Women Portrayal

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Throughout the history of literature and film, women have been portrayed in endless ways. Women have been depicted as being helpless, ruthless, motherly, or weak among many others. The most common portrayal of women, in my opinion, is that we are either objects of desire or subservient to the more "superior" gender, that is, men. In Ridley Scott's Blade Runner and Theresa Cha's Dictee, women are, indeed, portrayed in different ways. I want to compare the representation of women from both works of art.

Ridley Scott's science fiction classic, Blade Runner, is a story that takes place in the future- 2019 to be exact. There are two things that struck me about this film, the first being that its style is very similar to that of film noir. In film noir, such as The Maltese Falcon or Mildred Pierce, the mood is melancholy. The fashion, black and white photos, art-deco buildings, the use of voice-over, and even the cigarette holders are reminiscent of film noir. Moreover, women in film noir are portrayed as being helpless and meek, always in need of a strong, handsome hero to come in and "save the day," or as femme fatales-- sexy, strong, and deadly. Rachel, the replicant who doesn't know she is a cyborg and ends up killing Leon, is the perfect image of a femme fatale—from her dark hair, right down to her dark lipstick. While she is tough and hardened enough to survive the severe environments, she is also tender and vulnerable enough to express pain and grieve. In Theresa Cha's Dictee, women are portrayed in a different light. This book is frustrating, confusing, and yet, enchanting, with poetry, riddles, photos of mothers and heroines. Dictee contains a multitude of women who embody cultural mythologies: the Nine Muses, Yu Guan Soon, St. Therese of Lisieux, and Joan of Arc. However, these figures exist only as fragments in the text, making their appearances through letters, confessions, and images. For example, the Nine Muses appear as sectional headers, but their...
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