Please….Call me Marilyn: A peak into the looking-glass of Marilyn Monroe

Photo of Marilyn Monroe in the Misfits from the May 1961 issue of TV-Radio Mirror | Image Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

Dear Diary: I’ve always been afraid of bees. Now I’m dreaming about them! Great big bumblebees with furry backs. I’m sure they are symbols for something and I am persevering to understand. They flew in a squadron across a meadow. I was hiding in the goldenrod, my feet bound in yellow silk like a Chinese whore’s.1

Her family knew her as Norma Jean Mortenson, a classic hometown girl born on June 1, 1926 in Los Angeles, California, but the world knew her by another name. Perhaps you’ve heard of her: Miss Marilyn Monroe. Never having known her father, Norma Jean was forced to grow up so that she could overcome the obstacles of living in an unstable household. Her mother, Gladys Baker, was incapable of taking care of Norma Jean due to her development of psychiatric problems that resulted in her admission into a mental institution. Unfortunately, this meant that her daughter would have to spend most of her childhood locked up in the confines of the American foster care system battling the inability to enjoy normal childhood experiences and defending herself against countless episodes of sexual assault. For Norma, there was really only one option for her to escape the tortures of her childhood. For this reason, at the age of sixteen, she got married to then-boyfriend Jimmy Dougherty on June 19, 1942. As a merchant marine, Dougherty was sent overseas, and to compensate for the absence of her new husband, Norma found employment as a worker in a nearby factory in Van Nuys, California. Little did she know that this decision would be the one that would change her life forever. While on the job, she managed to earn the attention of David Conover, a photographer sent to the factory by famed actor and army veteran, later President Ronald Reagan, who instructed Conover to capture images of “Women in War Work.” The publication of those pictures in the June 1945 issue of Yank Magazine served as the stepping stone for a life that not even Norma was unsure would play out in her favor; but given the lack of better alternatives, it was a step that she was more than willing to take. Luckily for her, the pictures proved to be a smashing success, and with that newfound fame, she colored her hair platinum blonde and changed her name to Marilyn Monroe.

With a change in direction came new changes in her life, and by the mid-1950’s Marilyn had rose to stardom, tackling top blockbuster films and capturing the attention and hearts of every man, woman, and child in America. In a 1973 biographical profile entitled Marilyn published by American Novelist, Norman Mailer, he depicted the blonde bombshell as being, on one hand, an “angel of sex,” while still possessing the abilities of being “gorgeous, forgiving, humorous, compliant and tender.” He continued by describing her as being an “angel of cinema” and a “presence” on stage.2 It is no surprise that like thousands of other Americans, Mailer was captured by the phenomenon that was Marilyn Monroe. Her charm and iconic good looks served as a distinctive perception of American ideals during this time, and Marilyn was well aware of the gravity of her impact in modeling and performing on the big screen. This is shown in how she often quotes that she “had belonged to the public and to the world” and “had never belonged to anyone else.”3 This realization of what her fame and recognition had brought her imposed a realization that with these opportunities came compromises, those of which would begin to take a serious toll on the American Sweetheart later in her career.

Due to her rapid increase in stardom, Monroe was persuaded to adapt to the changes that came with the life of a popular cultural icon and by doing so she decided to leave her past behind, divorcing her husband, and marrying baseball star Joe DiMaggio in 1954. While her fame came as a bit of a surprise, Monroe made it a priority to ensure that she did not neglect her priorities, and so she contributed as her part to the war effort, by volunteering at the United Service Organization, providing entertainment for soldiers overseas in Korea.4

Date: 1 January 1954 SourceFlickr: Marilyn Monroe, Korea, 1954
Marilyn Monroe pauses for a photograph while in Korea for a USO tour | From the Robert H. McKinley Collection (COLL/4802) at the Marine Corps Archives and Special Collections OFFICIAL USMC PHOTOGRAPH

