Analysis Of Laura Mulvey 's Piece, Visual Pleasure And Narrative Cinema

740 Words Nov 30th, 2016 3 Pages
Laura Mulvey’s piece, Visual Pleasure and Narrative Cinema, emerged during second wave feminism and the classic Hollywood Film era. Mulvey’s work has since received various criticisms (Torres Lecture 10) however, several of her ideas are still prevalent in films today –specifically male characters as active and female characters as passive (Mulvey). Mulvey theorizes, “pleasure in looking has been split between active/male and passive/female. The determining male gaze projects its fantasy onto the female figure which is styled accordingly.” (19) Star Wars: The Force Awakens (Abrams 2015) attempts to contradict this component of the male gaze, through female protagonist, Rey (Daisy Ridley), because Rey’s character is active within the narrative but also defies female as an erotic object. Rey’s character is an anomaly in film because she drives the narrative, is represented as realistic and dynamic, meanwhile her costume and the camera work do not sexualize her. Rey, the central character in Star Wars, is the first female protagonist in any of the Star Wars films. Her character specifically contradicts Mulvey’s theory of men as active and female as passive because her character drives the story. Mulvey theorizes that it is the “man’s role of advancing the story, making things happen.” (20) Rey’s character contradicts this because she drives the narrative and controls events. An example of this in Star Wars is when Rey has a flashback. Her flashback is about her past, and her…

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