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Convoluted Feminism Essay

763 words - 4 pages

King’s Mary Russell series aimed to update the Sherlock Holmes cannon to the modern feminist era. However, King’s The Beekeeper’s Apprentice complicates its own feminist views through Mary’s approval seeking behavior, male disguises, and prevalent sentiments.
The most ineffective was King’s The Beekeeper’s Apprentice undermines its feminist stance is through Mary’s approval seeking behavior. Approval seeking behavior is extremely common throughout society. Young children want their parents to approve of them and peers yearn to be respected by one another. Mary is no exception to this. Holmes’ approval is what she is looking for in particular. Mary asked Holmes if her presence was an ...view middle of the document...

When Holmes and Mary travel to Israel, they disguise themselves as “a father and son of a dark-skinned, light-eyed nomads.” (244) Mary is required to disguise herself as a boy multiple times throughout the novel. Naturally, this contradicts the traditional feminist model. Feminism supports female pride, which does not include trading femininity for masculinity. This also does not showcase gender equality, something the feminist movement advocates. However, Mary does not denounce her femininity completely. She describes bathing as “sheer sybaritic pleasure.” (136) Mary clearly enjoys some aspects of femininity and is not ashamed to be a woman. However, the novel creates scenarios that require Mary to relinquish her feline attributes. The Beekeeper’s Apprentice also allows Holmes to “solve any discomfort [Mary’s] sex might cause him by simply ignoring it.” (35) This supports the rejection of women and feminine qualities. These qualities make Holmes uncomfortable, so he can just ignore them fairly easily. This suggests that these female attributes play a minor role and can be readily substituted for masculine characteristics. Clearly this does not coincide with feminist viewpoints. Subsequently, Mary’s frequent male disguises play a significant role in illustrating the complicated feminist views in The Beekeeper’s Apprentice.
The Beekeeper’s Apprentice uses Mary’s prevalent sentiments as its most compelling assertion of its complicated...

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