In doing so, not only did her actions help to build her image, but it helped to showcase her numerous talents, which later proved useful in securing her a role in numerous films and magazine publications upon her return. She showcased her talents in movies such as Monkey Business, Gentlemen Prefer Blondes and How to Marry a Millionaire as well as the opportunity to grace the cover of Playboy magazine.5 Her involvement in the war guaranteed Monroe the opportunities that she had always dreamed about. Her identity remained conflicted between two different personas, “Monroe as a Celebrity,” with her famous blonde hair and hourglass figure, and “Monroe as the All-American Girl Back Home,” cherishing her fond memories of sweethearts, sisters, mothers, home-cooked meals, and any number of personal memories of life as a civilian.6 This battle between who she was portrayed to be and who she actually was proved to create quite a challenge for Monroe, who kept battling the need to be closer to who she actually wanted to be. Her instantaneous rise to stardom left Monroe in a position of complete loss and loneliness. An excerpt of Marilyn Monroe’s diary, from the period of shooting the iconic subway scene in Monkey Business, reveals her conflicting emotions during the height of her career, stating that,

I hate the way the bellboys walk by me, speaking in muffled tones. Sometimes I appear in the antique wooden mirror in the lobby: a maid, cleaning the glass in slow circles, notices a sad blonde in the reflection. Turning, she sees no one is there. Late at night in the hallways.7

While Marilyn tried to portray the lovable and beautiful woman that her fame endorsed, deep inside she was battling emotions that were quite the contrary to her character.

Due to this constant battle of emotions, Marilyn Monroe was forced to resort to various medications to control her frequent episodes of insomnia, depression, and bipolar disorder. Due to her constant traveling and increase in fame, Marilyn developed psychological conditions that deprived her of portraying the star that she was expected to be. For this reason, towards the end of her career, it was discovered that she had been prescribed drugs such as barbiturates, psychoactive drugs, and amphetamine to help her combat and control her condition. Unfortunately, on August 5, 1962, Marilyn Monroe was found dead in her home in Brentwood, Los Angeles, California. Later, toxicology reports had revealed that she had passed away from a drug overdose brought on by the consumption of barbiturates that had been prescribed to her mixed with lethal concentrations of other drugs such as pentobarbital and chloral hydrate.8 All these drugs mixed, creating a cocktail that would lead to the unfortunate death of one of America’s favorite superstars. While the circumstances of her death may still be up for debate, it is clear that the result of this case was no more than another tragic story of another Hollywood star who was overwhelmed by the realities of fame and fortune and took it upon herself to come up with a solution to rid her problems from the world.

Photo of Marilyn Monroe in the Asphalt Jungle from the May 1961 issue of TV-Radio Mirror | Image Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons. Date: May 1961 Author: Macfadden Publications New York, publisher of Radio-TV Mirror

Marilyn Monroe is one of the most iconic women in American History, but her story is almost forgotten. Even though she may be considered one of the most photographed women ever, having both her personal and professional life turned into a highly dramatic narrative over the period of her career, her life as an adored and idolized superstar proved to be nothing but a rollercoaster, transforming her dreams of being a successful Hollywood star and escaping her childhood misfortunes into living a lie that was worse than she had imagined. While Marilyn Monroe remains an important figure in the eyes of the American public, it is important to note that her success came at a great expense, costing her her life and her happiness. A simple girl from Los Angeles California had the dreams of making it big in Hollywood, living the life of the rich and famous, but little did she know that the place she had always fantasized would be the farthest thing from what she had imagined. This was the story of that simple “All-American Home Girl” Norma Jean, but the world would rather call her by her true name, Miss Marilyn Monroe.

  1. Dale M. Kushner, “From the Diaries of Marilyn Monroe: The Miller Years,” Confrontation no. 101 (2008): 264.
  2. Maggie McKinley, “Exploring the mystery of Marilyn,” The Mailer Review no. 1 (2013): 409.
  3. Maggie McKinley, “Exploring the mystery of Marilyn,” The Mailer Review no. 1 (2013): 408-409.
  4. Kristi Good, “Marilyn Monroe: Soldier in Greasepaint,” Theatre History Studies (2014): 211-213.
  5. Kristi Good, “Marilyn Monroe: Soldier in Greasepaint,” Theatre History Studies (2014): 214.
  6. Kristi Good, “Marilyn Monroe: Soldier in Greasepaint,” Theatre History Studies (2014): 222.
  7. Bill Meissner, “The Ghost of Marilyn Monroe Speaks in the Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel,” Atlanta Review no. 1 (2010): 55.
  8. M. De Entrambasaguas, “Insomnia and Death of Marilyn Monroe,” Sleep Medicine vol. 14 (2013): 16.
Please….Call me Marilyn: A peak into the looking-glass of Marilyn Monroe
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  • Interesting article but such a tragic ending. It is hard to believe that someone who had such an inspiring story of starting off in a difficult situation to becoming successful and living their dream would be suffering from insomnia, depression, and bipolar disorder. I also liked how you incorporated the quotes from her diary, as it allowed me to get more of a sense of who Marilyn Monroe was.

