Freedman And Lolita

Decent Essays
Before sexuality was liberated by contemporary studies and social change, fantasy was what an abstaining person had to define their sexuality in an era of chastity. Fantasies can take many forms and continually the theme of older men with young women remains which is reminiscent of the days when men married older and women married younger. The theme tends to bring up images of rejuvenation, youth, and a raging sexuality. Historically, young female sexuality was used as a tool to define a man’s own value in his eyes and the eyes of others. This conclusion becomes clear when using the scholarly works of John D’Emilio and Estelle Freedman along with the films Lolita and American Beauty, two movies regarding an older man’s sexual fixation on a…show more content…
Unlike Lolita, Lester Burnham’s fantasies regarding the teenaged Angela never manifest into reality. However, they still affect his emotional stability, as did Humbert’s affair with Lolita. Lester transfers his new found sexual fantasy and freedom into an external drive to remove himself from the listless existence in suburbia. He was missing the shared experience of the post-liberation period because his wife was isolated from him – every sexual aspect of Lester is displayed either in a fantasy or as only existing within himself. Lester began to completely change when Angela reshaped him, personally and mentally, as a sexual being. Hearing her say things such as “if he just worked out a little, he'd be hot” validate him as a member of the post-liberated era in a way that his wife never did. Lester took control of his own worth as a person and as a man. He began to act in ways that personified youthfulness and fulfilled his own life, which fits well into the post-liberation era. Angela plays an interesting role in the post-liberated context as personifying a rising expectation within society. D’Emilio and Freedman had broached the topic of a demographic shift of late marriage and increase in pre-marital intercourse that were influenced by such innovations as birth control (D’Emilio and Freedman, 333). Angela, with her explicit conversations about sex, sexuality, and Lester represents what society may see the teenage girl as in this new era: provocative, single, and experienced. However, her admission of inexperience in private is a sharp contrast to that expectation that exists in a new society and reduces her role back to that of a simple child. The film is critical of the act of hiding behind fronts of sexuality and superficiality. It acknowledges that sexuality is complex and that society is affected deeply by
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