The Truth Behind the Disguise in Far from Heaven

Topics: Sociology, Nonverbal communication, Social cognition Pages: 5 (1759 words) Published: May 7, 2007
The truth behind the disguise in Far from Heaven
Have you ever found yourself in a moment, where you lied about your true feelings or kept it to yourself? Or, have you ever been attracted to someone, and you do not speak to that person but your friends know you are attracted to them? Even more so, have you ever gotten into a conversation, already knowing what you are going to say? Because of questions like these, sociologists study the social and psychological actions people undertake in our society today. Researchers have investigated a broad amount of interesting findings and developed social psychological theories, including those that concern social influence and group processes. By using the book, Social Psychology written by Robert A. Baron, Donn Byrne and Nyla R. Bransombe, and notes from Dr. Albright's lectures, I will be discussing the relevance and important theories that the movie, Far From Heaven, illustrates by closely examining examples that are represented in the sequences. These examples bring life to the social theories, selective forms of self-presentation, the importance of non-verbal communication, and different social schemas, concerning economical and racial differences by using the characters and their actions/ reactions to the social scenes in which they take place. Based upon social theory of the book, Social Psychology, authentic self-presentation is a selective form of self-presentation that expresses an image according to how you see yourself towards others. When a self-image is authentic, you can say the person is "being true about himself/ herself." For this reason, Mrs. Whitaker is an excellent example of this social theory. She represents an authentic self-presentation because of her genuine way to approach others. She always stays unadulterated; remains the same towards all people, without changing towards people of different class status or color. The major example to how Mrs. Whitaker proves herself to be an authentic self-presenter is by her relationship with her black gardener, Raymond Deagan. They form a bond, one that is real and honest. I quote her when she says, "Raymond was the only person I felt honest with." She expressed her true feelings and emotions very honestly to other people, in this case to her best friend, without any false intentions. More noticeably, Mrs. Whitaker's gardener, Raymond, is a valid character in the movie. When approached, he always speaks with sincerity and expresses his inner beliefs and shares his own life stories without hesitation. For instance, the scene were he finds Mrs. Whitaker crying, he tells her that he would never hurt her and if she needed anyone to talk to, he would be there to listen. Without taking into account that she is a person with a different class status, his rationale to helping Mrs. Whitaker is genuine because of this reason, he treats her equally. Both these characters are perfect examples of authentic self-presentation, because they are both honest and take no precaution of speaking to one another due to their economic or ethnic differences. Another form of self-presentation is ideal. Mr. Whitaker is an individual who embodies the characteristics of an ideal self-presentation, which is an image of how you wish to be seen by others (Albright 01/29/07). Therefore, the character is hardly honest and holds an interior mystery. In the case of Mr. Whitaker, he is a married man with two children and a successful career who finally reveals his secret that he is a homosexual. This long-kept secret reveals the reason as to why Mr. Whitaker is an example to the social theory of ideal self-presentation. I quote him when he said, "I did not want to hurt you or the kids, honey." Mr. Whitaker reveals that his posterior is a complete fraud, he did so because he did not want to hurt his family but much more hurt himself. He wished to hide his true identity as a gay man because he wished to be seen as the handsome husband with the perfect...
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