  • This article gave me a deeper insight into Marilyn Monroe’s life and what she was feeling and doing. I feel as though many people can relate to the loneliness she felt for that long period of time, and how many people resort to taking medications to solve their problems when there are so many other ways to help depression and anxiety. The article was very well written and I feel very well informed, good job!

  • This is a interesting article. I knew very little about Marilyn Monroe other than her being an actress. This article informed me about the many different sides of her. The article also give good insight to the sudden rise to fame that she encountered. The article was also well written with a clear focus on what your main idea was. That being the life of actress Marilyn Monroe.

  • While reading this article I had many mixed emotions, from the beginning of Marilyn’s childhood she was brought by torment and obstacles. After hitting this amazing opportunity she got to a point where she was overwhelmed. While many may think that fame may be the solution to all their problems, her story serves as an example as to why they are completely wrong. Money and fame isn’t everything, and sadly sometimes it takes stories like such to comprehend this issue. Marilyn Monroe is that girl you grow up hearing about no matter how old you are she is an iconic figure to American history, and will always be remembered as one.

  • My grandparents would talk about Marilyn Monroe but I never knew that her real name was Norma Jean Mortenson. This article gives exact detail on the rise of fame that Monroe attributed. It really is amazing how she blew up her fame from becoming a foster kid to becoming Americas superstar. The tragedy of her death still continues to this day due to the fact that today’s superstars take many medications without the doctors permission, leading to the drug overdoses.

  • I find this story very sad but yet inspiring. She seemed to be very independent which is something I strive to be. However, there are always limits. There is always a time and a place. I think that building her career is something she had some luck and help with but it was mainly her. I think the key to true happiness is being surrounded by people you love and who love you right back. Unfortunately she received the wrong kind of love, fame. It is hard to separate the two but I think if she had, then she would have been much happier and lived a lot longer. Truly a gem and lost too soon.

  • although, everyone knows the name Marilyn Monroe and if you see a picture of her everyone can tell you who it is but I don’t think people really knew what she was going through. I would have never guessed that she suffered form depression because she was always lookin so happy in her pictures. you did a great job on giving us insight on her life because you never know what kind of feelings a smile is hiding.

  • This article does a fantastic job at humanizing a figure that is often seen in a light that is either highly negative or positive. The controversial icon has often been a staple for an example of right and wrong, yet we forget that she is simply a person. People are given their own lives and experiences that make up who they are and that is an aspect of life that should not be taken away just because Marilyn Monroe is a celebrity.

  • Crazy to read that Ms. Monroe actually came from the bottom. She was a worker during war, luckily she was able to escape that due to her beauty. It’s amazing how some things happen like that. Who would know that she came from a working plant all because of a photographer sent to do his job.

    I wonder why she chose the name Marilyn Monroe after all, like what actually drove her to do it. I would have liked to see an interview from her before the fame and an interview after just to see how much the fame and fortune changed her if it did. Very cool article.

  • I have always adored this woman. I was aware she was an actress but I didn’t know she had done oh so much more. I always looked up to her because of the level of confidence with her unique beauty mark and turning it into an iconic characteristic. I had also read that she was considered to be ahead of her times when, at the height of racial segregation, she helped out Ella Fitzgerald by demanding a club owner to let her perform in exchange for Monroe’s presence. Rather than just being a pretty face, she decided to give back to her nation by distracting soldiers of the very sad and mentally scarring scenes of war through providing them with entertainment. From a personal aspect through experience, I understand how difficult it must have been for her growing up in the foster care system. I also understand how difficult is it to get a quality education so I admire how (although this crucial part of information was not depicted in the article) she didn’t let her childhood determine her future; she always on a constant mission to better her mind. A more significant marriage than the one she shared with Joe DiMaggio, she married Arthur Miller and threw herself into books which resulted her personal library to contain over 400 of them. I find it very saddening to learn that she was also another amazing soul lost to drug over doses.

  • This article portrayed Marilyn Monroe as someone other than America’s famous platinum-blonde, pothole flying skirt model! It was very informative and taught me about her past. I was completely taken back by her tough upbringing. I always sort of thought of her as the girl next door type, but I found out I was wrong. It just proves how even the most glamorous and adored have their struggles.

