Wednesday, November 16, 2005


Willow as Hybrid - The trasistions of her character though stereotypes associated to women in sci-fi

Introduction (461)

For this dissitation Im going to look at Willow Rosenberg from the TV series "Buffy the Vampia Slayer" (BVS) as a hybrid female character. During my research for this dissitation I have looked at several female characters and how they all have elements of geek, hero, villan, babe as well as other more uneack characteristecs. For example Trinity from the Matrix is at first a hearo and then turns to more of a babe and love interest.

However for this dissitation and due to the limited word count Im going to focuse on Willow as she encapsulates all of these elements as well as some added extras.

I will look into the steriotypes of Willow and how though representation she has several elements to her personality. I will look at Willow as a Geek, Willow as a Witch, Willow as a Villain, Willow as a Massiah and Willow's Sexuality and how this infulences her and the different elements of her self.

We are introduced to Willow in the first episode of the show as a shy, nervous, naive and fairly stereotypical american high school 'Geek' with low self-esteem and a knack of being exceptionally clumsy. She is very good at science as well as with a computer and knows hacking tricks which are needed to advance the plot.

Many jokes are played off her character's apparent innocence and sweetness, which allow her lightly risqué statements to be humorous. From its initial stereotype, her character becomes much more complex as the series progresses which can be put down to her friends, the frightening experiences she overcomes and meeting her lover Tara Maclay.

Over the seven seasons Willow magical power as a witch increases as her self-esteem increeses she also experiments with her sexuality and finaly comes out as a lesbian.

Willow as well as Buffy has appered in every 144 episodes of the series. The other main characters in the show are Buffy, Xander and Giles.

The four main charicters of Buffy, Willow, Xander and Giles compaire them selves to the 'Scoobi Gang' in reference to the '70s TV cartoon Scooby-Doo and refer to them selves as the 'Scoobies'. This comparison is very aparent in the relationship between Buffy and Willow. Durring my dissitation I will compair these simularitys and disscuss them in more depth.

They also use the term (to) Scully meaning to explain paranormal activitys with scientific rationlal. This is in homage to Dana Scully of 'The X-Files' ("I cannot believe that you of all people are trying to Scully me")

During this dissitation I am going to look deeper into Willow and I will mention other characters such as Spike (a Vampira), Tara Maclay (a witch and Willows lover), Oz (Willows First Love) as well as Angel (a Vampira).

Willow as Geek (1,051)

Willow's intriduction to us as viewers is of an inteligent but shy indervidual. She is nervous, naive and forfills the tennage school geek steriotype.

She is an extreamly bright student and very talentend with science and on a computer, as she performs hacking tricks to help her friends thought out the episodes.

Here dress code is very plane and often humoruse. Unlike Buffy who dresses sexualy and fashionably, Willow tends to stick to more comfortable cloths. However as her character evolves and changes, her aperance and cloths change to help show the viewers that she is a different Willow. I will go into this in more detail in later chapters when I disccuss Willow as a Witch, Massiah, Villain and her Sexuality.

The Geek Willow creates a poler oppersit for the later 'Dark' Willow. This makes us as viewers conect deeper with the character as a we feel we no this representation fo Willow and understand the reasons behind her change to evil.

The Geek Steriotype is also used for comic effect, allowing the tention of violent and scarry sceens to be lightened. Willow also makes Buffy look better in terms of looks and apperance. The same way as lieing next to a fat person on the beach makes us look better, or at least we think it does.

However Buffy's intelegence is deffinetly not at the same level as Willow. This is one of the simularitys bettween BVS and the 'Scoobie Gang'. The charicters Velma/Buffy and Betty/Willow have a distinct inteligence gap however the more popular 'cheer leader' type leads the group.

Willow is constatly trying to build her confidence and her Identity though out the entier seriece of BVS. She feels like an outsider of the group her orquad and geekish aperance and behaviors icealet her from the norm and make her feel more of an out cast. With her use of Magick she begins to find her self and we start to see her charicter grow in her self more. I will disscuss Willows use of magick and the why we she her charicter change later chapters.

