Jill Lepore’s Secret History of Wonder Woman is a lengthy but catching tale that any reader would like to capture. Wonder Woman is an Amazonian superhero who advocates for women’s rights, with a secret agenda of gaining access to free sex, birth control, and not limited to the importance of sexual slavery in uniting lovers. As the author explains in the book, Wonder Woman’s story revolved around “a family secret hidden in a closet” (Lepore 181). The assertion was that the crew of people who contributed to the creation and inspiration of her were single-minded to do so. It is worth noting that “The Secret History of Wonder Woman” is not just a comic book where the protagonist appeared and that in every episode, Wonder Woman is manacled, fettered, tied, lassoed, gagged, bound, and chained. She is kept hostage in an electric cage and winched into her straightjacket, right from her head to her toe. This alone tells Lapore’s readers the extent to which the central character in this book longed to see her freedom. The entire description of this bondage is captured in the excerpt, where the main character comes out to speak her voice that, “Great girdle of Aphrodite! … She cries… Am I tired of being tied up! ” (Lepore 197).
Marston starts receiving letters from readers, trying to inquire if he could assist them with finding the gear in his stories. Every reader would get to the literal meaning of his statement when he says, “the leather mask, or the wide iron collar from Tibet, or the Greek ankle manacle? Or do you just ‘dream up’ these things?” (Lepore 271). In the book, the author tells the history of Marston explicitly to the readers. The readers also get to understand the chronology of how several crisp feminist thoughts came to being into the comics of Wonder Woman. In as much as some critics would argue that the book is complicated to understand, I take a different stand. The writer tries to simplify the story to fit the context of her narration though she leaves her audience with a sense that there are some pieces missing in this intellectual jigsaw puzzle. It would be probably a tough decision for some people to make since the author leaves them with this uncomfortably torn feeling. From a personal perspective, it would be imperative to read the strips of Marston’s Wonder Woman not only as a feminist manifesto but also as the solutions by issues by a troubled person. The book makes every critic and every reader to cheer inwardly.
The author of “The Secret History of a Wonder Woman” teases out the back-story of the Wonder Woman and outlines to the readers the contribution of Marston to the past literatures. She writes, “She was an Amazon from an island of women who had lived apart from men since the time of ancient Greece” (Lepore 214). This gives a broader explanation of why the book should be considered as a quest for feminist freedom. As a book advocating for liberation, the authors adds that “She came to the United States to fight for peace, justice and women’s rights.” of course, it is worth summing up that Lepore’s book remains a relevant text that does not only delve in history, but the feminist rights.
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Lepore, Jill. The Secret History of Wonder Woman. , 2015. Print.
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