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Laurell K. Hamilton - Essay Example

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Laurell K. Hamilton Laurell K. Hamilton is a contemporary American fantasy and romance writer whose works are abundant with numerous contemporary themes taken from the day to day life of the Americans. Hamilton’s works combine aspects of mystery, fantasy, magic, horror and romance…
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Laurell K. Hamilton
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Download file to see previous pages In all of Hamilton’s novels one can come across a number of contemporary themes that goes well in tune with the contemporary American socio-cultural milieu. For instance, her works deal with such contemporary themes in American literature such as gender, sex, identity, oppression, and morality. The paper seeks to explore what makes Hamilton a contemporary writer who deals with contemporary themes in literature and in doing so the paper focuses on the dominant themes in her writings. The themes of gender and sex are dominant in Hamilton’s writings and it is these themes that attribute her works a contemporary nature even though her plot and characters stem out of mere fantasy. One can clearly see that her women protagonists challenge the very notion of the stereotyped gender and sex roles played by women in a male dominated society. Nick Mamatas is right when the author remarks that Hamilton accomplished something quite impossible by creating “a new subgenre, urban fantasy-adventure with a female lead, and build a new audience for it” (Hamilton & Wilson, 2009, p. 5). In fact, Hamilton created her female protagonists in such a way that the female readers could easily identify with the central characters and her female protagonists undertake such actions which females thought to be impossible in the real life. In all her novels and short stories, one can find that the male characters are forced to follow the female lead. For instance, in the Anita Blake series, Anita Blake assumes a tough personality who always triumphs over men. Thus, one can see that Hamilton challenged the conventions of a standard fantasy novel where the heroine always played a submissive role to the heroes. Her heroines do not end up their lives in the hero’s bed for domestic-sexual bliss. Usually, in popular fiction, “even if a woman triumphed over a man intellectually, economically, or rhetorically in a scene or two, by the end of the book the female lead would be humbled and ready to submit to the male lead” and “Hamilton changed that” (Hamilton & Wilson, 2009, p. 9). Thus, it can be concluded that Hamilton’s writings depict the changing gender roles played by women and such a theme is very much contemporary in literature. No doubt, the themes related to literature derive the real or imaginary life of man and a theme in literature is said to be contemporary when it represents the existing socio-cultural milieu. The readers feel that the writer is giving vent to their own emotions, feelings, grievances, frustrations and experiences. A close reading of Hamilton convinces one that her treatment of sex and female sexuality was very much bold and unconventional. When one finds Anita Blake at the beginning of Hamilton’s series, she is a 27 year old celibate Christian who keeps strict moral codes in her life. However, one finds her supporting premarital sex and engaging in extra marital relations as the story progresses. However, Hamilton gives Anita a reason to go hog wild with sex, and in doing so she unbridged the gap between humans and monsters. In Cerulean Sin, Anita herself states, “one of my favourite things about hanging out with the monsters is the healing. Straight humans seemed to get killed on me a lot. Monsters survived. Let’s hear it for the monsters.” It is thus evident that Hamilton’s treatment of the theme of sex and sexuality assumes contemporary relevance. Nathan Brazil, reviewing Laurel K. Hamiilton’ ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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