  • I never knew Marilyn Monroe was born with a different name. I also did not know she was in foster care as a child. Her story is a rise from rags to riches. She went from being poor to being in the spot light. I always thought she was a ditsy girl who didn’t do anything. However, it turns out that she volunteered with the war. As her stardom went on she slowly started going down.

  • Of course I knew who Marilyn Monroe is and how popular she was to American culture, but I never knew she had a dark side to her life. Her façade of happiness was enough to fool most people, when in fact she was struggling to function under the pressure of fame. I like how the author goes into Marilyn’s past and portrays her as a common small town girl. It’s surprising to me how not many people made any effort to help her through her problems when she was so involved in entertaining the American public. Such a sad ending to a iconic star who just wanted to be famous and make it in life.

  • I, of course, am a fan of Marilyn Monroe and reading this article about her and her life gave me a different insight as to who she really was. It is sad to see that such a beautiful woman was torn in the inside and couldn’t deal with her demons any longer. But even though her depression and other psychological issues were a huge impact to her life, she still gave back and volunteered in war efforts.

  • How tragic that all this attention and lack of privacy led to Marilyn Monroes death. I had never known that her early life was just as tormented as her later life, to have to worry about a mentally unstable mother and getting married at 16 just to stay alive and be able to provide for yourself, it makes me feel sorry that she was never able to have that “classic American” lifestyle she dreamed of.

  • Throughout my life whenever I heard of Miss Marilyn Monroe, I pictured her icon flying skirt portrait. Her beautiful golden locks and curvy figure made me see her as confident, strong, and independent woman. However, it wasn’t until last year that I read about her actual life story, which was mainly what this article embodied; and I realized how sad and damaged this character was. It saddened me to know how since she was very young she was sexually exploited, and how she turned to that later in her life as well. I know that one of the things that caught my attention the most was her yearning for love. Looking for somebody that loved her for who she really was and not her sexuality. Running from her first husband, to Joe Dimmagion that claimed to love her until the day she died (although there was assumed abuse in the relationship) to her Mr. President, who saw her only as a mistress rather than a lover. Regardless, she is a work of art, whom I believe will never die in the minds and hearts of the people.

  • I enjoyed learning about Norma Jeans childhood and some details on how her childhood lead to her adult life and ultimate death. I know a lot about her famous adult life, just like most people but I found it interesting to see her almost lack of childhood made her want so much more for herself. But she had no idea what she was giving up.

  • The beauty of the photo really set the mood for the rest of the article. The many captivating quotes really portrayed Marilyn Monroe in the eyes of those during that time period. I also enjoyed that the article provided more than just her fame of looks. It took a deeper look at who she was and the contributions she made to the U.S. The ending paragraph restates main points which really brought the artifact all together.

  • I thoroughly enjoyed your article. I, of course have heard of Marilyn Monroe and her death due to a drug overdose. I did not, however, know about her heartbreakingly difficult childhood. She overcame many obstacles and rose to fame only to have a tragic end to it all. She showed the world an incredible smile and was hiding so much pain. Maybe if mental health was as openly talked about back then as it is now her story would have ended differently.

  • It is always so fascinating to read about women throughout history. Through this article I learned what Marylin was actually going through… it has never been all about the looks to me but it is very sad that the rest of the world sees beauty objectively. I definitely feel for her because I know that although it may seem like she enjoyed her life at the surface, deep down she really just wanted to be normal again.

  • This article was really cool, it seemed short and to the point though. I would’ve wanted a more specific event in history, not just a summary of her life. It was interesting to see how a not just a celebrity but a female celebrity in that time period was so famous and know globally. Like the fact that she was intreating people in Korea is crazy. It’s really tragic how she passed away though.

  • This article does a great job highlighting how miss Marilyn Monroe overcame allot of obstacles in her life to make it how far she did. She put her name in history at an incredibly young age. The fact that she was such a successful actor before we really new her for modeling, she made enough money to retire at a young age but she kept working showing her true colors and dedication. Great article!

  • Excellent article, very informative and very well written. I had known some of the details of Marilyn’s life but it is still great to learn more to understand what she was going through. It is so sad that when people who long for stardom finally get it, it just ends up ruining them, especially because of the media and how they want to portray someone as who they aren’t. Marilyn is a prime example of how stardom and the media can damage a person’s psyche and ruin their lives.

