In the movie "Mona Lisa Smile", Julia Roberts plays a character of a free spirited graduate from UCLA - Katherine Ann Watson. Katherine Ann Watson accepts a teaching post at Wellesley College, a women only school where students are torn between the repressive mores of the time and their longing for intellectual freedom. In a world that told the young women how to think, Watson showed them how to live. Katherine Watson is a firm believer that the outlook of women in the society needed to be changed if women were to achieve better futures and that she needed to instill a spirit of change among her students.
Katherine Watson tries to open her students' mind to their freedom to do whatever they want with their lives. She encourages them to believe in themselves, to study to become career professionals and to improve their economic futures. Watson challenges her students and the Wellesley faculty to think outside the current mores of the community and redefine what it means to be a success. She felt that women could do more things in life than solely adopt the roles made for them by society, as women born to become housewives and mothers. She utilizes her art teachings as a vehicle to put across her opinion to the young women, that the girls need not simply be the wives of their respected husbands. Watson believes that a girl can stand by their man and make their own dreams come true at the same time. She wants to teach the modern art to her students and introduces ideas of independence and self-fulfillment. In one scene of the movie, she shows her students four newspaper ads and asks them to question what the future will think of the idea that women are born into the roles of wives and mothers.
Watson's ideas and ways of teaching were opposing to the methods considered acceptable by the school's directors. It's not just the faculty that finds Katherine's methods unacceptable. At first, her students refuse to go along with Watson's free thinking ideas because...
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