Women have often been looked down upon in past realities and epics, with claims that they are incapable of performing such tasks. Gender inequality has been noted in some myths, where women are only portrayed as men’s helpers. They’re often referred to as “pleasure instruments” in some plays. Gender and masculinity deconstruction in recent years has enabled women to take on positions that were previously reserved for men. The research will look at how women are portrayed in “The Fellowship of the Ring,” “Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone,” and “Star Wars: A New Hope.” The obtained information will be discussed and changes on how women are represented in the modern epics outlined.
Fellowship of the Ring
Women counter the male dominance in societies. The journey that the hobbit makes to the spiritual world is mainly dominated by eight male Fellowship members. In the early times, courage was mainly associated with the male gender. Women were then considered as weak beings that required protection from the male counterparts. Mistakes were still observed with the men especially by the fact that they portrayed too much of war affairs, misuse of power and greed (Bald 78). In the modern perspective, women and men are viewed as people with equal opportunities, capable of doing same things the same way. If anything, some say that what men can do, women can do it better. Modern epics provide equal opportunities for both men and women without considering any gender as being better of another.
Women can play similar gender role as men. Fellowship of the rings mainly perceived women as helpers of men and had different gender roles from that of men. Men would be heroes and women would be considered as affectionate influencers of men towards achieving the heroic traits (Bald 88). The narrative has actually taken keen considerations in ensuring that the gender is well distinguished so that it does not bring a form of confusion in understanding the play. Modern epics, however, have different a perception of the gender roles. Women can now be in the representation of any gender role that was then believed to be played well by men. Women have been seen to become heroes with or without the help of men in certain instances. Modern epics no longer perceive women as merely companions and helpers of men but also give the women opportunities to act out what they are capable and to prove that they can also achieve similar influence in the society. Gender roles are no longer serious issues of concern given that men and any role can be allocated to any gender victim at any instance in life. Masculinity deconstruction has been able to do away with the early conceptual ideology of male and female and gender equality made possible.
The trilogy in the Lord of the Rings entails themes of love friendship, freedom, evil and good. All the themes are indicative of what women have struggled to achieve in the past decades in the process of achieving gender equality. Earlier own women would be seen as witches and evil lots in the community. They were believed to enchant with love to the extent that one would completely lose himself into the wonderland. In the Lord of Fellowship, looking directly into the eyes of the women would make her be able to see all the future occurrences in ones life including the good and evil (Bald 117). Freedom is not completely achieved in gender and masculinity deconstruction when men and women still cannot conform to different duties on plays. Variations occur from one society to another and modern epics have resolved the ideology by offering equal opportunities to both sexes.
Women represent the closest friendship men currently mention. Men are bound by friendship in the trilogy present in the Lord of Fellowship. New friends were formed and old ones maintained with an emphasis on loyalty to one another (Bald 68). Male friends in the context of the narrative represent comradeship with unshakable loyalties to their bonds. They would kill for the brotherhood and keep to the responsibility of covering each others back. To some extent, the narrative reveals that most of them would rather die than betray the bond that was between them and fellow men. The King would then come from the same lineage of loyalty and other men would be able to protect him with all their lives for the same purposes of brotherhood. In the recent and modern epics, the situation has been seen to completely take a turn. Most men can now identify women and preferably their wives as their best friends whom they would do anything for. They offer unshakable trust and commitment to their lovers and provide ultimate protection through vowing to help one another in instances of happiness and suffering.
Women play societal central roles in both men and other womens lives. Frodo and Sam in the Lord of the Rings expose emotional connections that trigger inner thoughts regarding the types of masculinity that is existence in the narrative (Gwynne 80). The affiliation points out that both would suddenly become sad when they missed the compassion of the other. The tradition has always been that men would only demonstrate such feelings towards women. The picture is an uprising scenario but most of the modern epics still conform to the fact that the affection between men and women is always attracting more attention in the movies and books. Women are centrally placed in ensuring that the affection of men is always expressed with the deepest sincerity. Moreover, the women are at the same time mothers and all that they show is the same love that is required by their children. They provide love and care not only to the husbands but also to the children, which places them at the central cornerstone of affection.
Women have leadership opportunities. Eowyn is a female character in The Lords of the Rings who has all the convincing qualities of being grave and tall as the then described men leaders. She is however given a leadership position of ruling the people in the absence of the King simply because there are no men left behind except the old ones and the boys (Gwynne 85). She is not accorded the same honor that men are given the same position in spite of meeting all the qualities that were expected. She was fearless, strong and able to fight as all the rulers were expected. The modern epics are however very different from this perspective. Women are given equal leadership opportunities just like their fellow men. A fair competition is made available based on democracy so that any gender is chosen based on merits and qualities without any favors attached.