As (***) states in her paper about Willow's split charicter "Her love of academic learning, new technology and researching magic are defining features of Willow's character. It is her love of knowledge, or the tools of knowledge, that seemed to spark Willow's initial interest in magick. Willow's love of text, which inspires her knowledge seeking, is essentially a means to an end: she requires the text in order to find knowledge, and by extension power." (**** 2005)

This statement sums up Willow's charicter perfictly she finds her knowledge and therefore her power in her reseach be it from books or computers. She fits in perfectly with the famous quote "Knowledge is power" by Sir Francis Bacon. However with this power Willow does not see her self as haveing a clear identiy in the group, where as the other members see her as a strong relyable source of power, stability and experience.

This identity that she creates is a fragile one and she has to belong to some one in order to feel secure. This can be seen in her relationships with Xander, Oz and then Tara. As Battis argues "Willow's relationship with Tara, like her realtionship with Oz, only further demonstrates her dis(embodiment) as a subjet whose mentality and materiality is fragmented.... She must belong to Tara, to Oz, to Xander, in order to be inscribed by meaning, by the validity that others place in her" (Battis 2003). This results in Willow lossing herself when ever the person she feels she belongs to eather leaves, dies or finds another partner, making her charicter very unstable.

As a geek steriotype this insicurity in ones self fits in well to the stay at home in your room and only deal with the world from behind a computer screen. It means that all elements of your life can be controled and therefor it makes life safer and calculated. This makes Willow an intersting charicter to look into as she has this vunrabiliy as well as a grate strenth that she finds from her Magick.

One element that brakes the geeks steriotype of Willow is the fact that she is female. We do not think of women as beeing geeks or even to be involved in technology such as computers. Though out my research I have looked at cyberfeminisum and how women and technology are represented.

Willow's charicter brakes the traditional steriotype by being female and as Donna Haraway argues agenst the "cultural dichotomies between 'male technologys' and 'female nature' to propose a different nothion of a hybrid or fragile self whose capacities are no longer built up on a concept of identity and demarcation, but rather on diverging concepts of embodiement, figgernce and solidarity. For Haraway, there is no consistent or 'natural' notion of 'femininity' or 'womanhood' and especially no state of being that could be called 'woman'. " (Kuni, V. 1998)

If we take what Haraway says into note the consept of a female geek is easy to represent as we no longer have a consept of female or gender. However the gender steriotype of Willow as female is also played upon as unlike Buffy's strong and sometimes male tendencies. Willow stayes in the background, is often in danger, the damsel in distress steriotype and she is also relativly week with out her Magick.

Which leads us back to the begining of Willow as a Geek. To sumarise Willow is a fragile, nervause and dependent charicter. She has to belong to some one to feel a part of something and part of the group. This makes her personality very fradgile and so when the Power she gains from her Magick develops she needs the support of Tara and her other friends to keep it under controle. Nevertheless as I will discuss in later chapters this support is streatched to the limits and almost results in the epocalips.

Willows Geek side give the seriece humor as well as a more down to earth human side she is the loveable charicter we can all relate to from our younger days when we felt the odd ones out and the wall flowers. We enjoy watching her develop and grow into her self.

Willow as Witch (1,637)

Willow's power and streanth comes from her magic. The stronger her magic the more confident she becomes. However the power becomes an adiction and we see Willow going though the same as any drug user going though rehabilitation and with drawal.

Willow's charicter being one that is shy and slighly detached from the group means that though finding her self in the 'Magicks' as she refers to them, means that her charicter has more responsabilitys in the group and so more status but this leads to her becomeing more icolated as well due to the fact that Magick is only understood by her and the new character we meet Tara.

Due to Willow's dependent personality and her relationship with Tara which becomes romantic. Willow becomes dependent and feels as tho she belongs to Tara. This alows her to be stronger and her Magick becomes more powerful. Nevertheless when Tara is killed by a bulet that was ment for Buffy this pushes Willow over the edge and the Power inside her takes over. The dispare at the loss of her lover and the only one she feels to truly understand her has been taken from her.

This dispare and anger manifests its self in 'evil' and is represented by changing Willows apperance. Her normaly red/orange hair turns black as do her eyes. Her cloths become black and are no longer fuzzy and comical. She also shortens her long vocabulary to short brisk commands such as "take a nap", "stop" and "back off" these are seen in 'The Wish' [3ABB09] and 'Doppelgangland' [3ABB16] as well as later episodes when she becomes the real 'Dark' Willow.

