Gender Roles and the Institution of Family: A Cultural Interpretation of Double Indemnity (1944)



Double Indemnity (1944) is a classic American noir film. This thesis analyzes this film as a representative of the film noir genre, interprets the main character Phyllis Dietrichson from a cultural perspective, discusses the social background of the American society between the first and second waves of women’s rights movement, and finally comes to the conclusion that the society’s oppressive attitude toward women during this low ebb prepared women and the whole society for the next wave of fighting for more social, cultural, and economic equality.



Double Indemnity; Noir; Cultural interpretation; Women’s rights movement

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Johnston, C. (1998). Double indemnity. In E. Kaplan (Ed.), Women in Film Noir (pp. 100-117). London: The British Film Institute Press.

Norton, M. (2005). A people and a nation: A history of the United States. New York: Houghton Mifflin Company.

Place, J. (1998). Women in film noir. In Kaplan, E. (Ed.), Women in Film Noir. pp. 35-68. London: The British Film Institute Press.

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