➊ Wonder Woman Character Analysis

Monday, July 12, 2021 10:40:12 AM

Wonder Woman Character Analysis

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DC Comics: Wonder Woman Explained

And recall that by theme we mean a meaningful statement of values or truth, not just a vague topic. Mankind does not deserve saving, but we should save it anyway. Men are more than their baser qualities. We all have hatred and love, anger and compassion… but love and compassion are the more powerful forces. The ugliness in the world comes from mankind following its baser urges. Everyone is fighting his or her own battles, but they still have the potential to do great things. During challenging times, friendship can be a saving force. Men and women are equals. War is bad. When you see an injustice, you should do something. Legacy is part of what defines us. How do you love and be heroic in a complex world?

Later Diana remembers those words when she is at her low point, and Diana actually wonders if maybe mankind is undeserving of help. Ares also builds on this and explicitly tries to convince Diana that mankind does not deserve to be saved. And Diana later finishes this thought by saying responding to Ares and saying that she believes in love. The first part of this is very clear in the movie. We see the violence and destruction that men bring to Themyscira, we see the smog and inequity of London, we see the ravages of war, inflicted even on the civilians, the innocent.

But that leads us to the second part of the theme, which is the uplifting message that Diana embodies -- we should save mankind anyway. But through the movie, it still very much felt like a purposeful choice that she was making. Even amidst the horrors of war, she had seen the glimpses of beauty like the celebration in Veld, and her connections with Charlie, Sammy, the Chief, and especially Steve. There was still the potential for love, and thus mankind is still worth saving. Another clear reason to save mankind, stated explicitly by Diana, is that mankind does have a bad side but they have a good side, too. In the case of Wonder Woman , it is more about choosing love in the sense of a compassionate love for humanity.

But there are certainly the parallels, and people who choose to look at this movie through that religious lens probably have a lot that they can draw out. In the context of the film, we can also say that mankind is not alone in their imperfection. Yes, men have severe flaws and so may be considered to not deserve saving, but the Amazons also have some flaws. They have some prejudices against men or against non-Amazons. Or if anyone or any group of people think that they are superior to another, this can be the spark that ignites the flames of war.

In this movie, we saw that even the gods are not perfect -- they can suffer from selfishness and vengeance and violence. So in one sense, no one is perfect, but it does not necessarily follow that no one deserves saving. Diana, by dint of her heritage as part mortal, part god, and because of her experiences, comes to see that mankind does deserve to be saved even though they are flawed and imperfect. In essence, Diana separates the notions of deservedness and perfection, which Ares and others were trying to confound. So that leads us to our next theme…. Many of the baser qualities are on display in this movie -- weakness, cruelty, selfishness, greed, insensitivity, and the capability to commit horrors and inflict suffering. So we see throughout the movie these baser qualities, even amongst the heroes like the initial greed of the team members and the fact that Steve often tries to hold back or mansplain things to Diana.

Hippolyta even shows some selfishness in wanting to protect and limit her daughter. So anyway, we see the baser urges on display, which is part of why World War 1 was a great setting for this movie, and it makes so that it hits us really hard when Ares articulates those negative qualities. They have always been and always will be weak, cruel, selfish, capable of the greatest horrors. We also saw the love and respect that he came to have for Diana, as did the other men on the team.

Through Dr. And we saw the people of Veld, who just want to share in joy and peace together, if the war would give them a chance to do so. So these first two themes are very clear throughout the movie, and they work well together: Mankind can be flawed and cruel and in this sense do not deserve saving, but they are more than their baser qualities, so we should save mankind anyway. This theme is framed around the good and evil that is inside each of us. We each have the capacity for hatred but also the capacity for love. We can rise to anger but we can also show great compassion. So these dualities can always be in tension, but the film makes the point that love and compassion are more powerful -- they can win the day and save the world.

What does she do when faced with this? Well, we see by the end that she chooses love and beauty. I could imagine some people thinking at the end that she just means that she loved Steve, which would be okay I guess but kind of a simplistic reading, in my view. Realizing and then addressing these dualities was not just done through Diana, either. Steve also brought them up. But Steve also says that what you believe is more important, so again, the capacity for hatred or anger do not need to be the end of the story.

And General Ludendorff and Doctor Poison seem to embody those darker sides, but they do not represent all of mankind. And Diana even chooses to spare Doctor Poison at the end. We fight, we kill, we betray one another, but we can rebuild. We can do better. We will. We have to. As we said before, all of these themes are still preliminary, and we may revise them as we go through our analysis, but right now we have concluded this theme by saying that love is more powerful than hatred.

The reason we wanted to phrase it this way is that Patty Jenkins described Diana in the final battle as gaining her new level of power specifically from love. Not just at the end, but throughout the movie, Diana shows that the power of love comes from putting it into action. Steve also enacts his love when he sacrifices himself at the end. And Antiope enacts her love when she throws herself in front of a bullet for Diana. Even Hippolyta you could say enacted her love when she finally allowed Diana to leave. Love is powerful, but you have to let it act through you.

