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Girl Warriors: Feminist Revisions of the Hero's Quest in Contemporary Popular Culture

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Quest narratives are as old as Western culture. In stories like The Odyssey, The Lord of the Rings, Star Wars and Harry Potter, men set out on journeys, fight battles and become heroes. Women traditionally feature in such stories as damsels in need of rescue or as the prizes at the end of heroic quests. These narratives perpetuate predominant gender roles by casting men as Quest narratives are as old as Western culture. In stories like The Odyssey, The Lord of the Rings, Star Wars and Harry Potter, men set out on journeys, fight battles and become heroes. Women traditionally feature in such stories as damsels in need of rescue or as the prizes at the end of heroic quests. These narratives perpetuate predominant gender roles by casting men as active and women as passive. Focusing on stories in which popular teenage heroines--Buffy Summers, Katniss Everdeen and Disney's Princess Merida--embark on daring journeys, this book explores what happens when traditional gender roles and narrative patterns are subverted. The author examines representations of these characters across various media--film, television, novels, posters, merchandise, fan fiction and fan art, and online memes--that model concepts of heroism and girlhood inspired by feminist ideas.


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Quest narratives are as old as Western culture. In stories like The Odyssey, The Lord of the Rings, Star Wars and Harry Potter, men set out on journeys, fight battles and become heroes. Women traditionally feature in such stories as damsels in need of rescue or as the prizes at the end of heroic quests. These narratives perpetuate predominant gender roles by casting men as Quest narratives are as old as Western culture. In stories like The Odyssey, The Lord of the Rings, Star Wars and Harry Potter, men set out on journeys, fight battles and become heroes. Women traditionally feature in such stories as damsels in need of rescue or as the prizes at the end of heroic quests. These narratives perpetuate predominant gender roles by casting men as active and women as passive. Focusing on stories in which popular teenage heroines--Buffy Summers, Katniss Everdeen and Disney's Princess Merida--embark on daring journeys, this book explores what happens when traditional gender roles and narrative patterns are subverted. The author examines representations of these characters across various media--film, television, novels, posters, merchandise, fan fiction and fan art, and online memes--that model concepts of heroism and girlhood inspired by feminist ideas.

12 review for Girl Warriors: Feminist Revisions of the Hero's Quest in Contemporary Popular Culture

  1. 5 out of 5

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