Between good end evil: on the moral ambiguity in "Buffy and the vampire slayer"
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Joss Whedon’s Buffy the Vampire Slayer aims to empower young women through a declared feminist agenda. The main body of this thesis explores what it is that makes Buffy a television show with a feminist agenda. This thesis analyzes areas which privileges and problematizes human agency from the perspective morals in society. The series advocates using one’s agency in order to optimize potentiality. The thesis examines emotions and human agency; manslaughter and notions of the Übermensch, and finally, the claim of agency and consequent empowerment of women. I have found that several aspects of the series problematize moral choices and privilege and a feminist agenda, with the tenets of qualified "girl power" / third way feminism leading to an alternative notion of feminine empowerment. Maintaining that Buffy is not purely entertainment, it also comments on the present state of society, with its moral ambiguities and wavering of feminism. Since this is a popular phenomenon which borrows freely from aspects of popular culture, the theoretical concepts of feminism, power, emotions, and Kant’s moral agent have been qualified. Locke’s theory on passion, Nietzsche’s Übermensch, Michael Barkun’s millenarianism, and Joseph Campbell’s monomyth are also used to support the discussion. This paper raises many questions concerning the status quo of gender. I have discovered that society still has a long road ahead to achieve full equality between the sexes, and that “battleground” of future negotiations is still very much between good and evil.
Masteroppgave i engelsk, Høgskolen i Agder, Kristiansand
PublisherHøgskolen i Agder
Agder University College