This act of mercy killing is the first of many moments when Clarke is forced to be violent for the good of others. It not only prompts an important change within herself – she loses her idealistic ways – but it prompts a change in the group dynamics. After this moment, Clarke begins to pull away from the co-leadership she and Bellamy had operated in and moves toward becoming the sole leader of the delinquents.
Certainly, teenagers strain against authority and exert their independence. This doesn’t mean they’re immune to other big issues that plague society – issues such as sexism and racism. If the novels being written for this demographic want to call themselves true dystopias based on a futuristic society in which our current way of living led to some global disaster, then the writers of the novels and the film adaptations shouldn’t shy away from some of the biggest issues in current politics and society.
Dystopia, in its futuristic escapism and its contemporary relevance, is an ideal genre for the young adult demographic. By pushing the boundaries of disturbing content and reflecting on youthful idealism, dystopian narratives trust the YA consumer to be both literary in their consumption of the book or film, but also socially and morally insightful in their view of the imagined world they hold.
Check out all of the posts for our Unlikable Women Theme Week here.
In this witty, hilarious, and bittersweet dramedy, Theron plays Mavis Gary, an author of young adult books living in Minneapolis. Mavis’ life is a hot mess. She’s divorced, drinks her life away, and the book series she writes is coming to an end. She was the popular mean girl in high school who escaped to the big city. Mavis returns to her small hometown in Minnesota full of Taco Bells and KFCs intending to reclaim her old glory days and her ex-boyfriend, who’s happily married with a new baby. As she fucks up, she eventually questions what she wants out of life.
Mavis is truly transgressive. Not only is her plan against most people’s moral code, it shows no solidarity for the sisterhood and no respect for the institutions women are most conditioned to aspire to: marriage and motherhood. Mavis alienates feminists and traditionalists alike. Not that she cares–she only wants to appeal to men. And she has done so, seemingly effortlessly, for a long time.
I love that we are having a cultural moment where bestselling books with hotly anticipated film adaptations center on tough, three-dimensional female protagonists, who have kickass, high-stakes fantasy adventures in worlds where gender equality is largely unremarkable. But one can’t help noticing a pattern.
The 2011 Norwegian film, Turn Me On, Dammit! is, in a word, excellent. In the world of about a thousand American Pie films and cliched male teen sex comedies that usually revolve around bathroom jokes and well-endowed foreign exchange students, Turn Me On, Dammit! follows a more female centered theme that is as insightful as […]
This guest review by Molly McCaffrey previously appeared at her blog I Will Not Diet. I’m thrilled that it’s finally Oscar season, and I get to see DOZENS of outstanding movies between now and Sunday, February 26th when I’ll walk the red carpet with The Help‘s Viola Davis and The Ides of March‘s Ryan Gosling […]
Guest Writer Wednesday: A Fine Frenzy: With an Outspoken Anti-Heroine and a Feminist Lens, ‘Young Adult’ Is My Favorite Film of the Year
This guest review by Megan Kearns previously appeared at her blog The Opinioness of the World. We so often see men as wayward fuck-ups. Ben Stiller in Greenberg, Zach Braff in Garden State, Jack Nicholson in As Good As It Gets all fill this role. Selfish asshats who do the wrong thing, lack ambition, […]