In the episode 'Doppelgangland' [3ABB16] Willow is horrified to observe that "I'm so evil and . . . skanky! And I think I'm kinda gay" at this time in the series Willow is in a relationship with Oz and so her later gay relationship which intern results in her most powerful and most evil state as a witch has not yet occured. Meaning that she has not yet discovered her true self.

As Willow's power from her Magick grows her status in the group starts to shift. She is no longer the one who has to be working on the computers, the poor defenslace geek. She becomes strong and asertive we see this in the new style of cloths that she starts to ware no longer the pink fluffy jumbers but a more trendy look. As her power grows and with her relationship with Tara who has know replace the geeky, shy and 'screaming girl' steriotype that Willow used to play. Willows power starts to rival that of Buffy's streanth. We start to see cracks in Buffy in 'Fool for Love' [5ABBO7] in this episode Buffy is betten by a Vampia and actualy gets staked her self and she is also trying to find out why the other slayers got killed.

This shows that Buffy also has a weeker side she fears death and a premature death. The power change in the group takes grater affect when Willow becomes 'Dark' Willow. Her new power means that Buffy is no longer the one in control and as she says "the Law" but Willow is. In the end it is not Buffy that maniges to stop the Willow courcing the epocolips but it is Xanders who manages to get though to Willow with his childhood recolections of "crayon-breaky Willow" "First day of kindergarten. You cried because you broke the yellow crayon, and you were too afraid to tell anyone. You've come pretty far, ending the world, not a terrific notion. But the thing is? Yeah. I love you. I loved crayon-breaky Willow and I love ... scary veiny Willow. So if I'm going out, it's here. If you wanna kill the world? Well, then start with me. I've earned that." [6ABB22]

It is Xander's love for Willow that brings her back from the brink. She has lost the person that she feels the closesd to (Tara) and can never she her again due to her death and her dispare and Magick Power almost distroys the world. We as viewers can all relate to the way she is feeling. When we lose some one we truly love we feel as tho the world should stop and can not comprehend why it does not. If we had the power that Willow posesses it is entirely possible that we would do exactly as she dose. Revenge Tara's death and then in our total disspare and feeling as tho no one loves us destroy the world. Xanda's expression of love shows Willow there is still something to live for and so brings her back from the brink.

In conclusion Willow's Magick defines her in the group as well as giving her more confidence and presence. Her status as a Witch and eventualy a renowned powerful Witch means the group as a hole becomes stronger. However the Magick also icolates Willow from the group as she is the only one until Tara arives who understands it. The power of her Magick also becomes an adiction as she becomes stronger and she is faced with a difficult desison of giving it up compleatly or lossing her self and the people she loves.

When Willow desides to give up the magicks we understand how she feels about her self when she is talking to Buffy in 'Wrecked' [6ABB10] after Willow took Dawn to the Magick dealer because she needed a hit when she was supposed to be looking after her. After they leave the dealer Willow is acting spaced out and not her normal self which upsets Dawn but to make maters worse a Demon attacks them which they escape by stealing a car which Willow crashes nocking her self out and leaving Dawn vunrable and inevitably she gets ingered. Luckly Buffy comes to the rescue even tho it is Willow in the end that kills the Demon Dawn and the others are still dissapointed in Willow. Due to this Willow Desides to quit the Magicks and begs Buffy for her help. We later hear this converstation in Willows Bedroom and find out what she really thinks about her self.

" BUFFY: Will, there's nothing wrong with you. You don't need magick to be special.
WILLOW: Don't I? I mean, Buffy, who was I? Just ... some girl. Tara didn't even know that girl.
BUFFY: You are more than some girl. And Tara wants you to stop. She loves you.
WILLOW: We don't know that.
BUFFY: I know that. I promise you.
WILLOW: I just ... it took me away from myself, I was ... free.
BUFFY: I get that. More than you- But it's wrong. People get hurt.
WILLOW: If something had happened to Dawn tonight ... something worse...
BUFFY: I know.
WILLOW: No, I don't think you do. I-I ... I was out of my mind, I ... I did things I can't even...
WILLOW: It won't happen again, I promise. No more spells. I'm finished.
BUFFY: Good. I think it's right. To give it up. No matter how good it feels.
WILLOW: It's not worth it. Not if it messes with the people I love.
WILLOW: The magic wasn't all great. I won't miss the nosebleeds and the headaches and stuff.
BUFFY: There you go.
WILLOW: Or ... keeping stinky yak cheese in my bra..... Don't ask.
BUFFY: Now I don't have to.
WILLOW: 'Cause it's over.
BUFFY: Exactly. It's over."

