I’ve been thinking a lot about Byronic and anti heroes for a while now, and then I stumbled upon this article. I liked it so much I decided to share it.

Kay Camden

I’ve done some research on the difference between the anti-hero and the Byronic hero. I couldn’t find a definitive article anywhere comparing the two directly, but from what I’ve read here’s my own conclusion.

A Byronic hero is a bad good guy. He does bad things, makes his own rules, operates outside of the law. But his goal is to do good. He’s tormented. He’s introspective. He hurts. He takes full responsibility. He’s Batman.

A Byronic hero will never find true success because he is so conflicted. He seems to be constantly putting out fires in his quest to do right, but due to his own sensitivity of the world he will never achieve his goal. He’s tragic. He’ll never be happy.

An anti-hero is unpredictable. He’s good when he wants to be. He’s bad when he wants to be. And sometimes he’s bad just to piss you off. Because…

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A Jumble of Thoughts on Death

I have been blessed with more family than I deserve. There are so many people in my life who have taken me in and treated me as their daughter or sister despite the fact that I have no blood ties to them. One of them died two weeks ago.

There are different types of secondhand death. There are the people with whom you occasionally associated, but didn’t really know. They die suddenly, shocking you out of your routine. Their deaths make you realize how precious life is, and for a few months, you make sure to tell people that you love them.

There are the close friends and family members who are sick or old. Their deaths do not surprise you. In a way, it’s a relief–you know that they aren’t in pain anymore. Their deaths, as their lives, make a lasting impression.

Then there are the sudden deaths of those you love. This experience somehow mixes the numbing shock of suddenness with the intense pain of loss. It’s not real for days, weeks even. They’re not gone, you see. They can’t be.

I’m not sad for my friend. He is safe in God’s hands now, just as he was in life. I am sad for us, those who are left behind:  his wife, kids, friends, and colleagues. I’m sad for the thousand-plus people who were at his visitation and funeral, and those who couldn’t make it. As one man said at his funeral:  “I know that if he were here, he would tell me that he’s okay. But I guess what I really need to hear him say is that I’m going to be okay, too.”

On Tuesday, many of his friends went to Starbucks to honor him. We all ordered his favorite drink and gave his name to the barista (the poor man was confused when the café was filled with Jeffs, some of them female). Then we toasted our friend.

In Defense of the Disney Princess: Conclusion

As with any film, Disney’s Princess movies reflect the values of the society that made them. The princesses of the classic generation are domestic goddesses, perfect examples of ladylike behavior. They are always dreaming and optimistic. The princesses of the ’90s are curious and adventurous. They don’t fit in their society, and so they branch out, seeking a place in which they do belong. The current generation of princesses are independent. This independence can make them rebellious, and it means that they are willing to work hard to achieve their goals. All of these women have valuable qualities that young girls should emulate. No, they are not perfect:  show me a story with a perfect hero or heroine and I will show you a boring story. Our flaws as well as our weaknesses make us interesting and define who we are.

In Defense of the Disney Princess: Part III

Disney Generations

I found this on Google. It describes the generations of the Disney Princess.

In my two previous posts about the Disney Princesses, I talked about the classic generation and the princesses of the ’90s. In this post, I will be looking at the princess movies of the 2000s:  Tiana, Rapunzel, and Merida (though I can only say so much about her, since Brave doesn’t come out until June). These princesses, following the example of Ariel, leave their homes and seek adventure. Even so, the nuclear family is important to these princesses. This is interesting because the older generation is concerned about the demise of the nuclear family:  they see that younger generations are moving away from the nuclear family and towards a family made of closely knit friends rather than blood. I think the theme of family in these films is an attempt by the older generation to instill in children a sense that blood relations are important. Neither Tiana nor Rapunzel seek a romantic relationship, but both find one. Romance is no longer priority number one, but it is still seen as something that should be obtained.

I’ve only seen The Princess and the Frog once, so I can’t say as much about it as I can the other films, which I have seen countless times. Tiana is a Unites States citizen, and she strongly embodies US ideals:  she is hardworking, independent, and passionate. She has goals towards which she works and about which she dreams. She is, in fact, the first Princess with goals. Previous princesses have had hobbies and dreams, but none had a specific goal like Tiana’s ambition of opening a restaurant.

In many ways, Rapunzel is a movement back to the classic generation, especially Aurora. Much like Aurora, Rapunzel is cut off from the outside world. Despite her boredom at never leaving her tower, Rapunzel is always optimistic. Also like Aurora, Rapunzel’s life changes when Flynn Rider–the first person she has ever conversed with, aside form Mother Gothel–appears in her tower. There are many things that set Rapunzel apart from the classics, though. Rapunzel has always been told horrible stories about people in the outside world, especially about men. Even so, when Flynn appears, Rapunzel doesn’t cower. Instead, she takes action, tying Flynn up and demanding that he obey her. She thinks for herself, making her own decisions about the lights, the people around her, and the world in general. Her independent thought allows her to be reunited with her parents, both of whom are still alive (like Aurora).

In June of this year, Disney/Pixar will release Brave. From the trailers, it looks like Merida suffers from a classic case of rebellious princess syndrome. The film plays along with the idea that the only strong woman is the one who rejects femininity in favor of more masculine pursuits. I have already given my opinion on that idea, and will not expound on it here. The thing about Brave that has interested me the most is that I have not seen or heard anything about Merida having a love interest. The trailers are full of Merida’s interactions with her boisterous father, her ladylike mother, and her mischievous younger brothers. There is what seems to be an archery competition for Merida’s hand, but, from what I can tell, Merida is not interested in any of them. Instead, she chooses to fight for her own hand. If Disney manages to pull off a successful fairy tale without a love interest for Merida, I will be very impressed.

