Women in Literature/Film I admire

Another post before the end of this week. I got inspired to do this post called “Like a Girl.” My friend, Aisling wrote about this in her blog, you should check her out, thisdreamsalive. In recent years, we are seeing more and more strong female characters in novels/films. However, I will always remember the women who inspired me when I was young when being strong or more courageous was too much for a female lead. When the only role a woman played in films and novels was to be the damsel who needed a man to save her. These women from literature and film inspired me and still inspire me to this day to be yourself and not to follow the status quo.

Hermione Granger – Harry Potter series

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Hermione Granger from Harry Potter is the first on this list because she is one of the first female heroines who I looked up to at a young age. I was a very good student, loved to learn and loved to write. I got bullied for being very good at school and reading a lot. Harry Potter was the first book series I got into and I related to Hermione as a character. She evolved from the bossy 11 year old into a strong, smart, independent woman. She never dumbed herself down to make anyone like her. She remained true to herself and her strongest attribute was her loyalty to her friends. Her strength and intelligence kept Harry and Ron alive throughout the series. Hermione was my first hero from a book series and Emma Watson did an amazing job at bringing this role model to life in the films.

 

Katniss Everdeen – The Hunger Games

 

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I have heard a lot of split opinions surrounding Katniss Everdeen as a character. Even though, she is considered one of the best female protagonist from a film and book, people still give her a lot of hate. In my opinion, Katniss was the strong, female protagonist we needed. Due to the society she was brought up in, she was an angry character but she was also intelligent. She knew when was the right time to say something. If it wasn’t for her quick thinking in The Hunger Games with the berries, she and Peeta would be dead. She became an unlikely leader due to her lack of care in the politics of her society but her strength in words and action led to the revolution. A character like her are very few and far between in the medium of film and literature. Suzanne Collins did a brilliant job of constructing this character in her novels and Jennifer Lawrence did a fantastic job of bringing her to life on the big screen.

 

Elizabeth Swann – Pirates of the Caribbean films

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I grew up watching Pirates of the Caribbean and I forgot how much of a badass Elizabeth Swann was in those films. I wasn’t a big fan of her in The Curse of the Black Pearl due to her being the typical damsel in distress character, who had to be rescued by Will and Jack. However, the end of the first film showed a glimpse of her breaking away from her bourgeois life and into piracy and I ate that up. I loved her in Dead Man’s Chest when she picked up her sword and pistol and took part in the adventure. I remember people I knew saying that they didn’t like the way she looked in Dead Man’s Chest because she looked too manly etc. I loved the way she took control of her own destiny, dropped the norms of her time such as not wearing a corset and staying at home, finding a husband. Moreover, she excelled in the pirates life when she was proclaimed Pirate King in At World’s End, the first one in many years. She showed to viewers that women can be badasses too. A woman can pick up a sword and lead an army of men into battle. Still consider her to be an amazing role model and she needs more appreciation.

 

 

Esmeralda – Hunchback of Notre Dame

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Esmeralda was one of my favourite characters in a Disney movie and she is very underappreciated. She is a strong, feisty young woman who stood up to Frollo to defend Quasimodo when no one else would. Her main cause was to fight justice for her people who had been marginalized by Frollo and those under his command. She was declared a witch by Frollo for her beliefs and his perverted lust for her (Hellfire is still one of the best Disney villain songs of all time, in my opinion). Even when her life was on the line, Esmeralda refused to give into Frollo. She would risk her own life for the cause she fought for and had respect for herself as a woman not to give into the evil doings of this disgusting man to save herself. Moreover, she accepted Quasimodo for who he is, not by the way he looked. Why doesn’t this woman get more attention by the public? She is a brilliant role model for young girls. Give her more love.

