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The intension of this paper is to critically analyze Season 9, episode 14th of the TV series South Park using the feminism criticism and Marxist criticism approach.
A German philosopher (Das Kapital) began this analysis approach in the nineteenth-century by a (Ross 27). It states that literal criticism is based on the dialectic and socialistic theories; furthermore, the literal works are the reflections and representations of the society from which they come from (Lieske). In this regard, literature is also taken to be an institution which represents the society from which the author comes from. This might be extended to the movies and other film and artistic works (Terry 2-16). Feminism on the other hand is an approach that is used to highlight the women right operations. The approach uses the literal analysis of a piece of work that has been done by a woman. It can as well involve scrutinizing the males’ work in order to reveal their perception on the women (Purdue OWL).
South Park is an animated sitcom, created by Matt Stone and Trey Parker. It is aired at the comedy Central television network. The show is famous owing to its dark humor and the crude language cutting across a wide range of topics, such as: war, family, school life and many others. The series and the content are intended for adults. The narrative revolves around four boys, namely: Eric Cartman, Stan Marsh, Kenny McCormick and Kyle Broflovski and their adventures in the fictional Town City Park, Colorado. The city has also the other characters; these include students, families, school staffs, and the various residences. The show is mostly set at the land marks in the region with its popular snow parks, stages, and businesses along the main streets. The creation has been a huge success and is expected to continue running until at least 2016. It is a continuous show with the each episode being produced in the week previous to its airing week.
The 14th episode of the ninth season, Virgin Mary/ Bloody Mary is an insult to the women in the society s well as to the catholic community. The episode was aired on December of the year 2005. In that episode, one of the characters, Randy who is drunk looses his licenses and finds himself in an anonymous meeting of the alcoholics. He admitted to his inability to quit alcoholism by himself. T that instant, the statue of Virgin Mary starts to spay blood off the private parts. Randy believes that if he get sprayed with the blood he will be healed. This caused a commotion amongst the public and the Pope XVI was called in to investigate the situation. Upon the investigation the pope revealed that the blood was spraying from the reproductive part (Catholic Encyclopedia).
The script was written by Trey Parker alongside Matt Stone all of whom are male. The two script writer expounds their view on the women in general. According to Marxist criticism, the work of art is mostly a representation of the society. In this case, Parker and Stones can be used to represent the male figure in the society and their view on the women in the society can be said to be the view of the males in the society. The term feminism is used to describe a particular movement in the American history that saw the women rise up to fight for their rights and issues that affects them. In other parts of the world, the term is used to indicate the perceived situations whereby the rights and the equality nature of the women is neglected. There has been an active fight for the equality as well as advocating for the rights of the women to be respected. Prior to the 90s, he term was used to refer to the female qualities up to the year 1892 when the first female international conference was held and the term changed its meaning to refer to the fight for the women rights (Topics in Feminism).
In the past, women have always been looked down upon and are usually associated with the issues that undermine them. This can be traced back to the history of civilization and the traditional literature histories. An example is the Biblical portray of the woman as the one who prompted God to punish the humanity and as well as the source of the death. In this episode, the creator used aa woman’s private part for nothing else but for amusement and to bring about humor to his audiences. The choice to use Virgin Mary, instead of probably Joseph is itself an indication of the way that women are undermined in the society. The author mocks the role of the women in the society in a satire when he describes the procedure of being healed by the bleeding statue. This can symbolically represent a caring woman.
The episode is a ridicule of the women serenity and disrespectful. The black humor in the episode is a representation of the nature of the modern society. We are so much engraved in the search of entertainment until we forget our values. Virgin Mary in this case is a representation of the women in the society and not just an ordinary woman, but a highly regarded one. She is the mother of Jesus the son of God and that form the basis for Christianity. The author was willing to hurt thousands of Catholics who listens the program just to entertain some few individuals.
When the Pope XVI came to investigate the situation, the kind of the language he used to describe the situation was not appropriate. In his description “chicks bleed out of their virginals all the time.” That statement coming from a public figure indicates the kind of leadership that was there in the societies by then. In the hope that when things get sour, he will offer a remedy to the situation, he appeared to be as confused as the followers in handling the matter.
The airing of that episode was controversial and it prompted reactions from the Christian communities especially the on the Catholic believers. From the above analysis, it is clear that the community targeted by the comedy has low moral characters and disregard the matters pertaining to the rights of the women in the society. It highlights the erosion of culture and disregard for the religion. This is portrayed through open blasphemy and through the use of crude words in the public. This is as well done by the public figures such as the pope who utter words that are not supposed to be said in the public.