(Continued from the paper provided by the client)
Late eighties was a decade of immense transformations. This chunk of the time was a period during which the roles and perception of women in the mainstream society went through sheer changes (Buckland 178). The same mainstream thought of the society is reflected in the role of the princess depicted in Walt Disney’s animated musical fantasy film, “The Little Mermaid”. The character of the princess in the aforesaid fantasy film was played by Ariel, who is a young sixteen years old mermaid. Dissatisfied with her life in the water, she became much curious and interested in the life outside the water. Ignoring the instruction from his father, King Triton, she never skipped the chance to discover the life outside the ocean. This act of breaking the norm was portrayed well in these encounters. Before this era, women were merely considered as an object that can easily be dictated by men. The women were restricted to live the life as per the rules set by men in the society. She was not allowed to break the norms and cultural boundaries created by men. The way the princess endeavored to do what she liked clearly portrays an interesting shift that happened during the same time in the society. It was the first major step towards women empowerment.
During one of her usual exciting visits, she saw the birthday celebrations for Prince Eric. As she saw the prince, she fell in love with him and begun to wonder about his beautiful life. During that celebration time, a lethal storm broke the ship and Ariel saves the prince from drowning. After this experience, the princess was enticed to become human being and live with that prince. With this ultimate wish to be with the prince, she approached Ursula, the sea witch, to become a human being and meet Prince Eric. This scenario favored the negative desires of Ursula, and she agreed to her with the thought of exploiting the princess for her own benefit. She accepted the wish of the princess and trapped her by asking the princess to give her voice to Ursula. She agreed and the witch later used her dirty tricks and trapped Prince Eric and King Triton. Observing the entire scenario and the strategies Ursula has played in her own benefit, Ariel represented her strong attitude and confronted her to take back the kingdom of her father. The entire scenario represents how the role of princess has shifted from the Snow White era, where the princess was represented a character of helpless and weak women. In the past, Princess were shown as if they are ready to accept all what has been imposed on her, and she will always require someone to help her to life a liberal life.
Beauty and the Beast
The role of princess played by Belle was further strengthened in the animated romantic musical fantasy film, Beauty and the Beast. The role played by women in this fantasy film represents a more assertive character than the one represented by Ariel in “The Little Mermaid”. During the time when this film was released, there was an increasing women influx in the job market. The increased women influx also increased sexual harassment of women at the workplace (Collins 224). Working women phenomenon was becoming a major reality, which was suppressed through various means and sexual harassment was one of them. A number of women during that time sued their organizations, and one of such major case was between Meritor Saving Bank and Vinson. This incident became a major force to break the status pro at the workplace as it created a major law that entitled sexual harassment as kind of illegal job discrimination.
Women of the late eighties and early nineties were more assertive about their rights and their demands to be treated equally. The character played by Belle represented the same assertiveness. She was unsatisfied with the way she was dictated by her father and Gaston, who loved her. Belle’s father, Maurice, while traveling to a fair was stuck in woods and lost his way. In the way be was captured by a beast looking prince. The prince was transformed from a good looking man to a beast as an enchantress cursed him due to his arrogant and selfish character. The cursed could be broken only if the prince learns to render his true love for someone and she must reciprocate the same to him. When Maurice was captured by the beast, Belle arrives in his palace, and requests the beast to set his father free and asked he could capture herself instead of him. This scenario represents a brave attitude depicted by the woman. As she lives few days with the beast, she develops a kind of a mutual bonding. This bonding and the attitude of Belle changed the way the beast acted and behaved. This attitude represents the power of women’s love that can solve gigantic problems with some very little acts.
The way Belle saves the life of her father and the way she changes the character of the breast clearly represented that women has great ability to solve fierce problems. This shows the true worth of women and the open-mindedness of Belle. This character reciprocates the same picture portrayed by the women in the mainstream society during that chunk of time (Fisanick 334).
Mulan was very strong and brave character played by a Chinese woman. The time depicted in the story represents a period during which Hun Ruler tried to invade Han China. All of the families were given conscription notice to send one person from the family for war. The father of Hua Mulan was much older and was not able to fight another war. Faced with this thought, Hua Mulan took a very brave challenge and disguised herself as a man and went to the war. Slowly and gradually, she successfully completed her training. During one of their usual days, the army of Hun ambushed that started a fierce battle. The brave and strong Hua Mulan displayed her excellent skills on the battleground that created an avalanche of rockets, which destroyed the Hun Army. During the fight, it was discovered by the army that Hua Mulan was actually a female. The battle commander ignored this act and did not Mulan punish her because of her amazing bravery on battleground, but he expelled her from the army. During their way back to their Imperial City, Hua Mulan discovered the Hun Army was not completely destroyed, and they were approaching the city to invade the kingdom. Hua Mulan did not ceased to show her bravery in this second encounter as well and fought with Hun ruler. Finally, she and her army personnel succeeded in saving their homeland.
The role represented by Hua Mulan is an excellent portrayal of the notion that woman have their great value in battlefields as well. This role shows how even digital films have to keep up to the pace of the society (Radner 220). This story is a representation of the fact that western women are now comparatively far more independent than past.
