Critically discuss the difference in gender representations by conducting a comparative analysis of characters in Skyfall and Gold Finger James Bond’s evolution of over fifty years had led to various types of illustrations and interpretations of gender and how it’s portrayed within its films, in particular, its known role. For example the recent release of the latest instalment of the James Bond series Skyfall (2012) featuring Daniel Craig, compared to the first James Bond character played by Sean Connery, in which sets a precedence to the stereotype known today as ‘James Bond’.
Gender roles can be defined as character, which distinguishes the behaviours and outlooks that humanity reflects appropriate for males and females (expressed through masculinity for males and femininity for females. ) To understand gender representations in today’s society and within the James Bond series of films we need to first briefly discuss what is the major difference between masculinity and femininity? Firstly the most known and common difference between males and females is ‘sex’; these natural orders essentially distinguish genders separately. Along with organs related to reproduction and biological differences.
However gender as a collective is a social, not a living characteristic. The sociological implication of sex is controlled by the governing members of humanity. Gender effectively guides one’s life and life experiences, opportunities’ for possessions, supremacy and importantly prestige. It’s fair to say gender is a structural feature of society. The article “Shaken and Stirred: A Content Analysis of Women’s Portrayals in James Bond Films” explains how males and in particular females are portrayed within ‘James Bond’ films in the twentieth and twenty-first century.
From the very first fictional espionage ‘James Bond’ novel published by Ian Fleming in autumn of 1953, Fleming smoothed the way for a global film audience that has lasted and continued to grow for over fifty years, and today is frequently recognized as one of the world’s commonly recognised fictional characters. Directors globally have remade the intensified socio-political and Cold-War tensions throughput the famous eleven novels, short stories and films of ‘James Bond’, in which film audiences have been treated to the journeys of James Bond, with great mass media display, and associated with each new publication.
The main mould to the known ‘Bond Formula’ along with exquisite vehicles, a demonic rogue, pioneering devices and alcoholic beverages, is the plethora of gorgeous women. The current plea of the utopia in Bond films relates deeply on eye-catching women which matches to the bond character. Prominent females are pivotal to the story line and overall tone of the films. Every Bond flick has numerous female characters that constantly lure, side track and assist James in his latest assignment.
Stereotypically, at least one unique “bond girl” is mainly salient. A woman with a courageous nature, calculating characteristics, strong potential for passionate entanglement with, Bond and a sense of self-confidence whose name is Pussy Galore in the film Gold Finger, with Sean Connery. The ‘bond girl’ in the film Skyfall though Severine with Daniel Craig. Severine aided Bond to help with his mission considering they were both after one common goal to capture Raoul Silva (the villain).
From the time era of Gold Finger to Skyfall; it is clearly examinable that the seriousness of women in motion pictures became one of seriousness and pleasure, gradually over time though, it’s been more physical and mission constructed, rather than the classical portrayed and orthodox image of ‘James Bond’ According to an analysis by Stern and Mastro (2004), they both replicated the long-established findings with regard to women’s role – females remain harshly diminished, they are considerably younger than their male colleagues, and they are represented as effective only when thin, gorgeous, as well as sexualized (e. . , evident in Sky Fall where Bond is attired in a three-piece suit and Severine wearing a provocative dress sharing a vodka martini in Hong Kong, in contrast to Gold Finger where both Bond and Galore were relatively the same age. One can see that changing social views has influenced this change, to have viewers rather see a younger female with a mature male partner. ) In the espionage series, Bond’s attitudes and behaviours tend to aggress on women. In perspective they do not seem to prevent or terminate his final objective or the positive rewards he obtains presented to him at the finale of the picture.
In accordance to Jenkins (2005) and Murray (1988) “Bond ‘girls’, a now pejorative term in itself, often play independent, highly intelligent roles as heroes, villains, other agents, or professionals”. This further explains that independent characters are primarily attached to Bond (male protagonist), this can also be explained by the relationship Bond shares with other male characters. Importantly the female characters role for instance in the film series is framed as “objects of sex or viciousness, or onsidered easily dispensable”. A common quote and phrase which successfully draws impact towards the viewing audience by presenting a limited view of the role of women in the world of philosophy and discretion. Socially today, older feminine characters in current films particularly in the United States continue to practise ample underrepresented films when related with males. Feminine characters are also much less likely than masculine characters to show direction and professional supremacy.
