Marie Antoinette

Social Economic Status

Trying to advance one's family and/or individual social economic status has always been at top of mind since the beginning of time. This was no different for Marie Antoinette and her family. Even though neither she nor her family belongs to the lower poor class of Europe, marrying a future king of England secured their place amongst the highest elitist class of France. Marie's mother was the biggest proponent to see the marriage achieve success through Marie producing a male heir to the throne. Marie found herself in a foreign world full of stiff process and protocols at Versailles. Marie had to assimilate to a high-class life at first; however, when she became Queen of France as such a young age she began to play by her own rules. Moreover, she changed the rules for the entire court. Marie began to drink and party heavily at the royal palace to distress from the pressures of bearing the royalty linage of a future king. The transition from stiff upper-brow, and high-class culture to a more carefree, and culture was represented using the vehicle of food. In the beginning of the film, when Marie is assimilating to the stiff royalty culture she finds herself sitting in front of a stiff mound of jell-o. The jell-o represents the culture (stiff) at Versailles. Marie taps the jell-o and it jiggles from side to side, but does not lose its shape. Marie sends shock waves through the established culture when she becomes the Queen. However, when the jell-o snaps back to its original form, the cherry rolls off the top of the mound and splatters on the plate. This moment in the film is a foreshadow that even though Marie was able to have temporary control over the royalty culture, it will return to its original form. Moreover, the slowly rolling cherry from the top of the mound represents Marie's head that later rolls from her body.

     Her head rolls from her body because while she enjoys living in the upper social class society she neglected to recognize what was happening with the poor economic class of France. While she was indulging in plentiful food and champagne, the poor class could not even find bread to eat. In a scene in the film an aid to the royal court states, "They cannot even afford bread." The rumor circulates that Marie's response was, "Let them eat cake." In the film, Marie denies saying such a horrific statement. Nonetheless, the poor class of France starts a revolution and call for Louis XVI and Marie's head. Subsequently, the people storm Versailles and send Marie running for safety with her children. How quickly she forgot about her humble roots when she became Queen of France. Marie successfully advances her social economic status and while being consumed with luxurious and gourmet food and top-notch champagne, she lost sight of the suffering of those living in the lower class. The consequences were dyer straights.  The people took up pitchforks and sickle, and unfortunately, Marie's head rolled!  


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