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In Sam Mendes American Beauty and Alfred Hitchcocks Vertigo the characters of Angela and Judy are both similar Angela and Judy are both using their sexuality a symbol of their womanhood to obtain what they want in life However both Angela and Judy are not women They have no idea what a woman is In their struggle to become women while using their sexuality to obtain what they want from men they learn that they must look within themselves for validation and not to men or society Angela and Judy are both pretending to be someone they are not Angela the angel is pretending to be a slut Yet later in the film we learn she is actually a virgin Angela is trying to be a woman by transforming herself into an All-American beauty She is a cheerleader which connotates femininity She is popular beautiful and she dreams of being a model Angela epitomizes every girls fantasy Judy is also pretending to be someone she is not literally Judy is a young woman who is hired by a man Gavin to pose as his wife Madeleine his wife in a complex murder plot Madeleine is a beautiful rich woman who has everything Judy could ever want This motivates Judy to portray her Both Angela and Judy are trying to find their place as women Neither is sure exactly what a woman is and rather than explore themselves and try to figure it out they choose to mold themselves into a predefined woman They discover that this is simply a quick fix They are desperately seeking love and acceptance However no one can accept and love them for themselves when they are pretending to be someone else and do not know who they are This is the constant dilemma Angela and Judy face to be themselves and risk rejection or be someone else and never really achieve the acceptance and love they are seeking The
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