[quote quote=3029]There’s a line in the review that I find interesting: “…often women were in the story to present opportunities for the man to demonstrate tenderness”. The other side of that I guess is that often women are in the story just to present opportunities for the man to demonstrate brutality, aggression, inadequacy, redemption — it’s all about them.
But it is a little like when health groups started calling out movie directors for their use of cigarettes to demonstrate that the character was a rebel, had a death wish, had thoroughly enjoyed a romp in bed or whatever. It’s lazy character development through prop not plot, whether you are using a cigarette or a woman.
Claire could never be a prop. Therefore when Jamie beats her, the character development does not occur because he hits ‘a woman’ but that he believes it is both right and HIS right to curb his wife’s behaviour that way. And then Claire shows him that it isn’t. That’s a much richer and interesting storyline than what we are used to hearing, and it is something that lasts throughout the books — from the nettle scene (which I personally dislike but can perhaps understand) to the occasions where he wants to shake her and she wants to slap him.
The physicality of the characters is always intense, whether in passion or fury, and part of what makes them so compelling is how they bring each other back from the brink of violence.
I agree completely. Again, it is all about context.
If I may piggyback onto your post for a moment, your mention of the issue of cigarettes onscreen gives me a chance to throw something into the mix that this “issue” has always reminded me of. Onscreen cigarette smoking.
I am just beyond incensed at the push to remove cigarette smoking from film and television. Even going to the extreme of removing it digitally from classic films. Drives me mad.
Why must we try to erase anything that we have decided is not okay as a culture? Not TRULY erase, but just pretend it isn’t there because we can’t see it. Like a baby playing peekaboo who thinks that you are not there because their hands are over their own eyes!
I fervently wish that my great grandchildren could live in a world where rape does not exist and thus was completely out of context to use in any screen drama. But that ail not be accomplished by pretending that it doesn’t happen.
One of the reasons I was attracted to working in film, was that is was the way to reach as many people as possible with new perspectives, different views and ways to create discussion about issues that impact us as humans. Issues like rape.