From this converstation with Buffy we see that Willow thinks that with out the magicks she is nothing. She uses the magick to define her. Later on when Willow becomes 'Dark' Willow we hear her talking to Buffy again about her self and she tells us again but more agressivly what she thinks of herself with out Magick.

" BUFFY: Willow, I know what you want to do, but you have to listen to me. The forces inside you are incredibly powerful. They're strong ... but you're stronger. You have to remember you're still Willow.
WILLOW: (scoffs) Let me tell you something about Willow. (advancing toward Buffy) She's a loser. And she always has been. People picked on Willow in junior high school, high school, up until college. With her stupid mousy ways. And now? Willow's a junkie.
BUFFY: I can help.
WILLOW: The only thing Willow was ever good for...
WILLOW: ...the only thing I had going for me ... were the moments - just moments - when Tara would look at me and I was wonderful. (grimly) And that will never happen again. "

We see her that Willow thinks that she was "stupid" and "mousy" and that the thing that definde her and she felt she was ever good for was to be with Tara who has know been taken from her. This relates to the way she defines her self by belonging to some one. She belonged to Tara and know that she has go she has no meaning and so no purpas to be normal Willow and nothing to hold her back from being 'Dark' Willow and using magick as that reason has been removed.

The power eventualy takes her over due to the death of Tara and we watch as Willow goes on a revengful killing spree and almost causes the end of the world. Nevertheless Xander shows her there is still meaning in her life and still love in the world and so averting the apocalips.

Willow is defined by being a Witch but she is also controled by it. It keeps her from being totaly incorperated in the group but at the same time a strong member of the group. I will disscuss in more detail in the next chapter about how the 'Dark' Willow acts and how she is represented.

Willow as Massiah (888)

At the end of seasion 6 we see the death of Buffy. She totaly gone and when seasion 7 begins we are confuess to see her up and fighting again. However this miraculus recovery is not true Buffy is still dead and the 'thing' we see is a robot that was created for Spike by Waren in a previouse episode in seasion 5 and know that Willow maintains and reprograms so that the Vampires and other demons still think that the slayer is in town.

This creation is one example of Willow being a geek as well as a Massiah she the master of a creation a life, be it a robot. When the robot is damage it is programed to return to Willow for repairs. Its god its fixer is Willow. The Buffy bot as it is refered to can fight the same as the reall Buffy can but the rest of the scoobies still feel the loss of the reall Buffy.

This leads to Willow comeing up with the plan to reserect Buffy with magick. She has found that because Buffy did not die a natural human death there is a chance the she can bring her back from where Willow thinks is a Hell dimention.

She manages to convince Tara, Xanda and Anya that they should bring Buffy back and start to colect the things that they need to resercet Buffy. Willows magicks have been growing stonger over the past episode and she is starting to feel the power with in her. This magick act of reserecting Buffy is the begining of the 'Dark' Willow. We see Willow killing a living creater (a fawn) to get its blood, she does not tell the others what this ingrediant is she can not addmit it to her self. She feels repulsed that she has taken a life. This first tip toe into the dark arts give her a tast of the power that is available.

This is also the start of Willows addiction to the Magicks which I will disscuss more in the next chapter about Willow as a Villain. After Willow has reserected Buffy and she know has the taste for the Magicks she starts to become arrigont this can be seen in a screen when she is talking to Giles after the reserection and his return. He says to her in 'Flooded' [6ABBO4] "of everyone here.... you were the one I trusted most to respect the forces of nature" he the calls her a "rank, arrogant amateur" she replies to him by saying "Your right the magics I used are very powefull, Im very poweful, and maby its not such a good idea for you to piss me off". When she says this line her hole character changes and we see a glims of 'Dark' Willow. There is no physical change yet we still hear her voice change and become harsher, her manarisums change and she staires at Giles. However when she has delivered the line she litraly shakes off the 'Dark' side and we see and hear the normal Willow again and she tryes to reason with Giles.