A choice each must make for themself. Diana herself, who was a pure and good-hearted hero throughout the movie, even she had a moment of real anger. After Steve died, she showed that she was also capable of rage and hatred when she mowed through the German soldiers with Ares looking on. So we saw the tension, the inner demons that are inside all of us, and then we saw her set the example of how to rise above it and to choose love.

This was a clear visual theme of the movie. We might still rephrase it in the future, but the main idea here is that the world itself is inherently beautiful nature is truly a wonder, but it becomes hideous if it is mistreated by mankind. Ares shows a beautiful world untouched by any man or woman, the beauty of creation without anyone there to wreck it. Themyscira shows a culture that cares for and respects its island paradise. And then all of this contrasts with what mankind had done in the era of World War 1.

The cities were dirty, fossil fuels were being burned and polluting the air without regard for long-term effects, and then of course the war effort and all the weapons were causing great suffering to the Earth, the animals, and the people. All of this ugliness and inequity and destruction was caused by men, it was not a natural occurrence. He is trying to win her over, and he wants the destruction of mankind basically as revenge and jealousy against his father.

So he was over-emphasizing the flaws in mankind and also probably over-emphasizing the beauty that would result from the absence of man. From this perspective, Wonder Woman is offering a critique of modern civilization and challenging us to do better. Related to the earlier theme about the good and the bad inside everyone, the movie also invites us to think of the theme this way The earlier theme was about good and bad inside us, but the good being more powerful.

This one is related but slightly different. In some cases those battles might be between our good and bad sides, but they can also be lots of other things. They could also be unfulfilled dreams and desires, or external prejudices and discrimination, or loneliness. And then the movie lets us know that, even if we have personal battles or challenges that we struggle to deal with, we still have a lot of potential. This shows up most clearly with the gang, who are a bunch of misfits with quite a few struggles, but we see them rise to the occasion and accomplish a lot. Even Charlie, whose PTSD prevents him from functioning as a marksman, still finds ways to help the group by being their spotter with the scope and also by bringing good cheer and song.

Speaking of the gang, our next theme is Friendship or comradeship showed up in many ways throughout the movie. With the Amazons, we got a sense that they really respected and cared for one another, and that showed up on the battlefield. Steve felt he could depend on his comrades even when they show signs of faltering. He relied on the group to cover his entry to the plane.

And Diana was able to integrate into this friendship. She saves Charlie in the bar. When he feels unneeded Diana reassures him telling him they needed him to sing to suggest he has a place among them. She bonds with Sameer and calls him a hero after they save Veld. And then of course Diana and Steve have their friendship that develops along with their romantic feelings. All of this together exemplifies the power of friendship in a time of war. And we also see the relationship between Ludendorff and Maru. It actually ends up being Diana who spares Maru, even though she is not friends with her.

So Diana shows that her compassion even extends beyond friendship or those with whom she has a personal relationship. Alright, a few quick ones They both have their strengths and flaws. Diana was wise, strong, and beautiful. But she was wrong about Ludendorff, and naive about other things, having an oversimplified view of the world. Men can be stubborn and cruel and wage war, but they can be loving, rise to greater heights and sacrifice for the greater good. The men often looked down on Diana for being a woman, but she proved to be superior in languages and honor.

The Amazons looked down on Steve Trevor, but he proved to be noble, selfless, and brave. The film also seemed to support a more sophisticated form of feminism, not by bashing men to prop up women but by sending the message that they had much in common, and that their differences were differences, not one better than the other. Also, the film wrote in Diana clearly sharing the credit and making it more about the idea of equality and shared achievements. The Battle on the Beach also suggested a sort of equality between men and women as they were each able to inflict damage and death upon the other side. The movie also showed women in positions of power, such as Hippolyta and Antiope, obviously, but also Etta being asked to run the operation, and Doctor Maru in charge of her lab, and then Diana shifting from tagalong to basically the leader of the gang.

In some cases the women are still subservient to a man, but there is at least the suggestion of competence and potential contributions on par with men, and the movie also raises the question of how the halls of leadership might have been different if women had actually been allowed inside. It causes all sorts of suffering. An entire village died unsuspecting and in a cruel manner from poisonous gas. Innocent people, women and children, were being harmed amidst the fighting. And as a result of the war, people were missing out on the luxuries of life like marriage, children, growing old, ice cream, and dancing.

Man was too busy dying to enjoy living. We also see a London and the landscapes amidst war, dirty and damaged. But even beyond Steve, we saw that Diana was inspired by Steve and decided to do something by climbing the tower to retrieve the godkiller sword and the rest of our outfit. And Diana felt she had to do something at the Gala and after the Gala. Sameer, Charlie, and The Chief also stayed to help Steve and Diana even beyond what they were initially signed on for. The idea of legacy shows up in several ways throughout the film. Diana as the God Killer legacy of the gods. His legacy ends with his death Diana seems to carry the impact of Steve's death with her even to the present day.

