MOLLY GOLDBERG: A 1950s Icon

Myrna Hant

Abstract


Gertrude Berg invents the character Molly Goldberg and forever after people think of Berg as Molly Goldberg. “Gertrude Berg, who created Molly, wrote all her lines, played her for two decades on radio and another five years on television.” (Hinckley, 2002) Who was Gertrude Berg/Molly Goldberg and how did she so effectively represent the hegemonic ideologies of the l950s? First, she glorifies one of the values so pervasive in America: motherhood. This buxom and benevolent meddler who can solve problems by mixing good common sense, a considerable dab of compassion, but most of all wisdom becomes an archetype for motherhood during this era. Along with motherhood she celebrates the family unit and the need for family to work together to protect each other. She also embodies a sense of hope and goodness that Americans believe about themselves, that this land is generous enough to accept and embrace “the other” without restrictions.

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