What Is The Seven Year Itch About In Relation To Marilyn Monroe: Expert Tell You

Marilyn Monroe's iconic role in "The Seven Year Itch" made her a symbol of sensuality, leaving a lasting impact on popular culture.

The Origins of the Seven Year Itch

The film is based on the Broadway play from the 1950s about marriage routine and desire for change after 7 years. The film popularized the idiom “the seven year itch” meaning the restlessness that tends to set in after being with the same partner for that amount of time. Marilyn Monroe’s character as The Girl who experiences this phenomenon added resonated deeply with audiences and solidified her status as a cultural icon and symbol of beauty and desire. The Subway air blow scene showing her white dress billowing up from an air vent became one of the most recognizable images in popular culture history, epitomizing Monroe’s magnetism and allure.
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marylin monroe, seven year itch, a lake in a valley
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Marilyn Monroe: A Symbol of Sensuality

Marilyn Monroe’s portrayal of the irresistible but vulnerable character in The Seven Year Itch solidified her status as one of the world’s greatest sex symbols and cultural icons. Her performance as The Girl in the film perfectly captured the desires, struggles, and ambiguities that womanhood held at the time. Monroe embodied an alluring blend of innocence and experience that fascinated the public and made her the object of both admiration and scorn.

Some of the key aspects of Monroe’s iconic femme fatale image include:

  • Her platinum blonde hair and breathless vocal tone that evoked a kind of childlike sensuality.

  • Her hourglass figure andsized twelve dress that accentuated her curves and shapely legs in a time when slimmer silhouettes were fashionable.

  • The apparent tension in her characters between wanting to be desired yet also seekingemotional fulfillment and respect, mirroring the conflicting demands placed on women at that time.

Monroe’s performance in The Seven Year Itch epitomized this mixture of vulnerability and sex appeal.The iconic “Subway Dress” scene, where her dress is blown up by an air vent, shows Monroe’s character experiencing both joy and discomfortat the attention her beauty commands. This duality in Monroe’s image as desirable yet complexhuman being is what elevated her beyond being just a “sex symbol” and into a true cultural icon.

marylin monroe, white dress, a woman in a white dress holding a bouquet of flowers
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The Iconic White Dress Scene

The “Subway Dress” scene has become one of the most iconic and memorable scenes in cinema history. In the four-minute sequence, Marilyn Monroe’s character stands over a subway grate as a passing train creates a burst of air that lifts her billowing white dress. The simple yet powerful scene encapsulates Marilyn’s sex appeal, charisma and talent for physical comedy.

Some key aspects of the scene:

  • Monroe’s effortless grace and ** comic timing** as she struggles to contain her dress while still exuding charm and allure.

  • The symbolic parallels between the billowing dress and Marilyn’s character experiencing a moment of unbridled joy and freedom despite societal restrictions.

  • The subtext of longing and desire conveyed through the updraft that seems to caress Marilyn’s form.

  • The visual contrast between Marilyn’s femininity and the gritty urban locale, highlighting her character’s liberating effect on the prosaic world around her.

The success of the scene lies in Marilyn’s total command of the moment through a masterful balance of vulnerability, sexiness and humor. The image of the dress blowing upward became an enduring symbol of Marilyn’s free spirit and timeless sex appeal, turning what could have been a simple comic setpiece into an iconic scene that continues to captivate viewers decades later.

marylin monroe, white dress, woman in white dress holding white ceramic mug
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The Impact and Legacy of The Seven Year Itch

The 1955 comedy The Seven Year Itch became a bona fide classic and had a profound impact on popular culture for decades after its release. The film helped shape Marilyn Monroe’s image as a sex symbol and cultural icon while also influencing trends in comedy and portrayals of sexuality.

Some aspects of the film’s legacy include:

  • Marilyn’s performance as the embodiment of temptation solidified her status as one of the world’s greatest sex symbols. The “Subway Dress” scene in particular became an enduring image of her beauty, vulnerability, and free spirit.

  • The film’s wry humor and willingness to broach topics like infidelity and sexual desire helped shift social mores and paved the way for more sophisticated comedy in subsequent decades.

  • Cultural touchstones from the film like the subway grate scene and Marilyn’s note “A always helps with seven-year-itch” [sic] entered the pop cultural zeitgeist and remain familiar even to those who have not seen the movie.

  • The film is widely considered one of screenwriter George Axelrod‘s finest works and helped launch his successful career in Hollywood comedy.

In summary, The Seven Year Itch transcended its status as a light romantic comedy to become a true cultural phenomenon. With Marilyn Monroe’s indelible performance, the film captured the longings, anxieties and changing role of women in the ′50s while also exerting a lasting influence on comedy, sexuality and the mythology of Marilyn Monroe herself that continues to this day.

marylin monroe, white dress, woman in white tank top standing on sea shore during daytime
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The Psychological Interpretation of the Phenomenon

There are a few potential psychological explanations for why the phenomenon of “the seven year itch” arises in long-term couples. These relate to changes and challenges that may emerge after being together for around seven years:

Habituation: As time passes in a relationship, partners become accustomed to each other’s behaviors and routines. This habituation can lead to taking the other for granted and reduced novelty/stimulation, prompting one or both partners to seek more excitement.

Changing needs: Partners’ needs often evolve and change over time. After seven years, one or both people may find that their initial needs are no longer being fully met, causing dissatisfaction and restlessness.

Desire for novelty: Humans inherently crave novelty and variety as an evolutionary instinct to seek optimal environments. After seven years, this desire for something new and different outside the relationship may become stronger.

Identity development: People change and grow considerably in their 20s and 30s. After 7 years together, partners may find that their evolving identities no longer fully align, raising questions about the relationship’s future.

In summary, a combination of habituation effects, changing needs, desires for novelty and partners’ diverging identities over time can converge around the seven year mark to produce feelings of discontent and “itchiness” that challenge long-term relationships. Further communication and compromise is often needed to work through this inevitable transition stage.

marylin monroe, seven year itch, a close-up of some plants
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More Helpful Guide

Frequently Asked Question

Who was Marilyn Monroe’s first husband?

Marilyn Monroe’s first husband was James Dougherty.

How did Marilyn Monroe die?

Marilyn Monroe died from a drug overdose.

What was Marilyn Monroe’s real name?

Marilyn Monroe’s real name was Norma Jeane Mortenson.

Where did Marilyn Monroe die?

Marilyn Monroe died in her home in Los Angeles, California.

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