frustrated homemaker who dreams of a free life away from domestic responsibilities and participate in the larger public world. Ricky and Lucy get into conflicts when her desires run up against his beliefs that such ambitions are unbecoming of a woman. She disguises as a clown to sneak into Ricky’s nightclub. Lucy was against the traditional routines of women; the dull chores of housework, financial dependence of housewives, less avenues to express her femininity. She rebelled through taking a job, gambling, performing at a club and generally trying to fool Ricky. This enlightened the society on the absurd restrictions and expectations placed on women in the male dominated societies. Her rebellion if often always thwarted often embarrassing herself pushing her to her original self and life at home. She portrays many stereotypes associated with women including being secretive of her age, being careless with money, and living with very ambitious dreams of fame and success. She also frequently tests her husband’s patience.

I love Lucy is a conservative comedy that teaches Lucy to just live and not question the social order. The chaos that always emerges in the series often shows how difficult it is to contain her. The first episode displayed a young couple adjusting to marriage life with Lucy’s dissatisfaction of her ambitions. The other two consecutive seasons brought the birth of their baby, little Ricky and the couple adjusting to being parents. The fourth season showed the couple in Hollywood where Lucy wreaked havoc in several entertaining encounters with celebrities. The sixth season showed the couple ambitiously climbing the social ladder but the series shifted more on family issues.

Roseanne is a similar television series that shows a middle class working family that is struggling with life’s essential challenges in marriage, parenting, money issues, and parents in law. It was played on Television series from 1988 to 1997. The classic sitcom rotates around the Connor family. The family struggles to make ends meet with a limited income. Roseanne was unique from ‘I love Lucy’, in that it does not make a big deal of the two lead characters that were overweight. It tackled taboo subjects that other shows avoided. This included poverty, drug abuse, menstruation, teenage pregnancy, racism, masturbation, gay rights among others. Roseanne is more open-minded as compared to ‘I love Lucy’. It displays a more liberal and ideal society that accepts people as they are. Roseanne lacked vanity, unrealistic dreams, and superficiality. Roseanne compares a lot with Lucy only that she lived in a freer world than did Lucy. They were real families on televisions at different times showing what the society was at each time. Unlike the traditional set up depicted in  ‘I love Lucy’ where Lucy is trying to poke her head out of the defined world of a woman in the 50s, the Connors represented a modern working class family in America living in all honesty and accepting each other as they are. Not making them fit the society’s definition of who they must be. She is in employment and has to put up with her husband and three children who expect almost everything from her.

The two shows show how change occurs with time. The perception of women is different in both episodes. Not much is expected from Lucy by the husband in the public arena. The husband prefers that she stays at home and takes care of home needs while he works. In Roseanne both Dan and Roseanne face different family and social issues, they are both working parents and display much of what life is today. Stereotyping of women is still rampant today as the society still has not changed much. Ricky’s expectation of Lucy is expected of every woman in some societies. A lot has changed though with many women free to meet their career goals even after marriage and children. Shows often provide a glimpse of what is happening in our daily lives and define our ideology on what is normal. By comparing the elements in this two shows, we can demonstrate what contemporary culture believes is socially acceptable at different times.

It depicts Lucy as a clueless housewife with a patronizing husband and is racist by ridiculing Ricky’s deep Cuban accents and making it a center of jokes. With time, we see the theme of promiscuity being set us okay in the play Roseanne where Jackie got pregnant with her one nightstand. This shows the world receptivity to change. This would have been intolerable in the times of Lucy. Money issues are the focus of these two stories. Lucy wants all the good things typical of American woman. She wants clothes, new hairdo and the consumerism life is seen when she goes on aided by Ethel to conduct a fictitious charity called ladies overseas Aid. They are struggling to live beyond their means.

Roseanne shows a more settled life, which is struggling to make ends meet. The Roseanne has depicted more acceptances by the society people who are not true Caucasians. There were doubts regarding the acceptance of Ricky because he had a thick Spanish accent and would not be readily acceptable by the viewers.

‘I love Lucy’ and Roseanne represents women and the major strides they have made historically to make their needs to be respected. Women have come a long way towards education, getting into traditionally male dominated careers, having a defined public life and even the freedom of giving birth. The women lived under the shadow of their husbands often being the force behind their success but never being recognized in anything. They could not express their sexuality and often tolerated abusive marriages.

The two plays consecutively show the change that women have come to reach a near equal status with men. From the themes and communication aired in this plays, people have more choices on their marriage statuses, sexuality, gender, and even public life. Gay people can speak out in the open, pastor’s wives are filing for divorce, and more people are learning that people need to be allowed to make their decision based on their morals.


In summary, it could be seen that the traditional expectations of women’s roles in the society have changed. Liberalized laws have permitted women to compete favorably with men, as in the case of Lucy, who consistently struggled to be successful.

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