This is the case in Gold Finger James Bond boss (represented by M) and Quartermaster (represented by Q) are both much older males than Bond, symbolising authority, in which both males express dominance and humour with Bond compared to the film Sky Fall where M is represented by a female (Judi Dench), whom is also older than Bond, acts firm, tough and lacks confidence in Bond claiming “I don’t know if I can trust you yet 007. ” But shows somewhat empathy and slight trust in Bond, when Bond failed his performance review test, M claimed “Bond is ready. The successful Bond film series is a perfect fit to influences and relationships, with its long longitudinal account of sex and hostility relating to women.
This known formula (mentioned above) is the secret to the Bond series and why it’s so successful in its running of over fifty years and thereby an important element in the popular culture of espionage. In kin of “Cinematic sociology: social life in Film” by J. Sutherland. The manuscript discusses filmic images of authoritative and powerful women. Firstly ‘power-over’ which can be defined as, women whom feel safe and dynamic, if they exercise authority over others.
Also if females imitate masculinized authority, then the woman is most likely to “the bitch”. The film Sky Fall practically covers this theory, in which Bond faces a physiologist where they ‘word associate. ’ When the topic of ‘boss’ arose, Bond confidently responded ‘Bitch’. This kind of element would have not of been seen in the time of the older Sean Connery film of Gold Finger but a more mutual understanding, personal and private matter without any third party interference.
According to Sutherland’s theory “If she mimics masculinized power, she is likely to be ‘the bitch’ or we find that she is humbled (or killed! In the end. ” Can the same be said for M though? (Judi Dench) During the film tension and anger between the two protagonists began to escalate quickly from the pressures of the task at hand. However towards the end of the film Sky Fall, M develops and strong connection with Bond about his past and upbringing, eventually M passes away leaving the audience with the ideology of M as a Hero or a ‘Bitch’ according to Sutherland’s theory. In accordance to Pompper’s article “Masculinities, the Metrosexual, and media images: Across Dimensions of Age and Ethnicity”, the discussion of the article mostly revolves around male ethnicity.
Sociologists Saddik (2003) and Wolfe (2003) discovered African-American men have hyper masculinity in activities they take part in, such as hard-core gangsta rap and sports, projecting a cool pose which is an essential key to masculinity, self-importance, control and strength. Daniel Craig perfectly fits the definition of the above statement, simply because the evolution of ‘James Bond’ has evolved into the characteristics of hyper masculinity, but not physically. Roberinson (2000) perfectly defines Sean Connery as the Caucasian/White ‘James Bond’ through Newitz and Wray (1996) quote “the most marginalized identities around”.
Sean Connery in his respected time as ‘Bond’ embraced masculinity known today as a ‘macho-man’ however stereotypically changes over time which has led to Daniel Craig today. Within Pompper’s ‘results and discussion’ an interview with a Caucasian/white man explained “society says men are the breadwinner. The men are the ones who takes care of the woman. ” This could possibly be the definition of ‘James Bond’, to be the ‘breadwinner’ to “protect mother (M) and serve Queen of country. Could this be the reason why ‘James Bond’ is a male and not a female protagonist? Another perspective on the issue comes from Gilpatic (2010) “Violent Female Action Characters in Contemporary American Cinema”. Media studies have shown that films created before 1970 found 80% of characters unmarried (King 2008), very obvious in Gold Finger where is has become socially acceptable at the given time. In contrast to Sky Fall which doesn’t fit the criteria though, the ‘bond girl’ Severine is married to Bond’s arch villain.
Bufkin (2001) argues that the media has shown recent trends of increased female action characters over time. For the James Bond franchise this is something that they both share, ‘bond girls’ partnered with 007 to save the world. Bufkin (2001) also adds that female characters were masculinized when they engaged in violence and women are victimized additionally than men. Sociologist, Taliaferro’s novel (2006) “James Bond and Philosophy: Questions are forever” with the character of ‘James Bond’ heading into the next millennium, pressure was high for the next ‘Bond’ after Brosnan.
In fact, Roger Moore, said, “Both Sean Connery and I will be forgotten…” (James Bond: The Legacy, p. 242). Craig is strangely a picture-perfect arrangement of the two famous Bonds: He has Connery’s stage presence and Moore’s dry wit. The Bond fiction production progresses through these chivalric and civil societies—moving in an suitable amount of Mariology—to combine with a somewhat astonishing portrayal of sex as an action of restoration which distributes the damsel in agony from the controls of an malicious overlord.
The outcome is a witty confirmation of the respectable character in overpowering criminals. The theme of liberating sex is made rather obvious in the initial Bond films, notably Goldfinger. In this film the protagonist Pussy Galore is protected from harm by Bond. In turn they play a inconspicuous but vital role in secondary assistance to Bond in his final victory over evil. In the film Bond is questioned did he succeed in convincing Miss Galore to effect the substitution, he replies shyly: “I appealed to her maternal instinct. ”
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