  • I have always known that Marilyn Monroe was/is an American icon. However, I never knew  about her upbringings. I was amazed to find out that due to her circumstances she married young and how she rose to fame. This news article gives a good insight about her past and what she may have felt. This news article literally gives you a little window into her life.

  • This article was well written, entertaining, informative and inspiring. It shows that no matter where you came from or how bad your background is, you can always make it to the top. Everyone sees Marilyn Monroe as someone who lives a perfect life but she struggled more than the average person. Her pictures so commonly used, even till this day which is proof that she withstood the test of time

  • This is such an awesome article! I really did not know about Marilyn Monroe. I just knew her name and what she looked like. Its amazing how far she went overcoming the sexual assaults, coming from an unstable house hold, and making her dreams a reality. I really did not know how she got famous, or who she really was and what she did. This article really helped me learn more about her. Before I did not know that she was a model, actress, and a part of the famous playboy. It is truly crazy how she was reached her goals and was finally living the dream which led her to her own death.

  • Marilyn Monroe is an iconic name and will be for many years to come. After reading this article I have come to see more than just a bleach blond bombshell with red lipstick. The author was able to show the story of Jean Mortenson, a girl in a factory, and how she become Miss Marilyn Monroe ” angle of cinema”. I also appreciated how all aspects of Miss Monroe’s life was shown. All from the highlights of her life, to the low points, and how it ultimately affected the way Jean Mortenson and Marilyn Monroe’s life come to an end.

  • This article definitely sheds a different light on who I perceive Marilyn Monroe to be. I had no idea that Marilyn Monroe wasn’t her given name. Her story is however inspiring given the circumstances she was under. The way the media portrayed Miss Monroe didn’t tell this side of her. What I thought was most interesting from this article was the quotes from her personal diary. It indicates that she was just a regular girl and not this glamorous star that we all know her to be.

  • Marilyn Monroe truly left a long-lasting legacy, perhaps the most iconic female superstar of the latter half of the 20th century. I enjoyed learning of her career and the creation of this famous persona. Although, I must say the realization that the persona she created to further her career inevitably led to her death. Miss Monroe may have seemed as she owned the world with her looks, charm, and many talents, but she herself was a troubled misunderstood figure battling personal demons.

  • This article is an excellent overview of Marilyn’s life. The story is engaging and gives many great insights into the life of the iconic American sweetheart. I loved that the article documents her early life as Norma Jean. Despite this, the topic is a little too broad and I find myself wishing that you would have delved into more detail of an aspect of her life, such as the toll her stardom took on her mental health. The conclusion of this article is very strong, consolidating all the important information in the article and portraying Monroe’s character.

  • Before reading this article about Marilyn Monroe I had no idea how hard her life was for her. Having to have grown up without her mother due to her psychological issues is hard enough without her having to having to defend herself from so many instances of sexual assault. It is unfortunate that she had to create a new persona for herself in order to forget her past. Even when she got her fame her troubles did not end though. Most people see her as a beautiful woman that probably did not have a care in the world. The reality of her life is very tragic.

  • Very creative title, in a way it directly relates to the instance you quoted Marilyn’s diary, where she describes herself as an “antique wooden mirror”. Having that said, great use of evidence! Directly quoting Marilyn herself is the best kind of proof to be placed in such articles. It is indeed sad to see the harsh reality of such beloved American figure. Nevertheless, I have to disagree with your conclusion. Norma Jean was hiding behind her Hollywood Ego “Marilyn”, rather than it being her true self. So her real name was definitively Norma Jean.

  • I really appreciate this article for all it has. When one thinks of Marilyn Monroe they think of her beauty and how adored she is. But what a lot of people do not know, including me until I read this article, is that she had her struggles. So many people are under the impression that celebrities have a fabulous and perfect life. When in reality, they are people as well and face difficulties. I was never aware that Marilyn’s mother was suffering and was institutionalized. And I was also unaware that Marilyn too faced illness like depression. It is sad to know that she had suffered for so long. I wish the help provided to her would have saved her life, not killed her.