Star Wars: A New Hope
Women are better represented in the modern epics. The entire Star Wars: A New Hope has only three women are the rest characters dominated by men. Leila alone is the only female character that has received better recognition and representation in the early trilogy of the film. Mon Mothma and Beru are however barely represented in all the three films (Erlandson 45). Modern epics have realized the gap and channeled audience attention towards realizing the importance of gender representation in films. Men and women equal representation is one of the factors that are currently considered to enhance the attractiveness of the film to the audience. The initial belief was that the Star War audience did not like the female characters. The perception has been altered especially with the fact that a collective approach has been adopted in demonstrating the significance of gender representation in the modern epics.
Women are having better character costumes in the modern epics than earlier. Leila is enslaved with a metallic bikini in the Star Wars. It is a form of humiliation especially when she has to be enslaved with such attires with a perception that it is a form f keeping her sexuality and virginity safe for her master (Erlandson 47). The same scenario depicts the idea that women are sexual instruments and they are meant for the satisfaction of men. Metallic bikini is a typical protection of the women from engaging in sexual activities. Modern epics, however, make issues of sex a personal decision to be made by the women themselves. Women are empowered to make decisions on matters relating to their personal privacy and they can thus choose to do what they decide. Women decide to keep themselves safe for their lovers out of wish and not forcefully made to do so. The modern epics believe that women deserve to handle their private issues on their own just like the men can. Most of the films where women are adequately represented usually give them the authenticity to be their own masters.
Women have more time allocation as characters in the modern epics. Star Wars film has given women the littlest time to feature in films. Padame is presented with the best qualities of negotiation in the film but still she is a primary wife of the Skywalker, Anakin. Still, her presence in the film is bound to her gender as being a five to a male dominating character. Padame dies by after she had given birth to Luke and Leila with the claim that her living will be already lost. This happens when Anakin crossed to the dark side. The film does not recognize the good qualities that Padame has for the audience and instead, her participation is shortened in the film. Modern epics have utilized the weakness that has always been raised by the audience as infringing the women within films. They, therefore, opt to give more time for women with good qualities that are admired in movies just like the men. This does not necessarily mean that the men have to be sacrificed for gender issues. Training of quality presentation to all the actors and actress are equally available to men and women such that skills are what determine the individuals role play.
The latest commercials of Walmarts advertisements of Star Wars points a link that exists between children and their parents and it typically points out the issue of gender and women representation. The ties are yet to be seen in the Force Awakens. At one instance in 1970, a son is given a figurine of Star Wars by his father. The son matures and later offers his daughter the same gift that was given to him by his father decades later. In the next advertisement, a young daughter is asked by her mother why she thinks Leila did not allow Luke and Hun to rescue her when she was dying from Death Stars. The young daughter replies her mother that Leila was already a modern woman who had the knowledge and power that could not make her image be tainted by gender roles and beliefs of other film analysts. The selling corporations did not have the motive of merchandising the concept but merely to engender the perception and notion that Star Wars provides equal representation of women in the modern times.
More women require representation in films. Film analysts have been able to decode some of the complaints that the audience has regarding the Star Wars. Their wish actually is to have many women represented in the movies so that the issue of gender representation is addressed. Some of the many women who are to be available in the future modern epics should at least enjoy the privilege of being the main actors so that the films can avoid the early elimination of women in the movies. The audience has shared their opinions that the good qualities that women have can also be explored and inculcated in various scenes so that the likes of Padame do not get prematurely eliminated.
Harry Potter and the Sorcerers Stone
Modern epics depict women as stronger characters. Harry porter story is mainly dominated by the male who are perceived as being strong, wise and brave and believed to have more powers than women. Those qualities make men more interesting to the audience than women. As such, women are represented as mothers, sisters and even lovers but still the audiences do not demonstrate an equivalent interest in the female characters. The main reason for this is because authors have given the men qualities that make them better and presentable before the audience (Bennett 9). Modern epics have however chosen to reverse the perception such that women and men are both allocated sections of stories that are more interesting to improve both their images. Women have take positions in modern stories and even gotten loved more than some of the men in most trending films. The perspective is adopted by most writers to bridge the gap of equal gender representation in the modern film era.
