Imitation of Life presents an interesting juxtaposition of mimicry. Sarah Jane is an example of Bhabha's concept that mimicry is not a prefect "re-presentation." No matter how much she tries to appear white, something always reveals her true identity. To use Bhabha's term, there is "slippage" between her imitation of whiteness and actually being white.
Lora Meredith also practices mimicry by making a living as an actress. In her case she is praised and rewarded for this skill. The main difference between these two cases of mimicry is that Lora Meredith is not expected to create a perfect "re-presentation," yet Sarah Jane must if she wants to be viewed as a white person. This juxtaposition further speaks to the double standards of race that are explored in the film.
2 years ago