Comparing and contrasting Lillian Gish and Mary Pickford
In the films the Unseen Enemy (1912) and Wilful Peggy (1910) both directed by D. W. Griffith, featuring the greatest female stars of the Teens and Twenties, we can see Lillian Gish and Mary Pickford, respectively, act the roles of girls in their teens that in comparison have completely two different personalities and behaviors. From these two films we are able identify the roles and characters of these two actors by looking at their roles, appearance, performance and function of their characters in the narrative. The roles and social status of the characters are distinctively different. Lillian Gish portrays a young girl whose father has recently passed away, and is trembling with fear over the fact that her housekeeper is trying to rob them and waving a gun around through a hole in the wall. Whereas, Mary Pickford is a high-spirited young lady that catches the eye of a wealthy man that proposes to her. When married, she leaves her husband and goes on an adventure with his nephew, who has developed feelings for her. The social status of the girls is quite apparent from their apparels and households. Lillian Gish is dressed in a white, neat and clean dress and lives in a nicely furnished house, this implies that she comes from a wealthy family and is part of the upper class. Also, the fact they can afford a housekeeper suggests that she’s from the upper class. On the other hand, Mary Pickford is dressed in a ragged dress that is dull and seems dirty; her overall look is scruffy and messy. Her house is small and does not hold many pieces of furniture. Not only do the girls have different statuses and roles, but they also display behaviors that are at the opposite ends of the spectrum. Lillian Gish characterizes a young, shy, frightened girl who is unable to take action when put in the situation of her housekeeper pointing a gun at her and her sister through a hole in the wall. Her shyness can be conveyed by...
Please join StudyMode to read the full document