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Books

Depiction Of The Ordinary Social Principles In The Fifty Shades Of Grey By L.g. James

June 23, 2022 by Essay Writer

L.G James’s novel “Fifty Shades of Grey” was published in 2011. Representing the “ideal fantasy” of every woman’s dream, it captivated millions of souls, revealing to the audience the love story of Anastacia Steele and Christian Grey, an archetypal tall, dark and handsome male falling in love with an inexperienced literature student. Delivering a romance full of passion and drama, the trilogy received a great deal of positivity, but it also raised several concerns.

Although it ends as the regular American fantasy, throughout the story, in the first book, we are introduced to the world of BDSM, a “physical, psychological and usually sexual power-role-play with consensual participants.” (BDSM), the main tension of the books, as Christian is attracted to her, but she doesn’t want to be his submissive.

As the first and biggest concern, violence and control are not concepts for a love story, especially for those women experiencing an abusive relationship. Painting a destructive and sadistic experience as love is cruel, as it offers the victims of abuse a defense mechanism for their already broken relationship, a reason to endure, now coated as normal. As Emma Green remarks in her article about the issue, “The problem is that Fifty Shades casually associates hot sex with violence, but without any of this context. Sometimes, Ana says yes to sex she’s uncomfortable with because she’s too shy to speak her mind, or because she’s afraid of losing Christian; she gives consent when he wants to inflict pain, yet that doesn’t prevent her from being harmed.

This is a troubling fantasy in American culture, where one in five women will be raped within their lifetime, according to the CDC; where nearly 40 percent of those rapes will happen to women aged 18 to 24; and where troubling evidence of casual attitudes toward rape — such as in 2010 when a number of Ivy League-educated men thought it was okay to chant “no means yes, yes means anal” on their campus — is not uncommon. As images of Ana being beaten by Christian become the new normal for what’s considered erotic, they raise questions about what it means to “consent” to sex. Clearly, consent is necessary; but is it sufficient?”. Women traumatically discover that sex isn’t supposed to be casual. Educated that it means nothing, they are unable to realize why the feeling is wrong and traumatic, leading them to deem that they deserve redress. 

Addressing the novel from the feminist perspective, Ana is portrayed as a codependent woman who relies on a male figure for stability, power and sexual experiences, while Christian is a narcissist with sociopathic inclinations, hiding behind the figure of potency and authority, the cliched representation of the dominant sex. This stereotype continues to affect women nowadays through implementing the same old way of thinking, that women are not capable of “rising” on their own. The fantasy of being owned by a dominant male implies that women are still opposing the concept of freedom. The trilogy seems to attempt to influence us to believe that by acknowledging that some women can have sexual gratification while submitting to men , is supposed to be an empowering message, and as long as you to take claim of the control at end of the physical manipulation by pretending it was your idea, even emotional manipulation is tolerable.

Fifty Shades of Grey not only neglects to remotely subvert these ordinary principles, it presents them in the most exorbitant manner, by making the man so fixated on evading love while requesting sexual and emotional control of her, and regardless of how abusive he gets, emotionally or physically, making her fall in love. 

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