Sitting on the Fence

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We discussed in class about the Disney princesses, but while they were being explained, I had no idea what half of the references were. I wasn't really the type of girl who really like Disney princess movies. I was more into the action ones or things like Lion King or Toy Story. I actually hadn't seen the Little Mermaid until last year when my roommate forced me to watch it for the first time. Still, I find myself to be one of those people who aren't necessarily waiting for the right person to come along and find me, but more of a romantic than most people. What I'm getting at is that Disney princesses may have started the thought or continued to reaffirm that women should just wait around and someone will come along one day and fall for you, but the truth is that it has nothing to do with Disney. It's the culture that a person grows up in. It's kind of like an innate characteristic that people girls grow up with that's perpetuated by our parents the same way that most people buy their daughters dolls and their sons action figures.

In connection to Goodnight Desdemona (Good Morning Juliet), Constance has the same belief. She thought that she had to have love at first sight, but then she goes on to realize that it was not love at first sight. She only came to love him because they were in close proximity to one another, and he was nice to her. Still once she figures this out, she decides to be her own person and not worry about love finding her. In the original, Romeo and Juliet, Juliet only really had one option and that was to get married. Her parents were going to set her up with someone else and force her to marry him which may have seemed weak, but really that was just a tradition of the time period. Women were not seen as equal to men because the culture of the time taught women to be weak and follow orders or at the very least to find someone who would marry them.

Still, even at the very end when Constance is being fought over between Juliet and Desdemona she is making a clear decision to not be either person. She is establishing that she wants to fall somewhere in the middle. "Nay...both of you. I've had it with all the magic tunnel vision around here" (86). She then goes on to explain how hard real life is which further shows that she wants to fall somewhere in the middle of the two extremes that Desdemona and Juliet represent.

2 Comments

Dave said:

I definately agree that the effect of disney movies is highly dependant on other environmental factors and personality characteristics. I remembered a lot of the older movies mentioned from when I was really little (yeah, I'm old), but I've always felt that I could get girls without having to fight any dragons...and I know better than to go around kissing random sleeping girls.
From thinking back for those examples, I kinda realized that in those movies (I'm thinking Sleeping Beauty and Snow White mostly) The princes don't really do much either, or even have personalities. Aparently all you gotta do if you're a guy is ride around on your horse until you see a sleeping hottie and kiss her. (and kill the occasional dragon) Though I doubt it effected me, the Princes in those stories seem equally passive. They aren't even there for part of the story, and just kinda happen to show up.

Melissa Schwenk said:

Dave, I hadn't thought about the princes in the story, but I completely agree. They are definitely forgotten about most of the time. They usually just show up, and they're done. Maybe that's why men aren't usually as romantic as women or spend half of their lives waiting to find the "one" since the way men are portrayed in such stories isn't really appealing to men.

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