Somebody once said that Marilyn Monroe played the best game with the worst hand dealt in the game of life. Marilyn Monroe, born Norma Jean Mortenson, personified Hollywood glamour with an unparalleled glow and energy that captivated the world. Brought into the world in a traumatic situation that would effect the later part of her life, she managed to become a legend. Marilyn was therefore great but misunderstood in many ways. Surpassing her stereotypical sex goddess appeal, Marilyn learned to go beyond the struggles that were placed upon her in her journey through life to become known as one of the greatest Hollywood divas that ever existed.
All Marilyn Monroe desired was being known as a real actress, however, from the beginning Hollywood never took her seriously. She was looked upon as a commodity of flesh; a mere pretty face. In fact Marilyn was often heard saying, “I don’t mind making jokes, but I don’t want to look like one”(marilynmonroe.com, 4-5-2001). However, Marilyn, despite the fact that part of her name came from the famous sex queen of the 1930s (Marilyn Miller), never bothered to find out much about her. Too bad if she did she might have learned some valuable lessons. Because of this name and the image that was set out by Marilyn, she was perceived by society as a shallow dumb blonde when in fact she was much more.
In all ways, Marilyn Monroe was fully exploited on screen and every other way people could think of. Hollywood producers began taking advantage of her naturalness by making it appear somewhat lewd and suggestive. Marilyn Monroe often had a brilliant and true philosophy about life as a celebrity. She said, “Hollywood is a place where they pay you a thousand dollars for a kiss and fifty cents for your soul. I know, because I turned down the first offer often enough and held out for the fifty cents”
(marilynmonroe.com). “Everybody is always tugging at you. They’d all like a sort of chunk out of you. I don’t think they realize it, but it’s like ‘grrr do this, grr do that…’ But you do want to stay intact–intact and on two feet.” Marilyn had not only a bitter childhood but was often exploited by the public as an adult.
In order to overcome all the misunderstandings that society placed upon this woman, she went through a lot. Marilyn desired respect- she was a nonconformist woman in a conformist era. “Miss Monroe knows the world, but this knowledge had not lowered her great and benevolent dignity; the worlds darkness has not dimmed her goodness.”(Dame Edith Stiwell) Others were as physically beautiful as she was, but there was obviously something more in her, something that people saw and recognized in her performances and with which they identified.
It is very true that Marilyn Monroe is very great but in fact misunderstood. She took bad situations and made a brilliant career out of herself. She deserves the respect she often does not receive and should be remembered forever as a legend. Marilyn Monroe was a legend. In her own lifetime she created a myth of what a poor girl from a deprived background could attain. For the entire world she became a symbol of the eternal feminine. But I have no words to describe the myth and the legend. Nor would she want us to do so. I did not know this Marilyn Monroe, nor did she (Strasbourg).