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Night of the Living Dead (1968) Feminism

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Mary Muller

on 4 December 2012

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Transcript of Night of the Living Dead (1968) Feminism

Analyzing through feminist theory Barbara Helen Judy George Romero Zombies and Feminism George Romero was ahead of his time
Romero was a feminist film maker.
His women were typicially resourceful and autonomous.
With each of his films women become stronger and have more of a voice. Oppressed female characters "We’d all be a lot better off if all three of us were working together." Reception and Experience Compared to their male counterparts Leans on the sofa smoking a cigarette while berating her husband for not doing anything helpful. While initially strong-willed, becomes immobilized and dies as a result. Unhappy housewife and would-be-divorcee. The love she has for her daughter overpowers her instincts to protect herself, so she is killed by Karen when Karen becomes a zombie. Stereotypical teenage girl, Tom's girlfriend Does whatever is asked of her without much complaint Does, however, question reasons behind some decisions (ex: when she's tearing the strips of fabric) Attempt at Action and Downfall: She couldn't bear to be away from Tom, so she ran outside and her decision to go with them to the gas pump got both her and Tom killed. Strength of character: Dawn of the Dead
Unlike the women in Night, she is articulate and aware of the men's sexist assumptions about her.
More complex view of women and the possibilities of femininity
She identifies with the zombies. She knows what is is like to be an exhibitionist object by men. Day of the Dead
Strongest women in the movies
She challenges the traditional patriarchal role of women Vincent Candy referred to the film as a "junk movie" as well as "spare, uncluttered, but really silly." Pauline Kael called the film "one of the most gruesomely terrifying movies ever made." First Impression
Strong morals
Stereotypical horror flick chick
Dependent and weak
Attempt at Action
Wants to save Johnny
Punched by Ben to know her out
Finds comfort in domesticity
Deranged with fear
Blank face or rambling
Blind to knowledge - leads to death New York Times critics, 1968 Female zombies are just as strong as the male zombies
They are ungendered
Responsible for as many violent acts as the male zombies
The female zombies are perfect break away from gender roles Uncomfortable viewing from a patriachal perspective, because women are not supposed to be shown as being violent or strong
They show independence and equality
Nude female zombie show vulnerability even as a zombie First Impression: Attempted Action: The monstrous image of women reinforce womens otherness in the eyes of the patriarchy Helping her child, Karen, who was bitten by a zombie. Karen was her biggest/main concern. Downfall: Night of the Living Dead
The women are more passive than in all of his other films.
Critiques the male patriarchal attitude rather than giving a positive representation of women.
His women are so inactive that it could be a satirical comment on the traditional image of women in horror movies and in culture. The End/Questions? 1:04:09 If the scale is between Barbara and Helen, then Judy would be right in the middle. She is able to communicate coherently, however she doesn't fight whenever she thinks a decision is the wrong one. Karen The only child in the movie, female and turns into a zombie She picks up a trowel (phallic symbol) to kill her mother and eats her father She's acting out what a lot of teenagers are thinking secretly The most gruesome killing scene (Cultural Theory) Younger generation rising up Male View Female View
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