The Hard-Knock Life: Females as Spectator and Spectacle in Annie

Manzella, Abigail Geneé Hughes , Department of English, University of Virginia
Howard, Alan, Department of English, University of Virginia

For twenty-somethings today the 1982 musical movie Annie is an often mentioned piece of their cultural history. As one viewer recently mentioned, "not knowing many of those tunes is like not knowing happy birthday." With the realization of Annie's continued presence in our lexicon even twety years after its first release, I thought I should look more closely at thie piece of pop culture that girls relished when it came out and still refer to today. What was Annie giving to these girls that allowed Annie to be almost as highly recognized as McDonald's hamburgers, and what did these girls take away from the movie? With the aid of the web, I will be able to show the sights and sounds that affected these viewers as I study the representations of the female characters while comparing this to spectators' receptions. Although Annie often seems to demonstrate views in concordance with the need for gender specific roles, females as objects, and the dependence of women romantically and economically on men, this project will demonstrate the ability of girls as spectators to take something from the spectacle--for them to find strength in a world that often only gives them hard-knocks.Dissertation Note

MA (Master of Arts)

Originally published on the XRoads site for the UVA American Studies program. Years range from 1995-2005. Content is captured at the level of functionality available on the date of capture.

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