  • After reading this article, I was in complete shock. I knew of Marilyn Moore, but I never knew of her real story. What surprised me the most was the fact that she alway had the dream of being a Hollywood star and when she finally got what she wanted it ended up being a complete nightmare. It’s crazy how someone can want something so badly, but it not being what was expected, in fact, it being the complete opposite. Although Monroe’s story didn’t end well, it’ll always be impressive that she lived the life she did even though she grew up in an unfortunate background. It’s inspiring that no matter what she made it to her ultimate goal of being a Hollywood star. This article was written very beautifully. The insight to her story really had me awestruck.

  • This is a great, well-written article. Very entertaining from the title to the end. Growing up I didn’t know much about Marilyn Monroe, only that she was famous. After reading this article I absolutely admire her and how she achieved so much despite the obstacles she had to endure. This article shows her in a new perspective on how she was more than just a pretty face.

  • Great article for information! I always thought of Monroe gaining her fame through herself , I would have never thought her real name was Norma Mortenson. I was surprised to read that she spent some of her childhood in a foster home. I would have never guessed that her career started in a war work factory let alone her marriage at 16. I do agree that celebrities have self versus self problems that can affect them like Monroes’. This lead a broader understanding of the life of Marylin and why she made certain decisions.

  • To be honest, I’ve never really put any time or interest in famous people, especially from an older age, but reading this was quite enlightening. This article captured my interest right from the start where you quoted Marilyn on the bumblebees. It gave sufficient information about her life and how it started, literally I had no idea that Marilyn wasn’t her birth name. I also didn’t know how she started in general, I did not expect it to have been her working and then being found while on the show. All in all, I quite enjoyed reading this article, thank you.

  • The title of your article is really good. It caught my attention with in the first three words. They way you explain is really easy to read. The article you wrote gave me a good insight into Marilyn’s life, which I didn’t have any information about. With the information in this article; the way Marilyn from nothing rose to being Americas sweetheart. This makes me think of her being a great example of the “American dream” although it did not end well.

  • This article is great! I’ve always had so much interest in Marilyn Monroe. Her story has so much depth and chaos within it and it is so inspiring how she became such a big star. Marilyn has always been one to prove someone wrong and that you can become anything you’ve always dreamed of being. The article does an amazing job at portraying both the good and bad sides of her personal life. Marilyn went through a lot of struggles coming up and this article included writings from her dairy where it giveste reader a different point of view which is hers.

  • This was an interesting article! I have never heard the real life story of Marilyn Monroe. I would’ve never guessed that she was brought up in such rough living conditions let alone foster care. It is very surprising that someone so glamorous had struggled as much as she did in her childhood. It is great to hear that she overcame those incidents of sexual assault, but it is also disheartening to discover that she died due to a drug overdose. Great article!

  • I really enjoyed this article very much. I always wondered how Marilyn Monroe became such a big star. She had so much talent like how she worked in movies and modeled. It is sad to imagine what other great things she would have done or created. After reading this article I can see why she started to make the drugs a clutch for herself. The amount of pressure that she felt to act and be perfect must have been tremendous.

  • Whenever someone mentioned Marilyn Monroe, I always thought she was just a sex icon, fueling the dreams of many men. However, I did not realize that she was just a “small-town girl.” Like many Americans, she had a normal start to life. Without her father, I feel she learned the skills to be able to succeed on her own, and this very much helped her become the icon she is today and will forever be in the entertainment history.

  • Marilyn Monroe lived a life most of us wish to one day obtain. Most people don’t know that her real name is Norma, thinking that she was never able to know her father, her mother was incapable of taking care of her, and her natural hair color is brown and not blonde. She truly knows the meaning of adaptation and change, a Marianist CME, with her rapid rise to stardom with her being a headliner actress in movies such as “Monkey Business” but all we saw was this movie star that tried to forget her past. Society overshadowed the fact that she was dealing with various battles of emotions which caused her to overdose. This story is relevant especially for students today as we can see what is happening on the outside but it is very hard to try and understand what is going on inside someone mentally. Very good article.

  • This article is very informational on Marilyn Monroe’s life or should I say, Norma Jean. It’s interesting to know the other half of the story; not from the media but from actual facts on her life that tell the important details of who she was. I think you do a great job of describing her life as the world sees it and then transitioning to how her life actually was. In the end, it’s sad to face that all of the fame and fortune did nothing but ruin “The All American Girl,” Norma Jean’s life.

  • I see Marilyn Monroe depicted everywhere still to this day! From the television, to art galleries and online. Little did I know there was so much more to her than just the facade most people know. This article was very information and gave me much insight into her personal life, the life away from the cameras. I’ll never look at Miss Monroe the same way again.

