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Buffy the Vampire Slayer

analytical Essay
5070 words
5070 words
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Buffy the Vampire Slayer

Mentors feature prominently in the Gothic genre. From Dr Van Helsing in Bram Stoker's Dracula, who leads the young heroes into their quest to annihilate the Count, to Rupert Giles, the Watcher in Buffy the Vampire Slayer, older and more experienced adults have provided essential guidance for the younger protagonists of the genre. The differences in media of expression and the subsequent adaptations from novel to television series has not affected the presence of this character, more than a hundred years after the publication of Dracula in 1897. What also unites the novel and the series is their fin-de-siècle resonance.

According to Elaine Showalter, sexually and socially subversive themes feature strongly in periods of cultural insecurity. In addition to the century that separates Buffy from the Count, there has been a plethora of vampire movies and books of various merits. As a result, the late-twentieth-century average spectator knows the basic facts of vampirism. Therefore, the creators of Buffy the Vampire Slayer need to challenge their audience through another aspect of the series. Turning to their advantage what might have been a serious hindrance, they adopt a self-reflexive ironic perspective on the genre. This tenuous but innovative tension between borrowing from the tenets of the Gothic and moving away from them is especially appreciable when one evaluates the Watcher, Giles. Giles embodies both the principles of continuity and daring innovation that characterise the series and contribute to its appeal.

The similarities between Dr Van Helsing in Dracula and Giles in Buffy the Vampire Slayer create a sense of thematic and structural continuity through different media. They share a sim...

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...Unofficial Critical Companion to Buffy and Angel. Ed. Roz Kaveney. London: Tauris, 2001, 98-119.

8. Wall, Brian and Michael Zryd. "Vampire dialectics. Knowledge, institutions and labour." Reading the Vampire Slayer. An unofficial critical companion to Buffy and Angel. Ed. Roz Kaveney. London: Tauris, 2001, 53-77.

9. Jung, C. G. The Phenomenology of the Spirit in Fairy Tales. 1912. Trans. R. F. C. Hull. London: Routledge and Kegan Paul, 1967.

10. Heilbronn, Lisa M. "Natural Man, Unnatural Science: Rejection of Science in Recent Science Fiction and Fantasy Film". Contours of the Fantastic. Ed. Michele K. Langford. New York: Greenwood, 1990, 113-9, 115.

11. Auerbach, Nina. Our Vampires, Ourselves. Chicago: U of Chicago P, 1995, 5.

12. Tudor, Andrew. Monsters and Mad Scientists. A Cultural History of the Horror Movie. 1989. Oxford: Blackwell, 1991, 114.

In this essay, the author

  • Analyzes the fluidity of the roles played by butch-femmes such as helen ripley and buffy in the alien series.
  • Analyzes how giles and buffy share some defining attributes, which blur the frontier between them. predestination and its burden fall on both of them; they struggle between personal longings and communal duty.
  • Analyzes how jung argues that the old man in fairy tales has a dark side, pertaining both to the primitive healer and the dreaded concocter of poisons.
  • Analyzes giles' inability to bring himself down to the level of the youngsters he deals with on a daily basis, despite his oxford education.
  • Opines that giles must put a stop to the terrible thing.
  • Analyzes how the conflict between giles's mission as a watcher and his personal care for his slayer forces the council to sack him.
  • Describes tudor's monsters and mad scientists. a cultural history of the horror movie.
  • Analyzes how mentors feature prominently in the gothic genre, such as dr. van helsing in dracula and rupert giles in buffy the vampire slayer.
  • Compares the character of giles with van helsing in dracula and the watcher in buffy the vampire slayer.
  • Analyzes how giles and buffy's anarchic tendencies become evident in their dealings with the council of watchers.
  • Analyzes how giles and buffy are liminal outcasts with extraordinarily heavy duties and obligations towards a society that rejects them regularly.
  • Analyzes how giles' humour saves him from being an unpleasant bookish highbrow. he fulfils the unlikely role of the buffoon before spike takes on the comic relief provider.
  • Analyzes how buffy's sarcasm reflects her growing maturity and her ability to get some critical distance from her predicament.
  • Analyzes how the dialogues from 'doomed' belie its grandiloquent title. giles shares his deprecating perspective with buffy.
  • Analyzes how a conflict erupts between giles and professor maggie walsh as another possible mentor, pushing him at the borders of narrative and of action.
  • Describes some of the topics covered in the book, such as: sexual anarchy, gender and culture at the fin de siècle.
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