 

 

Veronica – Heathers

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If you are new to my blog, you may not have heard me talk about Heathers. It’s a great movie, go check it out. I posted a couple of poems on my blog that are based off this movie as well. Veronica is a great role model for young girls because of her ability to overcome the craziness that’s happening in her life. She gets herself into a situation with a sociopathic boy named J.D and feels trapped the dark situation she is in. J.D becomes the extreme version of an abusive boyfriend and Veronica escapes his manipulative grasps. She proves time and time again, she is capable of facing any danger. Moreover, she argues with her friends, the Heathers all the time about their extreme bullying and fights with Heather Chandler quite a lot in the film because of it. She accepts all walks of life in her school whereas her friends and even her boyfriend, J.D ignore all and attempt to destroy everyone.

 

Belle – Beauty and the Beast

My original heroine. If I had to pick which Disney princess I relate to or who I am most like, it is Belle from Beauty and the Beast. I love this character so much for many different reasons. One is that she reads a lot which her town considers to be odd. The fact a woman could read a book and seem intelligent was so dangerous to them which shows how progressive of a character Belle was. Moreover, her attitude towards Beast throughout the film shows she was not just going to lay down and let him treat her horribly. As for the question of her love for Beast being a product of Stockholm Syndrome, I consider that to be so ridiculous. Belle never feels like a victim in the Beasts house. She is allowed go wherever she pleases and she argues with Beast all of the time. Also Emma Watson said something in an interview that was very interesting. Belle and beasts love or relationship could only begin after the moment he lets her go. She was still a captive in his domain so how could she love someone who wouldn’t let her be free? So when he lets her go to be with her father, that’s the moment when she truly fell in love with Beast. I love their relationship because it took time for them to fall in love. It wasn’t love at first sight and she saw the beauty inside his monstrosity. And when Emma Watson portrayed Belle in the live action version, I thought it was a perfect match. She brought so much to Belle for a new generation  and I am happy that Belle will get to inspire more young women growing up.

Hope you enjoyed this post. Let me know if you have any other women you admired in films or literature that I didn’t mention in the comments. Talk to you next time x

 

 

A Clockwork Orange: Review

Recently, I had to read this novel for a college course: Post-War British Literature. It is a shame I haven’t read this before. It is such a classic book and film that I am surprised I have never read or seen it before. I have seen it now and Id like to share my thoughts about the book and film.

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Everyone has heard of A Clockwork Orange, whether you have read it or not. It is on all the lists of books you need to read before you die. The same can be said for the film by Stanley Kubrick. Before the British Literature course, I heard of A Clockwork Orange, but I never knew what it was about. The story was a mystery to me and to hear that it had controversy around it, I was interested in delving into it and understand why. After reading it, I understand why this was such a controversial story.

The story of A Clockwork Orange is about a dystopian world of Britain where youth can run rampant and commit a bit of “ultra-violence” every night. The story follows the protagonist, fifteen year old, Alex on his adventures with his “droogs” (friends) and committing a bit of the “shop-crasting” (robbing) and a bit of a violent “in-and-out” (raping). Eventually, Alex’s violent antics get him caught and sent to jail. In order to leave jail early, Alex agrees to take part in “The Ludovico Technique,” which is an aversion therapy that psychologically affects Alex when we witnesses or experiences violence. Alex is released from jail, prone to violent illness when he has thoughts of the violence he was akin to at the beginning of the novel. After he was released, everything went against him. His parents threw him out, he was beaten with an inch of his life from the police and became a toy within a bigger political agenda.

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My thoughts? Well, I thoroughly enjoyed it, as it was an engaging story. I liked following in the footsteps of a unique villain such as Alex. Anthony Burgess did a brilliant job of conveying the hopelessness within Alex’s world through the treatment of authority in the novel. He created a convincing dystopian world with an interesting main character. However, I did have a few problems with it.

 

First, the language of the novel.

