What genre novels have women who have "too much power"?
July 8, 2006 12:31 PM Subscribe
Is the Woman Who Has Too Much Power and Must Be Stopped a commonly recurring plotline in genre works? If so, what are some examples?
posted by Prospero to media & arts (27 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
Last night I was discussing science fiction novels with a few friends of mine, and posited that I feel that the following plotline, with some variations, recurs in one form or another in a good many genre works. I could only come up with a couple of specific examples offhand, and yet it seems quite familiar, as if I should be able to rattle off dozens (and my friends agreed). I won't yet list the examples we thought of in this thread, though if they're not here when I come back later, I will.
1. It begins with two characters, one male, one female--for some reason or other, the female is subordinate to the male.
2. For some reason, the female character (who is not necessarily a child) undergoes a change (either mystical, supernatural, or the result of science gome amok) that can be read as symbolic of puberty, and ends up with supernatural or superhuman powers as a result.
3. The male character decides that the female character has "too much power" and "must be stopped", though oftentimes she's not really doing any harm to anyone, and may even be helping people with her newly acquired power (she may have the power to heal by laying on hands, e.g.). He reasons that the two avenues available to him to "stop" her are violence and seduction. Violence is off the table because, after all, she has too much power; for some reason, likely related either to the male character's ineptitude in matters of the heart or his abusive or boorish nature, seduction fails.
4. The plotline ends with a fight, during which the female character's newly acquired powers are tested to their limits. As a result the male character is defeated and may be annihilated completely, absorbed into some larger, wiser consciousness, or something similar.
Of the four points mentioned above, (2) is absolutely necessary; however (1), (3), and (4) tend to accompany it in one form or another.
Does this plotline I've described above seem familiar to you? If so, what works (science fiction, fantasy, or horror; books, comics, or films) can you name in which it appears?