Willows new self confidence with the power that she know has due to the Magicks means that the Willow we all no and love starts to lose her grip and she starts to shift her belife system to fit the way the magicks makes her feel. Her old ways of thinking of only using magick to help others is blown out the window and we see her using magick to create party decorations and she even wants to use the magick to clean the magick shop but Giles stops her.

Both Tara and Giles see her use off magick as dangeruse for her. The power rush is going to her head and we see the two characters becoming more and more conserend for her well being. Tara trys to confront Willow and they have an argument that leads to Willow doing a spell on Tara so that she forgets they ever had an argument. This in turn leads to Tara leaving Willow.

In Willows greaf of the loss of Tara the one person she feels she belongs to and so defining herself she she desides that she needs a replacement and so brings Amy (also a poweful witch) back from being a rat. This gives Willow a play mate alowing her to go off and have fun with her power. It is Amy that introduces Willow to the Magick Dealer how 'jacks' Willow up on some more powerful magick.

This is were the paralel with drug users starts. The location of the Magick Dealer is represented as a 'drug den' and the occupiers act like adicts, withdrawn and in need of a 'hit'. When Willow gets her 'hit' we see her stuck to the celing of the room and having a trip. We see though her eyes and we see a halusanagenic trip with vivid greens and reds and strange creaters. The trip eventualy turns bad and Willow crashes to the floor. Willow then looks at the camera and we see her with black eyes for the first time and we understand as the viewer that this magick is bad for her. This will become an adiction for her and will only lead to bad things.

Willow as Villain (1,383)

Willow is represented as a Villain in two instances. When she is a Vampire in 'The Wish' [3ABB09] and 'Doppelgangland' [3ABB16] and when she becomes 'Dark' Willow at the end of Seasion 6 ('Villans' [6ABB20], 'Two to Go' [6ABB21] and 'Grave' [6ABB22])

Nevertheless when we see Willow as a Vampire we would regard her has typical evil she wants to be evil as she has been changed into a Vampire (a demon) therefor there is nothing but evil in her. But when we see 'Dark' Willow it is the 'spark' of humanity as Giles puts it in 'Grave' that saves the world because it is that 'spark' that Xander can get though to.

These two oposits of Villains and there portrail give Willows charecter more dept. The Vampire Willow is created in an alturnat reality beacuse Buffy was never born. Vampire Willow dresses in tight leather but her hair stays red. She also acts in a suductive manner. Makeing the charecter evil but also sexy and we still have an attachment to her. We like to see her having more fun and freedom even tho she is a Vampire.

It is simular to her magick power that when she has this 'power' over others she has more self confidence. The 'power' created due to her Vampireness and the 'power' due to her magick both empower her character and brake her from that need to belong. Yet they still icealate her from the rest of the group and so the feelings of being the odd one out still remain even tho she has power and so self confidence.

Willow is and all ways will feel out of place. Even when she has 'power' in one form or another. She will feel more out of place after she loses the magick due to the fact that she has taken a human life and what she almost did (destroying the world).

When she becomes 'Dark' Willow her cloths and aperance change again. Her eyes go black simular to a sharks eyes, her hair goes black and her cloths as well are black. There is not sexyness about her she is dressed in a practical way trousers, top and over jacket. Her speech and way of deliverying her speech is also different to Vampire Willow. The manner is direct and to the point were as Vampire Willows is more suductive and playful. They both use shorter words and phrazes than 'normal' Willow such as "bord know" and "take a nap". However when 'Dark' Willow delivers these phrazes they are more agressive than Vampire Willows delivery of them.

This is another way that the distinction between the differnet aspects of Willow is portrayed to the audiance. So that we can keep a track of what Willow we are watching.

Vampire Willow also has her Vampire face to help us distingish. This is a common part of the Vampire look in BVS. All the Vampires have what is like an alter ego. When they talk and act when there faces are normal humans they are sexy, valuptues creatures and this is how they lear in there pray they in affect seduce them. When they change to Vapire mode there speech changes there is normaly a slight lisp due to the fangs, there eyes change colour normaly yellow simular to the portrail of a wild animal. There new face is also the total oppersit of there human face it is grotesc, rupusive and scarry. You would not what to meet them in a dark ally way.

