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Journal Article


Mouchène S. Lett. Lang. 2022; 17(1): 14-21.


(Copyright © 2022, Université d'Alger)






This paper draws attention to a twenty-first-century Hollywood tendency of weaponizing the fairy-tale female characters and involving them in armed and deadly but "just" conflicts. It evaluates the ideological implications of this trend, in both their patriarchal and capitalist dimensions. The films Snow White and the Huntsman (2012) and Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters (2013) serve as samples of a larger bulk of recent fairy-tale cinematic adaptations that put forwards the unorthodox association of fairy-tale heroines and weapons. The cinema industry claims to offer new, "feminist-friendly" representations away from the stereotypes in the fairy tales and the "damsels-in-distress" of the Disney Studios' adaptations. Putting this claim aside, the positions of the films within or against the dominant ideology backgrounds of patriarchy and capitalism are the centre of this study, which is thus theoretically framed within feminist (Laura Mulvey's) and Marxist (Louis Althusser's) thoughts. The suggestion of female empowerment through handling weapons and immersion in violence is here evaluated in its efficacy. It is argued that complacency to the male gaze expectations and patriarchy persists, but also that the association of fairy-tale heroines and weapons creates an inharmonious hybridization of femininity and some masculinity aspects. It is reasoned that the combination of fairy-tale heroines and weapons serves another facet of dominant ideology that is capitalism by promoting gun use among the rather pro-gun-control women. Overall, the research details one example of the mechanics through which dominant ideology maintains itself by subtly countering oppositional thoughts.

Language: en


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