Archetypes In Big Momma

Decent Essays
After having offered an examination of the Mammy’s archetype, including her characteristics, as well as proposed an analysis of the depiction of Big Momma in the film Big Momma’s House, an ample comparison between both can be made. First, placing the plot of the film in Georgia project the first evidence that the film’s protagonist Big Momma is, indeed, comparable to the archetype of the Mammy, since the Mammy has its roots in Southern America, displaying relevant responsibility in education of Southern white children (cf. DelGaudio, 1983). However, the Mammy and Big Momma differ mainly in their work area. Given the fact that the movie takes place after the abolishment of slavery and even after the Civil Rights Movement in the sixties, Big…show more content…
It is questionable whether Big Momma is representative for her race. Indeed, given her blonde hair, Big Momma may be willing to assimilate partly to the white society while keeping her own African American traditions. Furthermore, taking the relationship between Big Momma and her friends into consideration, it may be suggested that she rather functions as a leader of this specific group, rather than as a spokesman of her race. Raja Gosnell underlines the idea of Big Momma being a pioneer by portraying her as the initiator of a little revolution considering the wearing of a wig. Attending at the self-defense course, the pretended Big Momma challenges the instructor, throwing him around the room, triggering the instructor’s removal of her wig in front of the entire class (cf. Big Momma’s House, 2000: 00:46:00 – 00:46:25). In the following, all of the African American women follow in her footsteps and remove their…show more content…
In similarity to the Mammy, Big Momma is presented as a broad-shouldered and very tall woman, being characterized by obesity (cf. Wallace-Sanders, 2008: 6). In fact, observing the African American women talking on the street before welcoming the new neighbors, spectators may perceive directly the remarkable difference in their outward appearance. Moreover, the Mammy as well as Big Momma are characterized as having overwhelming large breasts and buttocks. Being introduced to Big Momma in the first sequence of the film taking place in Georgia, spectators may well observe Big Momma’s exceedingly pronounced bodily features (cf. Big Momma’s House, 2000: 00:06:55). In analysis of the Mammy, these features are clearly implied by males, since men may feel large breasts and buttocks as desirable qualities. However, given that these attributions are entirely exaggerated in the portrayal of the Mammy, they effect that the Mammy’s image becomes de-sexualized (cf. Jewell, 1993: 40). By that, men’s disavowal of feeling attracted to the Mammy becomes visible, ensuing in the justification of a relationship between the master and servant as the female’s desire. In Big Momma’s House, the protagonist Big Momma may cause diverse impressions among the spectators. On the one side, portraying her having diarrhea, ensues a stare on the screen in disbelief.
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