Wednesday, March 22, 2017

These Two Were The Supreme Embodiments Of Fifties Teen Spinsterhood!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

                               Actresses Norma Eberhardt and Virginia Vincent may have been way past adolescence themselves, when they played Rachel Mayberry and Jenny Blake in "The Return Of Dracula, back in 1958, but in so doing they presented a true picture, especially of the time, when everyone, including women themselves, knew who would eventually end up as spinsters.

                                Even I, from the sand pile up, had a sense about which girls would and wouldn't. In some ways, they followed the same trajectory of Rachel and Jenny--soft spoken, somewhat plain (of course!), sweet, vulnerable, and dedicated.  It is no contrivance that both Rachel's and Jenny's outside lives revolve around church.  Such women, especially as they mature, find themselves, distraction, and contentment there, doing acts of charity.  There is nothing wrong with that, and both they and the community they serve are better for it.

                                  Of course, during my Spinster Years, I tried so hard to be like Rachel and Jenny.  But there was just too much of Pearl Chavez in me!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

                                   My recent viewing of "The Return Of Dracula" made me realize how much spinsterhood is a subtext here.  It is how Jenny is drawn so easily to the Vampire, and how Rachel is able to almost rebuff her hot boyfriend, Tim Hansen, played by Ray Stricklyn.  She is going to dedicate her life to being a spinster. Interestingly, Rachel's home life is a matriarchy; Mother rules, there is no father, and no explanation why.  Remember Eleanor Rigby??????????????

                                  Spinsterhood was the great mystery of the 1950s.  Truman Capote, Tennessee Williams, and William Inge all incorporated it into some of their masterworks.

                                   If only Old Tom (Williams) had written about spinsterhood and vampires. Now, that would really have been Southern Gothic!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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