Marilyn Monroe’s On-screen Spectrum of Femininity: Types and Nature of Her Movie Characters




Marilyn Monroe, postwar America, 1950s, Hollywood, stardom, movie character


The article makes an attempt to create a typology of movie characters played by Marilyn Monroe. Her film roles are classic examples of typecasting. Since Monroe was a type of a sexy blonde, that was what she played in her movies. Whether it was a comedy or drama, her sexiness defined the entire character. However, the attributes of the sex bomb Marilyn combined with other features: of an innocent child, a lost and helpless girl, a sensitive and tender woman. These three types of characters: a child-woman, a female buddy, and a woman-partner, make up the full picture of Monroe’s femininity with which viewers interact during the cinematic mystery and which create an artistic, social and cultural phenomenon called ‘Marilyn Monroe.’

Author Biography

Jolanta Szymkowska-Bartyzel, Jagiellonian University, Kraków, Poland

PhD is an associate professor at the Institute of American Studies and Polish Diaspora, Jagiellonian University in Cracow. Her scholarly interests focus on the history and reception of American popular culture in Poland. She is an author of books and articles on American culture, American cultural transfer, film and mass media.


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How to Cite

Szymkowska-Bartyzel, J. “Marilyn Monroe’s On-Screen Spectrum of Femininity: Types and Nature of Her Movie Characters”. Ad Americam, vol. 23, June 2022, pp. 103-17, doi:10.12797/AdAmericam.23.2022.23.06.