Buffy the Vampire Slayer as a Feminist Christ figure. She saved the world, a lot.

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1 Buffy the Vampire Slayer as a Feminist Christ figure She saved the world, a lot.

2 Buffy as Christ figure Buffy character has parallels to Christ Spoken of in prophesy Special, chosen nature Casting out demons Sacrifice Death Descent into Hell Resurrection But Buffy story placed in naturalized, nontheological, feminist frame

3 Prophesy Like Christ, Buffy s coming was prophesied. Like Christ, Buffy s death was prophesied. Also like Christ, prophesy open to multiple interpretations. Episodes: voice over from all episodes; Prophesy Girl (1997) In every generation there is a Chosen One. She alone will stand against the vampires, the demons, and the forces of darkness. She is the Slayer. Opening narration in seasons 1 and 2 of Buffy the Vampire Slayer

4 Buffy as the Chosen One Like Christ, Buffy is the supposed to be the only one able to save us - she alone can stand against the vampires, the demons, and the forces of darkness. But, unlike Christ, Buffy relies on friends, family to help save others Destiny - her selection as Slayer, her role, not an accident. Suffering, death are prices Buffy pays to fulfill her destiny. Episodes: Prophesy Girl (1997); Becoming, I & II (1998); The Gift (2001), etc. B

5 Buffy as the Chosen One Slayer s birth out of darkness; - demon power infused in young girl against her will by men. Hmm commentary on Mary s conception of Jesus? Source of power = darkness, exploitation. Non-theological - no divine plan, only human plan Humans not fallen (but can be evil) - must redeem themselves. Buffy makes world safe for them to do so.

6 Casting out demons Casting out demons was one of the miracles credited to Jesus. Example, Matthew 8:28-33 There met Him two demon-possessed men, coming out of the tombs, exceedingly fierce, so that no one could pass that way. And He said to them, "Go." So when they had come out, they went into the herd of swine. And suddenly the whole herd of swine ran violently down the steep place into the sea, and perished in the water. Weapon = words - Jesus tells them to go, and they go

7 Buffy takes out demons As slayer, every vampire slain is the casting out of a demon from our world. Other demons also cast out - Acathla, The Judge, etc. Buffy s weapons range from wooden stakes to rocket launchers she also uses words, but as precursor to slaying in a more physical sense. Episode: Innocence (1998)

8 Buffy s Sacrifice(s) Buffy s Gethsemane moment in Prophesy Girl - like Christ, sacrifices self anyway. Love of friends, family, humanity motivates selfsacrifice (not love of God) Sacrifice of others, also - Angel s death Others also willing to die - not exclusive to Buffy - Dawn s death would also serve purpose Buffy s plan, not divine plan

9 Death of Christ In Christian teachings, death of Christ necessary for redemption of mankind. Death of Christ is part of divine plan. Without death, humans are not saved - no entry into heaven. Death of Christ defeats evil, sin, death. Only via Christ s death can heaven be attained.

10 Death is her gift - Buffy s deaths Buffy dies twice - each time prevents an apocalypse. Buffy s death necessary - prophesied, needed to stop evil of The Master from taking over the world. Returns stronger than ever - evil defeats itself through death of Buffy. Episode: Prophecy Girl (1997);

11 Death is her gift - Buffy s deaths Buffy s second death - closes portal to Hell, saves the world. Told, death is her gift - giving her life is her gift to mankind. Heaven must be attained via own actions, if at all - Buffy is not gateway to heaven - she is gateway to life in the world - this-worldly focus. The hardest thing in this world is to live in it. Be brave. Live. Episode: The Gift (2001)

12 Christ s Descent into Hell The harrowing of hell, Christian doctrine elaborated in Middle Ages, drawn from Apostle s Creed: at death, Christ descended into hell, broke down the gates, lead Adam, Eve, Abraham, etc. out of Hell and up to Heaven. 1 Peter 3:19-20: Jesus "went and made a proclamation to the spirits in prison, who in former times did not obey, when God waited patiently in the days of Noah..." Rescued the righteous, those who lived before Christ, and so could not get into heaven (since doorway to heaven is through Jesus alone.)

13 Buffy s Descent into Hell Buffy - sacrifices the love of her life - Angel - flees her life by running away to LA. Descends to hell not on death, but on return to life (emotional health). She leads not saints, patriarchs, etc. from Hell, but the homeless, runaway teenagers, the abused, the exploited, sinners Episode Anne (1998)

14 Buffy s Resurrection(s) Buffy s 1st resurrection - love, loyalty of friend (Xander) - mouth to mouth resuscitation (no divine interference) Buffy s 2nd resurrection - after several months - loyalty, love of friends, misguided? - magic spell. Like Christ, friends fail to recognize her at first (mistaken for Buffybot ) Died, went to heaven, pulled back to Earth - Earth is hell? Earth is heaven? Musical episode: I live in Hell / cause I ve been expelled / from Heaven. But Buffy is reminded - this-worldly emphasis is what is important. Episodes: Bargaining I & II; Once More with Feeling (2001)

15 Buffy as a feminist Christ? Final sacrifice = her chosen stature - she shares her power with women all over the world Shared power = multiplied power. Women s power breaks male exploitation pattern (first slayer chained by men; power shared through women s magic) Women s power defeats First Evil = this-worldly salvation. Saves all women to be strong Salvation through empowerment, social engagement, community.

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