The Super-Male and the Super-Female : Gender Criticism in Watchmen
Sammanfattning: This essay aims to analyze if the graphic novel Watchmen criticizes the conventions of the superhero comic genre in regards to gender. The literary theory applied is gender studies. The essay examines the visual portrayal of male and female characters, as well as the male-dominated narrative. The novel does, to some extent, satirize the genre conventions. This can be seen in the hyperbolic visual portrayals of the characters, as well as the comments made on them. However, as there is a lack of self-aware criticism, the novel could not be considered as a satire of the visual representation of genders within the genre, but rather a reinforcement of them. Furthermore, the male-dominated narrative is present in Watchmen, and Laurie could be seen as satirizing this genre convention, as she is a hyperbolic interpretation of the girlfriend archetype. However, there is little change or self-aware critique against the genre norms here as well, thus it cannot be considered satire. Laurie does, however, show criticism of the violence against women within the genre by making a number of comments on the attempted rape of her mother. This may not be satire but she does provide commentary of this trope. In conclusion, while there are instances of criticism, the novel as a whole cannot be considered satire of the superhero genre.
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