The current generation of Disney princesses is in many ways the most interesting. They look back to previous generations, while at the same time creating identities for themselves. These princesses are independent, but have strong ties to the people in their lives.

Versatile Blogger Award!

Apparently, I need to check my comments more frequently, because I discovered that in March Aurathena nominated me for the Versatile Blogger Award. I’m a bit late, but I wanted to pass it along despite my tardiness.


To accept the award, I am supposed to do three things: thank the award-giver and link back to them in my post; share seven things about myself; pass the award on to fifteen others; and let those fifteen people know.

Step One: Thank the Award-Giver

As I stated above, the award was given to me by Aurathena, whose blog West End Singleton would be first on my list if she hadn’t already won it. Thank you so much for nominating me; it’s great to know that someone gains something from what I post here.

Step Two: Share Seven Things about Myself

  • I am a Christian who tried to commit all of my actions to the glory of God (though I don’t always succeed).
  • I have over four bookshelves crammed with books.
  • I am a tea enthusiast. When I am an old lady, I will spend my free time in flea markets, shopping for tea sets.
  • I have wanted to be a professional writer since I was in the fifth grade (when I started my first novel, about a girl who finds a portal to another world in her school’s basement).
  • I have an extremely organized schedule, but my material possessions are always chaotically placed.
  • My favorite genres are dystopia, dark fantasy, and fairy tale retellings.
  • I’m fairly certain that I am face blind.

Step Three: Pass on the Award

Here are fifteen of my favorite blogs:

The last few aren’t WordPress blogs, but they are some of my favorite (Is that allowed? I don’t know).

Step Four: Tell These People They Have Been Nominated

Dislocation

The good news:  I didn’t break my toe.

I sat in the x-ray waiting area as the technician finished what she was doing. When she finally turned to me and smiled, I gave her my name and she led me back to the x-ray room, a stark, white and grey space with a counter for equipment and a hard bed, which I was to lie on while the bone pictures were taken.

“What did you do?” she asked.

I explained about the couch, how I didn’t turn on the light when I got home and ran straight into my mother’s blue couch. Then I signed a piece of paper that assured everyone involved that I was not pregnant and took my place on the sterile bed. I was unconcerned until the event was over, when I saw the blue lead apron hanging on the wall, and the thick partition that separated the technician from the radiation. X-ray machines are dangerous things to keep in a clinic.

After it was done,  I was lead back to the examination room. I am usually a fast walker, but I struggled to keep up with the nurse as I hobbled down the hall. I suppose I should have used the crutches in the attic, but I hate crutches. They make me feel conspicuous, more so than limping around while wearing one shoe. I sat in a plastic chair and was told that the doctor would see me in a moment.

Surprisingly, it was only a moment before my general practitioner rapped on the door and entered. She is a pleasant woman with a strong South American accent and stronger maternal instincts. After a few pleasantries, she gave me the good news. “I don’t think it’s broken; just dislocated. My husband is a podiatrist, and I’m sending the x-rays to him, for his opinion.” She examined my actual foot, just to make sure, then taped it up and gave me further instructions and the promise of a prescription (anti-inflammatory, for the pain and swelling).

Now I sit at my desk, my swollen foot elevated, the rest of me restless–it is my right foot; I cannot drive–and I am thankful it was not a break.

 

Strip Poker

Each word bares more skin until

 you sit at the table naked,

wondering drunkenly what

happened to all the aces.

There were four of them.

At least one should have made it

to your hand. Instead, you rake

your ink-stained fingers through

already tousled hair and curse

          the media for giving you a stupid audience.

          the critics for bludgeoning you

          the dollar for avoiding you.

          and the muse for abandoning you.

Copyright © 2011 Amanda Jean Partridge

In Defense of the Disney Princess: Part II

Disney Generations

I found this on Google. It describes the generations of the Disney Princess.

Earlier this week, I began my defense of the Disney Princesses with the classic generation: Snow White, Cinderella, and Aurora (Sleeping Beauty). You can read that article here. In part II, I will focus on the ’90s princesses: Ariel (who is technically 1989), Belle, Jasmine, Pocahontas, and Mulan. In the ’90s, the princesses begin to be independent. Rather than being orphaned or separated from their parents, these five princesses love their fathers (only Mulan seems to have a mother). Even so, they are willing to leave their families in order to grow up. Continue reading

In Defense of the Disney Princess: Part I

I have seen an increasing level of distaste for the Disney Princesses–many look at the princesses and say that they teach girls that physical beauty is the only thing that matters and that women have no power at their disposal outside their sexuality. I would like to argue. Despite the fact that most of these films are based on stories by the Grimm brothers (who did not seem to have a high opinion of women, primarily because of the view of women in their time), Disney managed to give their princesses varied personalities. Many of the princesses were strong characters who overcame adversity. Disney walked a very thin line of staying true to the stories while giving the princesses character and strength.

The Classic Princesses (Snow White, Cinderella, Aurora)

The criticisms against these three princesses are valid, in some ways. Snow White, Cinderella, and Aurora do spend their days dreaming that a prince will someday come and carry them away from their lives. However, in the mid-1900s, that was the norm. It was expected for girls to grow up fantasizing about their weddings. Isn’t that the case even now? I know that my friends don’t believe me when I tell them that my wedding hasn’t been planned since I was five, not do I currently have a dream wedding envisioned. If that is the thought now, how much stronger was it in the 19030s and ’50s? Continue reading