Fifty Shades of Fucked Up

The frenzy surrounding the Fifty Shades Trilogy is saturating society. I myself, becoming entranced by such hype bought myself the first book: Fifty Shades of Grey. Now I see the frenzy. It is an easily accessible holiday book giving women the thrill they lack in reality. But does the plot not seem somewhat familiar? Fifty Shades of Grey is just a rewrite of Twilight. People may gasp at this comparison, but read between the lines (to be honest you don’t even need to go that far) and you’ll see it yourself. The socially awkward protagonist, propelled into a world previously unbeknown, be that S&M or Vampires- it’s all pretty arousing and violent either way. The role of both Christian Grey and Edward are very similar. They both want to protect Bella and Ana from their own demons and are portrayed as somewhat domineering throughout each book. Both female characters seem to ‘change’ the male, and bring him something that he has not experienced before. Although these examples may be deemed as common plot leads, there are more similarities. Christian’s dislike of Ana’s old beetle is somewhat reflective of Edward’s fear of Bella driving her own beaten truck and the eminence of love rivals is another similarity with Jose and Michael posing a threat to Christian and Edward’s efforts. All in all these are both stories about a woman giving up everything for a man- why is this so appealing to women?

I feel increasingly antagonised by this plot in Fifty Shades of Grey rather than in Twilight, after all the latter is simply a teen book; I expect a lot more from an adult novel. E L James’ attempts to portray Ana as some sort of heroine through reference to her subconscious or her “inner goddess” just makes me cringe with embarrassment at this literary faux pas- the term cliche springs to mind. I find it almost offensive that James attempts to justify the abuse that Ana is undergoing from and for Christian (yes, abuse- it is very clear that she does not enjoy half of the sexual acts including the spanking) by suggesting that this is pleasing Ana’s “inner goddess”. Is the term “inner goddess” just another form of female submission? This is something that female writers should be propelling us out of rather than into.

Overall the plot is poor- purely a sexed up, fucked up Twilight, the character’s are unrelatable and underdeveloped, and the creation of ‘darkness’ is weak (so his mother was a crack whore, how does that justify his obsession with S&M?). It is safe to say that I will not be reading more.


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