The physical streant of the two characters is also different a Vampire automaticly gets a type of supper streath where as 'Dark' Willow has to perform magick on her self so that she can have the same streath as Buffy so she can fight her and subsiquently beat her. This also draws a different to the two sides of Willow. The Vampire is more brown and sexuality were as 'Dark' Willow is more of a mental creater she relies on her knowlage and feelings to guide her. She has to litraly absorbe the Dark Arts books so that she can perform her magicks. She also has to keep topping up her 'power' as she becomes drained. Where as Vampire Willow once she becomes a Vampire has a new instict and her streanth does not run out like 'Dark' Willows magicks. Unless of cource she tires from fighting to much, so in that respect they are simular.

As I mentioned earlyer one of the main differences between Vampire and 'Dark' Willow is the spark of Humanity that is left inside Willow allowing her to come back to being the Willow we all no and love. This spark is enhanced by Giles tricking 'Dark' Willow into taking the magick that he was intrusted with. This new 'power' is stronger than anything she has felt before giving her a very big trip.

The image of Willows face blurs to give the effect to the audiance that she is tripping out and how strong this new magick is for her and she even comments "Im so Juiced". When the rush starts to settle down she starts to realise that she has to much power and as she puts it "mortal person has ... ever had ... this much power" She then realises that she is connected to every one in the world and all of there emotions "All the emotion. All the pain. No, it, it's too much. It's just too much." Giles trys to tell her that it does not have to be this way and that she can stop it. It is this that makes her deside to stop all the pain "Yeah. I, I can. I have to stop this. I'll make it go away. [.....] Oh, you poor bastards!" It is this that makes her deside to distroy the world to stop the pain.

It is this connection with humanity and her desire to in a very drastic way to help by stopping the pain that horifies the audiance but also gives us that glimmer of hope she is not acting out of hait and revenge any more like she was when she tortures and killed Warren. She is know acting out of compasion be it confused and dangurouse. This means that she still has some humanity in her.

It is this spark that defines the difference between 'Dark' Willow and Vampire Willow. Xanders love for Willow eventualy gets though to 'Dark' Willow saving the day with his talk about childhood memorys "First day of kindergarten. You cried because you broke the yellow crayon, and you were too afraid to tell anyone. You've come pretty far, ending the world, not a terrific notion. But the thing is? Yeah. I love you. I loved crayon-breaky Willow and I love ... scary veiny Willow. " This memorry helps to remind her of her humanity and his love for her. He keeps repeating the words "I love you" and getting in the way of her magick. Leting her get out her anger and pain on him instead of the World.

This sceen is a brilliant meterfor of a person in greaf after the loss of a loved one. When we are in this state we can not understand why the world still turns and why we still breath. The loss and greaf is so grate. Willows magick means that she can act out what we as normal humans feel and wish we could do when we feel the same things as she is feeling. This creates a grate repore between the character and the audiance as we can relate to how she is feeling exactly and we understand her desire.

To clarify Willow is portrayed as two types of Villain in BVS she is a Vampire who is representing more of her sexuality than her evil side. She dresses in leather and talks and acts in a suductive manner. Where as 'Dark' Willow is pure black energy she is driven by greaf and vengence. Her hair, eyes and cloths are all black and there is nothing sexual about her at all. Nevertheless she has a 'spark' of humanity in her still and this alows her to come back to being the Willow we all no and love.

Willow's Sexuality (1,089)

Willow's sexuality is an integral part of her character. Though out the seven series she has several partners. Starting with Oz her first boyfriend and the first person she has a sexual relationship with.

She has also had a crush on Xander her best friend since kindergarden. This story of unrquited love brings tention to the relationship and gets the audiacne behind the characters hopeing for the relationship to become more than friendship. We eventualy see Willow and Xander get together. However in doing this they are both cheating on there partners. Yet the audiances desire to see this union means that we forgive them for this act of infadelity.

The relationship nevertheless can not become more than friendship and after they are court kissing each other by there partners the relationship comes to an end. There love for each other is still extreamly strong and it is partly this that stops Willow from destroying the world at the end of seasion 6.