The digital fantasy film, Brave and its character played by young Princess, Merida portray the women’s right of taking the decision of her own life. Although previously women were given numerous choices to make about the things around herself, but the major decision of her life were decided by her family. These pivotal decisions may include marriages, education and more. Although, an average American has the liberty to make independent decisions about their lives, but during the last few decades, there has been great influx of people from developing parts of the world that still follows the conventional approach. Myriad South Asian, Chinese, and African families follows the same traditional practice of keeping the decision about the major decision of their children’s life with themselves (Fabiszak 189). Most of the women have been successful in breaking the status pro like the character of the young princess in the fantasy film, Brave.
Merida, the young princess was living a very joyful life until the time when her parents asked her to marry a prince from an allied clan. She had a thought in her mind that since it was the major decision of her life then she should have the liberty to agree or disagree. She tried to elucidate her views to her mother, who disagreed to her and convinced her to marry. On hearing this news about the marriage of the young princess, few royal families approached them with their first sons and presented the marriage proposal. All of the interested clans gathered with their sons to compete in a Highland Games, and it was decided the winner of the games can marry Merida. To their surprise, Merida twisted the situation and informed that as she is also the first child of their parents, she should also be given chance to compete. Merida finally succeeded in winning against all the men in the archery, which was a matter of shame to other clans. This attitude represents the wish and the ability of the women to do what she wants. Not only she successful convinced the clans that all the women should be given the liberty to merry the man they wish to marry, but also saved her mother from becoming a bear.
The character of Merida shows the women of the 21st century are able to speak for their own rights, and they are able to make choices they desire to make. It also depicts that no matter what sort of situation one have, if the women shows their persistence and positive attitude, they can break the status quo and transform things according to their own positive wishes.
In 2013, a major ruling was passed in United States that lifted the ban on women for serving in combat roles. Even Joint Chief of Staff Chairman, General Martin Dempsey said that now a time has reached where they can remove all the unnecessary gender-based laws in service. From an innocent and rosebud women, the western women has now equal role in even in the Army, as well. The same mainstream notion has been reflected well by the character, Princess Anna in the Computer Animated 3D Fantasy Comedy movie, Frozen.
Frozen is a film about two sisters, Anna and Elsa. Elsa has an amazing bionic power to create snow and ice. This magical power has proved to be adverse for her as she does not know how to control it. After their parents died, Anna decided to marry Prince Hans, which according to Elsa was too early for her. Since Anna failed to agree with her, Elsa flees the kingdom with unleashing an unintentional winter on the kingdom. Subsequently, Anna endeavored to bring Elsa back, remove the winter from the kingdom, and let Elsa know how to control her powers. The heroic role played by the pivotal character of the film represents that how the princess of the past has transformed to the most pivotal and the bravest roles in the fairytales. This shift from passiveness to assertiveness in the society is also adopted by the fairytales to be relevant in the current globalized world (Ross 213).
Books, stories, movies, and dramas are the reflection of the society. The way the role of princess has changed from passive young women, who is dictated by others to great level of independence are the reflection of changing roles of Western Women in the society. From the period, when the princess was perceived as an obedient women like Rose White, the role of women has evolved into much empowered characters like Mulan and Anna. This transformation in the characterization is the reflection of the changing roles of women in the mainstream part of the society. The women in early and mid chunk of the twentieth century were more dependable on males and all her decisions were dictated upon her. In the later part of the twentieth century, women started to challenge the status quo and got a far better position in the society. The role of princess portrayed in the Disney Characters not only represents the leading roles of women in western society, but it also inclines women to further enrich their positive roles in the society. The character of Princess in the media will continue to evolve based on the changing roles of women in the society. This notion elucidates the fact that movies and its characters are the reflections of the society.
Buckland, Warren. Film theory and contemporary Hollywood movies. New York: Routledge, 2009. Print.
This book gives insights about the contemporary movies in the context of the film theory. It also explains how the characterization of roles has drastically transformed. This book evaluates a number of movies based on the laws set up by the film theory, and it analyzes if such laws are relevant in the contemporary movies or not.
Collins, Gail. America's women: four hundred years of dolls, drudges, helpmates, and heroines. New York: William Morrow, 2003. Print.
This book explains the history of women in the last four hundred years and shows what women feel about marriage, sex, and work. It also represents the changing roles of women in the mainstream media.
Fabiszak, Jacek. Crossroads in literature and culture. Berlin: Springer, 2013. Print.
This book is about breaking the status quo in culture and literature. It also highlights the major characterization in the media that share the same thought of breaking the norms of society
Fisanick, Christina. Feminism. Detroit: Greenhaven Press, 2008. Print.
The book expounds the historical movements that endeavored to enhance women rights. It discusses the how the media platforms create stereotypes for women and how the same mediums can help break the developed stereotypes related to women’s role.
Osborne, Susan. Feminism. Harpenden, Herts: Pocket Essentials, 2001. Print.
The book mentions the movements and endeavors that transformed the women role in the society. It also discusses how the women role in the mainstream media has gradually transformed and evolved due to the changing conditions of women in the world.
Radner, Hilary. Feminism at the movies: understanding gender in contemporary popular cinema. Oxon: Routledge, 2011. Print.
This is written with the specific thought on movies, and what roles gender play in the characterization and how the mainstream media effect the characterization.
Ross, Karen. Gendered media: women, men, and identity politics. Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, 2013. Print.
This book elucidates the notion that gender plays an important part in media and how it is being run. The gender politics is not just limited to the business of media, but this phenomenon also effects the the content and characters that are part of a creative output.