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It is 1973 New Canaan Connecticut is a prototypical bedroom community Modern homes clean quiet streets and plenty of greenspace lend an air of contentment to the setting However behind the doors of these homes discontent and ennui are thriving affluent Americans increasingly clustered in suburban areas where jobs for women were limited and domestic help was in short supply Husbands were away from home longer because they had to commute to work leaving the wives to bear the complete responsibility for the familyThe American dream of affluence in a natural bucolic setting away from urban squalor often made it impossible for women to be anything other than housewives and mothers i The Ice Storm focuses on two families the Hoods and the Carvers Ben Hood Kevin Kline is the aptly-named self-absorbed patriarch of his family moving through life believing all that matters is what he sees in front of him his wife Elena Joan Allen is his quietly despairing mate and mother of Paul Tobey Maguire and Wendy Christina Ricci Jim Carver Jamey Sheridan is an enterprising man who is seldom home long enough to attend to the needs of his wife Jane Sigourney Weaver and their two sons Mike Elijah Wood and Sandy Adam Hann-Byrd These families are linked by relationships superficially neighborly but in fact more visceral than they are prepared to admit to even themselves It takes an outside force the ice storm to force them to come to grips with the realities of their lives both individually and as families The majority of the past and present studies of martial discontent decisively show that non-working married women are much more prone to anxiety depression and mental breakdowns than married men married working women or single women ii Elena Hood and Jane Carver are stereotypical suburban wives Jane is portrayed as a sexual person her first three appearances show her cleaning spilt wine from Ben Hoods
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