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A Cultural Feminist Perspective Of Hbo's Trueblood

1083 words - 5 pages

2008 saw an influx of vampire fiction in American popular culture. The Twilight book series was a sensation across the young adult market. In September of 2008, Alan Ball of American Beauty and Six Feet Under fame, adapted Charlene Harris’ best-selling book series The Sookie Stackhouse Novels into an hour long vampire drama for HBO. This series was the complete antithesis of the young adult vampire fiction that was sweeping the nation around the same time. Considering Ball’s previous works, it was no surprise that Trueblood was going to be risqué. Looking at the first season of the series, Trueblood is rife with sex and violence. Neither men nor women are exempt from the debaucherous ...view middle of the document...

The story focuses on the life of Sookie Stackhouse, a beautiful young waitress at the local bar & grill. The series is set in the present day and during this time Vampires have revealed themselves to the human race, in other words, they have “come out of the coffin” as it is put in the show. Considering that prior to this “coming out”, Vampires were a seemingly fictional evil entity that fed on human blood. Many of these Vampires felt that there was a need to assimilate into regular human society. The American Vampire League was formed to make this possible. The Japanese synthesized human blood and began to manufacture it to be sold as an alternative to draining actual humans, which allowed for Vampires to “mainstream” into human culture. A Vampire rights amendment was attempting to be passed at some point following the worldwide sale of Tru Blood. Supernatural beings are used in this case to allude to American civil rights issues. The Vampire race is used as a symbol for those deemed “others” in today’s culture. Since the series takes place in the deep south, the atmosphere is filled with opposing ideals and opinions. Despite Vampires being incorporated into the text to represent those parties in our culture that have fought and are still fighting for equal rights, women are not included in this even though the main character of the show is in fact a woman (“Strange Love”).
Now that we understand the atmosphere and background of the setting, we can begin to look at the characters that are pertinent to our analysis. The primary female characters in season one are:
Sookie Stackhouse (Anna Paquin), the protagonist, is introduced in the series as the modern day “Southern Belle” archetype. She is beautiful, white, and blonde with good manners and a sassy coyness about her. The biggest characteristic which upholds the archetype is that she begins the series as a voluntary virgin. What sets her apart from all of her human peers is that she is telepathic;
Tara Thorton (Rutina Weasley), is Sookie’s African-American best friend. Tara is the product of an alcoholic mother, in turn making her non-personable with most people and she has a bad attitude;
Amy Burley (Lizzy Caplan), is Jason’s girlfriend for the majority of season one. She is addicted to vampire blood and ultimately killed...

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