Anthony Burgess created a new language for Alexand his droogs to speak in A Clockowork Orange which was called Nadsat. It is a Russian-influence English that is only spoken by the teenagers in Burgess’s novel. Burgess was a linguist and decided when writing the novel, to create his own language so it wouldn’t be outdated by the time the novel was published. Personally, I liked the language. When I listened to the audiobook version of A Clockwork Orange, I liked the sound of the Nadsat language such as “devotchka” (young woman), “gulliver” (head) and “moloko” (milk). There are many more examples within the novel and it represents the voice of Alex in the novel. However, I did find it difficult to translate when I first started reading it. I had to have a wiki in front of me so I could look up the meaning behind each word. It was difficult at first, but I adapted to it quite quickly and began to love it. The language makes what the novel, A Clockwork Orange, what it is. It represents the youth of this novel and it gives a perfect insight into Alex’s character. But I can understand why Stanley Kubrick’s film left out most of the Nadsat language.

Second, the violence.

Now, compared to the film, the violence in the book was necessary to portray the world Alex lived in and showcase how much of a callous person Alex was. However, I didn’t like the violent scenes within the book. There is a lot of rape and beatings in the novel that are quite graphic. They serve a purpose to the story, but I still didn’t appreciate some of the scenes within the novel.

Overall, A Clockwork Orange was an interesting read. My favourite part of reading this novel was to exploration of Alex as the protagonist. Throughout the novel, Alex commits deplorable acts of violence and doesn’t feel any empathy towards the people he hurts. There is a divided opinion on whether people feel sorry for Alex in the second half of the book where he gets punished for his misdeeds. Do you think he deserved and you didn’t feel sorry for him or do you think that the punishments put on him were too much?

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Personally, I didn’t feel sorry for Alex throughout the second half of the book. I felt that he deserved everything that came to him. However, I did feel sorry for him during two instances. One was when he couldn’t sleep because of the affects of the Ludivocko treatment and when his parents threw him out. Even though he is a terrible human being, he was still a teenager and in the end, he needed his parents in that moment when he got out of jail. I don’t condone his character and I believe he deserved all the misfortune he got. However, Burgess does a great job at portraying this character is a despicable way and in the end, provide him with a hopeful ending.

A Clockwork Orange was a great read and got me thinking of my FYP. The thought of criminals and heroes in literature strike me in this novel and I am currently writing an essay about this novel in relation to the representation of heroes. Unfortunately, I don’t have a clear answer to this question, especially in relation to Alex in A Clockwork Orange. It is an interesting concept though and I feel A Clockwork Orange would make an interesting case study. If you are interested in looking into this story, give it a read or watch the Stanley Kubrick’s film.  Personally, I prefer the book.

 

The Anomaly

New poem updated 🙂 Enjoy

You caused no major disruptions,

Kept to yourself.

Until you started to open up,

Let the demons haunting you out,

Trusting others with your thoughts

And undefined emotions.

You were a strange creature,

I felt you were misunderstood!

Unique!

You called yourself an “anomaly”.

That’s one way of putting it.

You were invisible in people’s sights,

But once we saw you, you became

Monstrous!!

Your unique gazes turned manic

It led to your desire for payback!

I bit back with a vengeance,

But I could barely form a sentence!

I froze and lost the battle

Against a modern day Hitler!

I was left with the memories

Of our interactions,

Of the moments of clarity,

Of purity.

And knowing that they were the lies

That led to my breakdown.

Godly Love

This poem is based off the 1988 movie, Heathers which stars Winona Ryder and Christian Slater. This poem is based off the character of J.D in the movie. After watching the movie with a few friends, we discussed about J.D containing the traits of a sociopath such as no true affection towards another human being, no remorse for the pain he has caused etc. Discussing this topic birthed the idea for this poem. Could I write in the point of view of this character that is really different to me? It was fun to write. A great challenge. Hope yee enjoy it and I recommend Heathers as a movie yee should watch.

With the turn of my words,

You were mesmerised!

With the twist of a blade,

You were mine!

With the manic of my stares,

You were inconsolable.

The thoughts of change crossing your mind,

Shattered in your eyes.

You hoped for a resolution,

An end that would lead to our beginning.

I could never change,

That was your mistake.

With a puff of smoke,

And the freedom in your eyes,

My resolution came.

I finally became yours.

Forever.