Thesis Statement In accordance to the movie Brave (2012), the identity of a woman in a society is defined or determined by gender stereotypes and status of the same society where she lives and because the woman is different from man, she should not do the things that man does. In the movie, Merida is expected to become a proper lady when she grows up and there are certain rules and protocols that she needs to follow in order to awaken the lady in her. Though in the movie, Queen Elinor can rule, King Fergus has greater authority than her. The story shows how the ancient Scottish society portrays the lives of women during that time.
What a Woman Should Portray in a Society In the movie, a lady should portray the society’s view of her. In this setting, a lady should be proper. She should not have unnecessary gestures that do not portray grace and elegance. An example on this matter is when Merida placed her bow on the table. She was given an aversive stimulus by her mother because she is a princess and she should not wield a weapon. In addition, the best example of an elegant and graceful woman is Queen Elinor herself. She is a knowledgeable lady when it comes to arts and taking care of her children. She is the mentor of Merida in courses for princess training.
She is also in charged for keeping the peace in the kingdom. Although she is a lady, she was actually the one who manages the kingdom as a diplomatic counterpoint to her impulsive husband. This shows that the queen has a high role in the society but the king has greater authority since he is the one who controls the military aspect of the kingdom. When Merida fought for her hand, Queen Elinor was so furious because Merida was embarrassing the guests by showing her capabilities as a woman. Regarding this, Queen Elinor scolded her for it is not her role to embarrass a man of noble descent.
The society’s view of princesses is to nurture them into proper ladies and then give their hands for marriage as to bring peace or truce to their respective kingdoms. For me, they lose their individuality for it is their duty as princesses of their kingdoms to accept their fate for they were born as a woman and a princess. The voice of Merida would not be heard because it is already settled and it is based on tradition. These things are always traditional. I hate how society belittles women because they were born women. It denotes inequality. It does not give a loud voice to women and it makes the woman inferior.
Merida Contrasts the Typical Woman Then, there comes the contrasting character. Merida, the daughter of King Fergus and Queen Elinor has the fate of marrying one man in order to satisfy her kingdom and the other kingdom. She does not want this fate because for her, it is absurd. This was shown during the dialogues when Merida and Queen Elinor pretended that they were talking to each other. Her characteristics are different from any other princesses like Snow White, who is very demure, Cinderella who is very girly and all those typical princesses that portray the stereotypical images of themselves.
Unlike any of them, she follows the untraditional aspects of princesses. Instead of doing what her mother is doing like sewing, had her hair tied and even spoke with great charm; she focused herself to archery and horseback riding. In addition, she is very passionate to her favorite thing in life which is archery and she is actually very skilled on that matter. When she was a child, the will-o’-the-wisp guided her to what her fate is – the bow. She also has a rebellious personality but she is definitely not a brat because the only thing that she hates is the princess-ey life.
She is shown as a good daughter to her parents and a good sister to her brothers. As you can see, we can all her Brave because she voiced out her sentiments instead accepting whatever fate the world might give to her. Overall, Merida has contrasting characteristics which you might not find in a typical princess. I like how the movie portrays Merida because her character empowers women. The movie really shows that women can do a lot of things and these things are usually male dominated areas. Out of Self Situations Suddenly, times come when we have to go to our other self. Queen Elinor was still as elegant even though she became a bear.
Why is that? Even though she became a bear, a lady must be a lady. She was never shown to be good in martial arts but when Mor’du attacked her daughter, all of her grace and elegance vanished. Her bear-self and love of family aroused thus fighting Mor’du in a fierce way. On a similar event, Merida still shrieked like a typical princess when she was almost devoured by Mor’du. This may be stupid to point out but the actions that were given may imply to something as not as Brave as we thought Merida would be. These two examples are too out of character thus it needs to be pointed.
These actions imply something higher which may be a key in understanding a person’s individuality and personality in a given society because the society contributes to the actions of these two people. Or, the movie lacks consistency when it comes to Merida, not saving herself instead of the action of her mother. If she was seen with male attributes such as strength, as seen when she climbed Fire Falls, why can’t she save herself using the fighting techniques that she learned? Maybe, the movie is trying to tell us that a woman and a man still need help when time comes regardless of position or gender.
Advantages of Having Male Characteristics If we see Merida’s actions on a deeper perspective, we can see that she encompasses the skills and capabilities of a man. Why is this important? There are many benefit when one attains (to some degree) characteristics and traits from the opposite gender. Merida learned how to use the bow and according to King Fergus, “Princess or not, learning to fight is essential. ” This means that even though she is woman (and a princess) she also needs to have these qualities in order protect herself. For there might be a time when men cannot protect the women, they can protect themselves.
For me, the movie tries to abolish gender stereotypes by making Merida. She is the very reason why the movie is both interesting and significant to the empowerment of women. It is a good idea to put male attributes or abilities to a woman because it empowers them. Well, that is my opinion. Self Realization and Conclusion As I went deeper on this journey, I realized something: I am not the typical or what they call the stereotype man. I am different. I have different capabilities and I have a very feminine approach on things. Would that make abnormal? For me, it’s a no.
I believe that all of us are unique, being thrown into an ocean that we call life. As for I and Merida, we are different people but we have something in common, we strived and we will strive again for the things that we want in life. Merida is a woman but she does not like the life of a princess. I am a man but I don’t like the masculine things that most men do. It’s a shame that society dictates the life that we should have. What would come up from something that is forced? Nothing. What we need to do is do what we love because what we sometimes love is what we do best.
Passion is the key to a productive and wonderful adventure. Merida loved archery that’s why she excelled and the same goes for me. If I will do the things that I want to do, something good will come out. The movie is basically telling us that women are capable of doing what men can do. The movie transcended traditional story development because it showed the typical life of a woman during the ancient Scottish times while also abolishing it through filial piety. Disney is one of the greatest companies that empower women by giving their women abilities that may not be present in the majority of the women.
That is a fact since we can see examples from Mulan, Tangled etc. A quote from Carla Fiorina states that “If someone believes they are limited by their gender, race or background, they will become more limited. ” I believe that nobody should dictate the things that we like because we are caging whatever creativity that has been on us for the longest time and I also believe that we need to let it all out for we may regret the things in the end. Although a lot of people think this way, why are we still chained by society’s eyes?
Works Cited: Andrews, M. (Director). (2012). Brave [Motion picture]. USA: Disney ;. If someone believes they are... at BrainyQuote. (n.d.). Famous Quotes at BrainyQuoteRetrieved March 17, 2013, fromhttp://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/quotes/c/carlyfiori455266.html Merida | Brave Characters | Official Disney Pixar Site UK. (n.d.). Disney.co.uk | The Official Home Page For All Things Disney. Retrieved February 13, 2013, from http://www.disney.co.uk/brave/