Stephen Koch writes the following about Lucie Manette, the ideal woman in Tale of Two Cities: “She is a flawless paragon of sweetness and love, and the way we know it is true sweetness, true love, is that both are defined by the absolute absence of any conflicting impulse whatsoever. In two plain words, she […]
Read More Are “Good Guys” Boring?
I ran into the following quote in the probably-well-intentioned-but-extremely-problematic book What the Bible Says about Child Training: It is interesting that even with all of the women’s liberation and “politically correct” attack against traditional male and female roles, and although the majority of the boys in this survey expected their wives to work, they still […]
Read More Captain Marvel, Disney Princesses, and Idolatry of the Past
My Brit Lit class and I had a GREAT discussion on Pride and Prejudice today, and I mean great. Among the questions we discussed was one that I posed to satisfy my curiosity: what makes Mr. Darcy and Elizabeth Bennet so compelling, so attractive, so likable? After the one guy in class clarified that we […]
Read More Pride, Prejudice, and the Hard Truth
“I am too skinny.” “My hair is a curly mess.” “My hair is too straight. It hangs limply on my shoulders, no body to speak of.” “I hate my freckles.” “My feet are too big.” “Too pale.” “Too dark.” “I hate my knees.” “I wish my hair were blonde/shiny/naturally curled like [insert minor character here].” […]
Read More Protagonist Pet Peeves: The “Pretty” Protagonist
Happy Tolkien Week to one and all! One of the aspects of Tolkien’s work that fascinates me is its depiction of Evil. Not only can this mild-mannered, somewhat niggling professor write some truly terrifying scenes, but I also appreciate the thematic truths that inform his portrayal of Evil. I love a good subtle villain as […]
Read More Tolkien’s Three Satans and Why They Matter
“If You Want to Write Fantasy, Stop Reading It.” That was the title of a post I wrote a couple years ago for Faith & Fantasy Alliance. (You can read it here now.) Despite the clickbait title, I don’t believe fantasy authors should discontinue reading fantasy: for one, it’s important to keep up with developments […]
Read More What Fantasy Authors Can Learn from Beowulf
If you haven’t read this book and you don’t want it spoiled, turn back now! Ahead there be spoilers, unabashed and free-flowing. The second part of Life of Pi is a 16-year-old boy (Piscine, nicknamed Pi) telling the story of how he survived 227 days at sea in a lifeboat, accompanied by an adult Bengal […]
Read More So I Read Life of Pi.
Hopefully, last week’s post showed that Moana has some deeper and more complex concerns than a typical Junior Knows Best, Follow Your Heart kids’ film. By looking at the foils, Maui and Tala, we distilled the theme of approval. Through a close reading of the evil crab’s song, we saw that the film also plays […]
Read More Moana’s Message: More than Just “Follow Your Heart”
Last week, I shared about the time I was seriously disturbed watching a scene from FullMetal Alchemist: Brotherhood. In short, the scene took what should have been a private, safe moment for a minor and “pulled back the curtain” to the audience, turning her physical and emotional vulnerability–her right to take an innocent bath in […]
Read More Naked: Essential or Detrimental to Visual Stories?
Let me set the scene. A teenage girl, after a long and dangerous journey, finally arrives at the home of someone who is not out to kill her: another teenage girl. Though they don’t know each other well, they both immediately recognize a friend. The traveler’s new friend runs a bath for her, pulling a […]
Read More The Rape of Winry Rockbell