Modern epics aim to increase intellectual abilities of female representation. Hermione Granger is naturally not physically strong as other boys in the story. Moreover, she is unable to cast spells but still she is depicted as a stronger female character drawing her powers from logic and intellect. The same aspect is yet to be further explored by the modern epics. Women may not cope with the masculine physical strengths that are often required in most movies but they can still, be intellectually made stronger by authors when they are given the capabilities of mental power. Mental power is a form of logistics that enables the women to still demonstrate their capacities that are liked by the audience in films (Bennett 10). The current generation epics actually require the use of the intellectual abilities of actors in demonstrating their strengths. This strategy enables the women to exercise their strengths out. The modern epic offers equal chances for representation of men and women in films.
Harry Potter story also addresses the concern of sexuality amongst the female characters. Cherland explains veelas as creatures and beings that are mainly used to provoke sexual feelings amongst men. She explains that the line provides opportunities for the representation of women though it doesnt actually involve the women. Her comments in this perspective indicate that women are majorly associated with persuasive acts and especially to the sexual angle. The ideology not only shows that women can only use their sexual advantage to in their favors but also illustrates that women are poor thinkers. Modern epics aim to discourage the belief that women can only get things right when they involve their sexuality in the equation (Bennett 11). Level basis requires that men and women are accorded critics that do not necessarily involve feminine and masculine aspects in ensuring that they play their roles effectively. Narrative studies have shown that some of the reasons that make the audience to lose their support for women in the films are when they use their sexual position to further their activities as characters. They often prefer that it is better for women to use their wits and intellectual abilities to plays as better characters in films and narratives.
Male and female genders have equal opportunities. Harry Potter provides equal forums for boys and girls to become wizards and so that they graduate with different powers. Nevertheless, each of them learns to use their powers distinctly and on separate capacities. Despite all the equity that is assured at the earlier onset and learning progress, men still emerged to be the best in their role plays (Ivind 35). In this context, the concept of a wizard is proved to be a quality that can effectively be played by all the genders. Most of the plays and films have associated women with witchcraft and evil in most cases. The approach is taken by Harry Porter to show that men can also become worst of the witches in life. The modern epics have also realized the association of women with most evil deed is the main reason why audiences express their representation in the films and stories. When authors exchange the known gender roles, some of the dislikes that are attributing with the gender role are often diffused.
Modern epics delink women with traditional gender roles. The Story of Harry Potter and the sorcerer associate mothers with most of the domestic roles in families. This is a demonstration that only the women should be responsible for all that goes on in families. Modern epics look forward to altering the perception by alternating some of the duties that both men and women play at homes. Women can still be in positions where they both play domestic duties but still attend to their other roles in the films effectively (Ivind 45). The attractiveness of women is made possible when men and women are in a position to have their domestic chores inculcated in their normal play roles. Readers have shown that abilities to articulate domestic roles as parts of the narratives have shown to better the opportunities of female representation in the films. Many women will thus have the opportunity of representation when they take part in domestic role play.
Modern epics also aim at ensuring that women are accorded adequate training and education so that they can effectively perform the roles the way the authors intend. During auditions for actors, the role plays are allocated based on the performance and acting skills that each actor is required to emulate. The action can be made simpler when the women are completely directed on what is expected of them and how best the characters should come. There are sections where the feminine characters are best required so that the typical the typical concept is revealed. Gay sexes are required to emulate the very positions to ensure that women are not given leeway in such areas. With competition, the women are able to better their feminine skills so that they become better actors. Mistakes are the only ways that women can realize their faults and adjust their performance.
In conclusion, representation of women n the narratives and films are often observed to be subjected to many questions and disparities. Most of the films usually exploit the female sexuality as the only audience attractive sections of the films. Their perception is, however, different from what most of the readers report. They feel that women are not adequately represented in the films and stories as men are. The modern epics have realized the gap and tried to better the representation of women so that the ratio is at least relative. The duration of character in narratives and films also matters in improving women representation.
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Erlandson, Karen Thea. “Teaching intercultural awareness with Star Wars: A new hope.” Communication Teacher 26.1 (2012): 17-21.
Gwynne, Owain. “Fan-made time: The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit.” Fan CULTure: Essays on Participatory Fandom in the 21st Century (2014): 76-91.
Ivind, Elin. Diversity is Magical: Teaching representation through fantasy literature in the intercultural classroom. (2017).
Shippey, Tom. The road to Middle-earth: Revised and expanded edition. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2014.
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