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The Iron Lady': The Crucial Role of Margaret Thatcher

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The events in the movie, “The Iron Lady” revolves around the first female prime minister, Margaret Thatcher. The movie starts off with Margaret Thatcher buying milk in the grocery store like an ordinary grandma in the town. However, when she comes back home, the securities and servants that look after her worries about her leaving the house since she used to be the prime minister. Margaret still has breakfast with her husband and turns out he is just a hallucination because he died years ago. She has to get over her husband and get rid of his belongings, and while she tries to do that she all the memories come back to her. Her story starts with when Margaret receives a letter from the infamous college, Oxford about her acceptance to the school. Her dad owned a grocery store and also was a mayor of the town, so she was strongly influenced by his conservative ideas that all the workers in Britain should strongly unite and work as hard as they can to make Britain prosper. After graduation, she became interested in politics and tries to be elected into parliament but fails at first try. Dennis Thatcher, proposes to Margaret and says that their marriage will help Margaret get a place in the parliament. She becomes elected, and is one of the only women part of the parliament. Britains is having a post war decline and the economy is crashing down, since many workers go on strike to get an increase in their income. The conservative party is getting the blame for the fall of the country, and the trade union continues to argue with them. Eventually, the prime minister is kicked out and Marget Thatcher decides to run for the position, and gets training. She eventually wins and becomes the first female prime minister, but is faced with conflicts right away. She chooses to take down the trade union and make sure that only the efficient job fields are open. She gets many opposition from people and loses their loyalty but after winning the war in Falkland Islands against the Argentinean pirates that invaded the British colony, she starts getting the respect and love. Also, the businesses in Great Britain starts making profits and the economy improves drastically. However, her decision to make every citizen in Great Britain to pay the same amount of tax causes many violent protests, and even an explosion in the hotel she was staying in. The conservative party decides to betray her and elect a new prime minister, so she decides to resign instead of running again. After this, she comes back to present life and packs all the belongings of her husband, and the hallucination goes away.

The protagonist of the story is Margaret Thatcher, since the movie is talking about her life and how she played a crucial role in improving Great Britain’s economy and ending the cold war. And since Margaret is the only main character of the story and shows her relationships with other people, and that makes her the protagonist. The antagonist of the story are the men who patronize Margaret Thatcher. They are the antagonists since they oppose what she says and doubts she can do anything successful just because she is a woman. In one of the scenes in the movie, Margaret, as the secretary of the education department, talks to the trade union about how they are responsible for the school not being able to function. The men laugh at Margaret about how the lady screeches too much, and talks down at her. Men, in protest to Margaret’s tax laws, making posters and shouts to her that she should stay home and take care of her children as a mother.

Even though the movie is mostly about the past memories of Margaret Thatcher’s journey as the first woman prime minister, the main conflict in the present is Margaret trying to get over her husband, and stop seeing hallucinations of him. Margaret received a lot of help and support from her husband when she was first starting to get involved in politics. When her husband dies unexpectedly so soon, Margaret is not ready to let him go. Therefore she thinks that he is still here and keeps talking to the hallucination. When Margaret finally realizes that she cannot keep on living like this paranoid, old woman, she decides to step up and pack all of her husband’s things and throws them away. This is the final moment when her husband finally leaves Margaret’s side. The conflict evident in her past memories, however, are about fighting against the prejudice of men against women in politics. She wants to make a change in the country and was not afraid to be special. Her courage and bravery is what makes her great.

The first of the two events that accurately reflect what actually happened is when Margaret decides to run as the Prime Minister of Great Britain. During her time, it was surprising and important in history to have a woman be a leader of a government since men were dominating all the positions in the parliament. Also, the portrayal of Margaret Thatcher during her discussion with United States about the war with Argentina is accurate. She was the type of person that was always ready and believed in herself and was confident with one’s opinions. She was like a tomboy that did not hesitate to say something, and didn’t fear gaining hatred since in the end, she will be thanked for generations. The first event of the two that do not accurately reflect what actually happened is when she walks into the House of Commons and it can be seen that she is the only woman in a blue dress among the men with black suits. This is exaggerated since there were other women in the House of Commons other than Margaret, but I think that the movie is trying to show how Margaret felt since she had to compete among the men that patronized her, and there weren’t as many women as there are now that participated in politics. The portrayal of Geoffrey Howe is wrong in the movie. He was the foreign secretary for Margaret Thatcher, and he played a key role in bringing the Soviet Union down, but in the movie, he is depicted as weak and sloppy, and as if Margaret is doing all the work by herself.

A social factor played an important role in the film. Even though women had the same rights as men by law, the parliament in Great Britain was still dominated by men and Margaret Thatcher was looked down upon at first just because of her gender. However, through her hard work and achievements, she gains the respect she deserves, but men still patronize her throughout the movie. Secondly, the political factor plays an important role in the film too. The conservatives in the House of Commons argue with the trade union on the subject of unemployment and drop of the country’s economy. Margaret, when she becomes the prime minister, pursues her conservative beliefs that were largely influenced by her father, and makes sure people start working and contributing to the country instead of going on strikes.

The film improves the viewer’s understanding of historical events because people can finally understand the struggle Margaret Thatcher had to go through and how hard she worked to fight the patronizing men to achieve something great for her country. Before the movie, people might only know her as the first female prime minister of Great Britain. But after the movie, people can learn what Margaret achieved for Great Britain, such as the improvement of the country’s economy after the post war decline. She improved Great Britain that was in chaos and many unemployment was happening. Overall, she played a crucial role in bringing back Great Britain back to life and ending the civil war by bringing the Soviet Union down. 

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The Iron Lady’: The Crucial Role of Margaret Thatcher. (2022, May 24). GradesFixer. Retrieved January 31, 2023, from
“The Iron Lady’: The Crucial Role of Margaret Thatcher.” GradesFixer, 24 May 2022,
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