And also the picture of Diana's team that Bruce sends her as a gift. How do you love? How do you become a hero? And how do those things work in a very complex world? So someone who has a very immature and naive idea of what it will be to love versus what it truly turns out to be to love and be a hero. This idea of finding a way to love and to embody love as a hero, and doing it in a complex world, basically wraps together a lot of the previous themes. But she still stays true to her convictions and her desire to love and to be a force for good. This idea of being a hero in the complex world also works well with other DCEU films, and especially with the character of Superman.

Clark knows the world is complex, just as Jonathan Kent knew. And Clark has doubts about whether he will be accepted or if his heroics will actually be helpful. To be clear, Clark is never ambivalent or apathetic -- he truly desires to help and he does whatever he can, but he worries about how his intended good deeds will actually play out in the complex world. Moreover, to love and to be a hero requires selflessness. To be heroic requires you to love in some form. Love thy neighbor. In a multifaceted and dynamic world of complexity where wrong and right are not always discernable, the only way to be a hero is to act selflessly.

Steve Trevor acted selflessly in stopping the plane carrying the poisonous gas. His team acted selflessly to protect the village and stop the German army at its base. And Diana acted selflessly to help Man by leaving behind her world and seek out Ares when the Amazons would have her stay safe on Themyscira. But right now, we want to just share a few initial thoughts. She has a pure heart, and she also has naive optimism which later turns into realistic optimism. She is very naturally compassionate and her compassion and empathy are strong. And the film did a great job of showing that this compassion and empathy was not a weakness that clouds her judgment but a strength that gives her clarity of purpose and makes her a true hero to those who are suffering.

And she also extended her compassion to her enemies. At the end, she even shows compassion to Doctor Maru although not to Ares, maybe because she reserves compassion for mortals -- just a thought. Anyway, as Patty Jenkins described to ComicBook. It was her compassion that became crucial in the resolution of the final battle. And in the end, Diana extends her compassion and optimism to all of humanity. And her naivete allowed for some good humor and emotional connections to the character in Act 1, but then it also became the basis for her arc throughout the movie and she had to face more and more realizations about mankind and human nature.

With regard to the naivete, Gal Gadot worried that it was toeing the line of her being dumb, but she trusted Jenkins to pull it off, making sure it came across as naive and kind of overly optimistic rather than dumb. Version 1. In this non-fiction book, Jill Lepore tells three separate histories that all intertwine and intersect with Wonder Woman, one of the most popular comic book characters of all-time. These histories are the life and family of Wonder Woman creator William Moulton Marston, the history and trajectory of feminist movements in the United States in the early twentieth century, and the actual creation of Wonder Woman herself.

Each of these histories are told simultaneously, with Lepore jumping from one area to the other multiple times within every chapter, sometimes without transition. This fluidity is a means for Lepore to highlight how interconnected these seemingly disparate histories are. The history of William Moulton Marston begins in his childhood, where he was a precocious child who excelled academically. He attended Harvard for his undergraduate degree, studying mainly psychology. It was toward the end of his first tenure at Harvard that, under the tutelage of Dr. Soon after undergrad, he married his childhood sweetheart, Sadie Elizabeth Holloway, who had just graduate from Mount Holyoke College. Marston next decided to return to Harvard to study law while Holloway enrolled at Boston University for her law studies Harvard did not admit women at that time.

After studying law, Marston became obsessed with having his lie detector test become admissible evidence in a court of law. American University in Washington D. Due to not producing many results he was fired from American University. He then received an appointment at Tufts University, where he met an androgynously styled young woman named Olive Byrne, who became his research assistant.

This arrangement was tenable for everyone, and Marston, Holloway, and Olive all lived together as a single family, claiming to anyone who asked that Olive was their widowed housekeeper. Holloway consistently worked and was the breadwinner for the family, while Marston shifted career paths frequently. He had failed attempts at advertising, film making, legal counseling, and fiction writing among others. Marston was not only notable for his unorthodox marriage, but he also was a practitioner of sexual bondage and even held meetings with friends and family to explore how to make sex more pleasurable for a woman. A history of feminist movements in the United States run parallel to the other accounts.

When Marston was a freshman at Harvard, famed suffragette Emmaline Pankhurst was banned from speaking on campus which caused a national news story. Lepore recounts the early suffrage movements in the United States and briefly details the lives and contributions of various feminist cartoonists and activists such as Lou Rogers, Henry Peters, and Andonica Fulton. The most in-depth feminist narrative is that of Margaret Sanger: a birth control advocate, founder of Planned Parenthood, and aunt to Olive Byrne. This book would greatly influence Marston and become the philosophical basis for Wonder Woman. The third history explored by Lepore is the actual creation of Wonder Woman. Having been out of work for years, Marston decided to pursue a job in the comics industry as the medium was rapidly rising in popularity.

He was first hired by M. He pitched the idea for Wonder Woman as a symbol of female empowerment and superiority. Her roots as an Amazonian princess were a popular story trope at the time but Marston intended use Wonder Woman as a vehicle for his personal, some might say twisted, worldview.

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