Review Questions for The Man in the Gray Flannel Suit

In a short review essay (2-3 double-spaced pages) answer one of the questions listed below. Essay due: beginning of class, February 8.

  1. Television was obviously a fairly new thing when this film was made. Discuss the role of TV in the movie. What influence does television seem to have on the Rath family and others? Pay close attention to the kinds of shows they seem to be watching.

  2. What social and economic group or class does the Rath family appear to belong to? Mention as many details as you can that identify their group or social class. Note the discussion of salaries for his present and prospective new job, as well as the Rath's possessions and "lifestyle." (You might find it useful to use the Cost-of-Living Calculator on the website of the American Institute for Economic Research:

    or the Inflation Calculator on the Columbia Journalism Review's website:

    These will allow you to translate Tom Rath's salary, or the cost of a new washing machine, into today's dollars.)

  3. What does Judge Bernstein mean when he tells Betsy Rath at the end of the movie, "It's a privilege to have met you?" What message is the film sending about wives and women and marriage through the character of Betsy Rath?