Fifty Shades of Grey: A look into the relationship
Fifty Shades of Grey by E.L. James is an erotic novel that explores a Dominant-submissive relationship between a young woman and a multimillionaire bachelor. The novel’s focus is to open the literary world and its readers to an alternative relationship dynamic, which until now has not been prominent in literature. Fifty Shades of Grey is a successful erotic romance novel that emphasizes the unique aspects of a Dominant-submissive relationship. James clearly demonstrates how Ana is objectified and subjected to dehumanizing and humiliating acts while under the control of Christian Grey and how these behaviors result in negative mental impacts for submissives. Anastasia Steele (Ana), and Christian Grey, form the couple that portray the Dom/sub relationship in the novel. Ana is new to all things sexual, while Christian has been apart of the Dom/sub world for numerous years. Not long after their first meeting, Christian introduces the first piece of paperwork attached to their relationship. A non-disclosure agreement, -NDA- contract is signed to keep Ana quiet, and Christian safe; it prohibits the submissive to talk about the Dominant in any detail to anyone other then the Dominant. This form of contract is legal in a court of law, and is the start to the revocation of submissives rights in the relationship. Ana signs the contract without hesitation, assuming it is important because he is constantly in the public eye, and has a personal life he does not want exposed to the world. She ends up regretting her decision when her roommate starts to ask questions about their dates and her repeated overnight stays with Christian. Ana realizes, even though they are not officially in a relationship, he already has a certain amount of control over her. Dominants wish to exert control over every aspect of their submissives lives, at work, at home, and in their relationships; they want to be the one controlling how much they know, and how much they will learn. Christian brings Ana to his luxurious penthouse, where she finally gets a glimpse at what he is really into. Christian’s “playroom”(James 96) is a vast, dark burgundy room with numerous torturous looking objects. “There is a large wooden cross like an X fastened to the wall facing the door. It’s made of high polished mahogany, and there are restraining cuffs on each corner”(James 98). This cross of sorts is used to hang submissives; to be punished humiliatingly, spread open and unable to move, or to be pleasured. Other methods of humiliation include, “…all manner of ropes, chains, and glinting shackles” (James 98). Ropes and the latter are used in bondage, the act of tying the submissive in uncomfortable and usually painful ways that make it hard for the submissive to move. Dominants like bondage for the power it gives them, having the submissive immobile means they are in total control. Punishments can also involve various devises, “… a startling assortment of paddles, whips, ridding crops, and funny looking feathery implements”(James 98). Whips and crops are made for humans to use on animals. The use of such devices on submissives is dehumanizing, and often humiliates the submissive to the point of tears. Ana instantly nicknames the playroom, “The Red Room of Pain”(James 132) and dreads the thought of being brought in the room to “play”. Ana is given a copy of the contract to read and is instructed to highlight the points she feels need to be discussed. The Dominant- submissive contract is to be signed by both parties involved. It outlines the expectations, rules, and hard and soft limits. Theses contracts mean nothing in a court of law, but are considered to be “law” in the relationship. Ana finds many of the points to be disturbing and unjust, “The submissive will make herself available to the dominant from Friday evening through to Sunday afternoons each week…”(James 167). Submissives have to give up other personal...
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