  • I have heard my grandparents speak of Marilyn Monroe and they would reflect upon her days as a superstar, but after this article I could really grasp how huge of a celebrity she was throughout the 1950’s-60’s. Her impact on American pop culture was described wonderfully in this article and left me knowledgeable on the humble beginnings of Miss Monroe, as well as her career and unfortunate downfall.

  • I feel like every person has heard of Marilyn Monroe but many may not know the story behind her and her fame. I am one of those people, I have seen pictures of her growing up and heard of her but never knew her actual story. This article did a great job of describing her life and how she came into fame for me. It’s so sad how growing up in an unstable environment Marilyn felt the only way out was fame but once she reached that level it just moved her into a different kind of unstable environment. She was unable to be herself and it pushed her to the point where she felt ending her own life would be better then living as someone she really wasn’t. I learned a lot from this article Nahim, thank you!

  • To begin the title of Nahim Rancharan article catches my immediate attention. The article showcases the most significant events in Monroe’s life. For example, her discovery, rise to fame, the medias fascination, her mental and physical problems, and finally her tragic fall down. Rancharan describes the sad life of a very beautiful and successful actress that was broken by her past and surroundings.

  • This was an extremely interesting read for me as I knew nothing of “Norma Jeans” upbringing. I foolishly assumed that such a role model would have had a privileged childhood, yet after reading this I realise how wrong I was. She battled constant demons in her past and had to deal with mental illnesses also. For this I commend her as maybe if she were to be alive now her illnesses may have been treated better and she would have continued to be a power figure in the modern day world. A well written piece that I would recommend.

  • This article was definitely an enjoyable and educational read for me. Even though I have always been familiar with Marilyn Monroe and her great achievements, I have never had the opportunity to learn about her history and life. The article, to me, was a great eye-opener to the struggles every person, no matter how great or small, endures. My favorite part about the article was how it truly separated Norma Jean Mortenson from the well-known Marilyn Monroe and disclosed the emotional and mental battles she as a normal human being was grappling with.

  • Marilyn Monroe.

    Just last year the dress that she wore as she sang “Happy Birthday” to President John F. Kennedy sold for $4.8 million dollars. An Artist spent around nine years working on a portrait of her. There’s even a documentary about it named: Waiting for Hockney. The artist mentioned misunderstood the Art World he desperately wanted to be a part of. Only time will tell if his ideas about drawing and perception will pan out, but as of now they have not. Perhaps it was Mrs. Monroe’s misunderstanding of Hollywood that was the root cause of some of the problems in her life.

    However, the image she built as an entertainer persists and influences culture even now, 55 years after her passing.

  • Not just a beautifully written article but also an entertaining read. Knowing how one of the most famous American Idols had achieved stardom from going through numerous obstacles is simply inspiring. The fact Marlin Monroe was discovered by chance working in a factory shows how hard she worked from the bottom. Its good for people to see her in a new light instead of just another famous name.

  • This story has changed the way that I look at celebrities. Most of the time i just see people who look down on the lower classes for not having what they have. Not what motivated they to get there or what struggles that they might face because of it. I never knew that Marilyn grew up in a foster home, we tend to believe that who rise to fame had normal childhood and got luckily. But then again we never ask questions on that top. Nor do we ask questions on how their really doing, which has led to tragic deaths, including her, Micheal Jackson, and Robin Williams.

  • Thank you very much for that insightful article on an all too familiar American idol. While familiar, it was taken in a rare perspective. I appreciate the hard work endured to achieve the success of this article. This would interest/help anyone wanting to know more Marilyn, not only as a devoted celebrity but as the gentle person she was.

  • This article is absolutely amazing. I have always admired Marilyn Monroe, her story is truly inspiring considering how she started out. She is a shining example that you can become everything that you dream of no matter where you come from. However there is so much more to her and her story than the glamour that was and is often portrayed. The flip side of her story is quite dark and I think that this article does a great job of addressing both sides. I love the inserts from her diary, it gives us an insight to things that she actually thought. Marilyn Monroe’s story is truly tragic, and gives people an understanding that fame is not everything, and sometimes the price of fame is too high.

  • This is a fantastic article, Nahim! I love Marilyn Monroe and your article was very well written and gave great insight into her life. Thank you!

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