Willows relationship with Oz continues even and the fact that he is a werewolf becomes another relationship trouble that they seem to hurdle with ease. The use of the werewolf metafor is used to represent the male sexuality this is explained further by Marti Noxon on the season 4 DVD she says "The whole notion of men who are beasts is a real theme in our show... The tention between the desire to be in a committed, loving, safe union and to just run wild and free.... exists in both men and women, but it's even stronger in men. I feel like men feel like they can't always control it, like they have an animal inside them" this is "animal inside" is litraly illustrated in Oz when he changes into a werewolf. She later goes on to say that the werewolf is not just a meterfor for male sexuality, but for male teen sexuality.

This beast with in is not just kept to men in BVS. Willow has her own beast that we see when she is a Vampire. She is represented as a sexualised female when she becomes a Vampire, wereing tight leather cloths, talking in a playful and sexual manner and the way she reacts to men is not shy and nervous but dominent and flurtatious.

Vampires have always had sexual undertones and Buffy even mentions it in 'Conversations with Dead People' [7ABB07] "See, this is what I hate about you vampires. Sex and death and love and pain, it’s all the same damned thing to you."

Another quote that further shows that Vampires are seen as sexual creaters is from Bram Stokers Dracular. In this quote Jonathan Harker is recounting his contact with the three female Vampires. "In the moonlight opposite me were three young women, ladies by their dress and manner. … All three had brilliant white teeth, that shone like pearls against the ruby of their voluptuous lips. There was something about them that made me uneasy, some longing and at the same time some deadly fear. " he later goes on to say "I closed my eyes in a languorous ecstacy and waited - waited with beating heart." This encounter is oviously being described as a sexual experience.

As discribed in a paper talking about the metaphor analysis in Dracular "Vampirism stands thoughout the novel as a metaphor for promiscuous sexulaity. Both acts invlove desire, penetration, the flow and exchange of bodily fluids (blood, in the case of vampirism), and have similar physiological effects - namely, a temporary healthy-looking flush which soon gives way to feeling drained." (, 2005). This can also be used for BVS and the Vampires in it. The paper also goes onto staite that female Vampires exhibit anti-maternal behavior in preying upon children again this is seen in BVS when Drucilla goes huntting alown and the onlything she can manage is children.

A female Vampire is also regarded as an ultimate fantasy figure she is a sexualised, dominent, strong, agressive and insatiable and yet she is the ultimate nightmare at the same time. This creates a character that male audiace members can fantasys about and the element of nightmare gives an extra thrill. Nevertheless the male controle is restored when a Vampire is killed as the tool of distruction is a wooden stake. (a phallic symbol) thus restoring male domince over the female and so there controle over the situation.

The twist or bonus in some male viewers case is that the Vampire Willow is gay and we later find that Willow her self is gay and starts a relationship with a fellow witch who she meets at a Wicca group in collage. Tara and Willows relationship is a strong and loving one and we are lead to belive that they are sole mates. It is Tara's murder that pushes Willow over the edge and sends her on the destructive path leading to her almost distroying the world.

Willows lesbian relationship with Tara was seen as one of the most positive lesbuan role models on television by the lesbian community and when Tara was killed off some fans and members of the lesbian comunity have argued that this was clearly an anti-gay and anti-female statement. However when you look at the show in a hole the other characters all loss people. Buffy loses Angel her true love and another example is Giles' girlfriend who is killed by Angel and then placed next to him in bed to cource him even more pain. This example of tragedy is not a new concept it is seen in ancient Greece through to Shakespeare and the moden day. It is the way to take the characters to the next level and to show the audiance that even with grate pain that they still get up and keep fighting and in the case of Willow come back from the brink of the epocalips.

To sumarise Willow's sexuality is an integral part of her character. She defines herself buy the people she is with and she has to belong to them. When she is a Vampire however she becomes a sexualised female and with this power does not need anyone else to define her. Her relationship with Tara however reverts to the old patten it alows her to grown and become more self aware. She belongs to Tara and when she is taken from her by Warran this leads to her losing her mind with greaf and rage. She is a passionet character and the act of revenging Tara's death proves this.



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