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Freedom Through Lawlessness The film Thelma and Louise written by Callie Khouri is a story about two ordinary women living under male domination in small-town Arkansas Louise Susan Sarandon an unhappy waitress and her best friend Thelma Geena Davis an unloved housewife decide to go away for the weekend to get away from the monotony of their everyday lives Louises plan is to drive until they reach their destination which is a cabin in the mountains But during a stop at a bar along the way Louise fails to consider that Thelma has no experience with heavy drinking and sweaty aggressive cowboys As events unfold Thelma is nearly raped and Louise in rescuing her shoots and kills the drunken male aggressor Instinctively the two women run while trying to comprehend what had just happened to them Before and after the shooting the two main characters are surrounded by male figures that are sexist domineering and crude Thus the rhetorical criticism of Thelma and Louises domination by a patriarchal society will be critiqued through the model of feminist criticism This criticism will require in-depth analysis which will examine gender roles as well as how patriarchy is constructed and maintained during the film Analysis of Gender How Thelma and Louise are treated because of their womanhood is important to the progression of the storyline Thelma and Louises role in society is established as insignificant because of their gender This is shown through their various encounters with men such as when they speak with the men in their lives when they are insulted in a bar or even when they are sexually harassed as they are driving down the street During the films opening scenes Thelma is shown to be a submissive Barbie-doll type housewife accustomed to everyone else thinking for her Her friend Louise is revealed as a thirty something waitress whose musician boyfriend is afraid of commitment Thus throughout the film because of this characterization
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