Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Myth, Metaphor & Morality
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Collected essays covering each episode of the television series Buffy the Vampire Slayer.
Spike’s “if looks could stake” plays off the expression “if looks could kill”. (4) Warren Beatty is a well-known American actor from the ‘60s and ‘70s. (5) Warren Harding was elected President in 1920. (6) Willow mentions “code red”, which is typical shorthand for a fire (at least in CA hospitals). (7) “Code Pink” is an anti-war women’s group. (8) Buffy’s description of Joyce’s date as “Prince Charming” refers to a stock character from fairy tales. (9) As is fairly well-known, Amber Benson (Tara)
bottom line view then and now – on this I haven’t changed – is that the magic/drugs metaphor was a serious mistake. I have two reasons for saying this, one which appears now and one which I’ve mentioned but can’t explain further until later in the season because of spoilers. For now I’ll just say that, for me, the depiction was too clumsy and heavy-handed; it came across like an After School Special, complete with the obligatory “tripping” scene, the implied trade of sexual favors for drugs, Amy
expectancy as the Slayer isn’t all that much to brag about. It’s natural, therefore, that we’d be sympathetic to Ampata, seeing her both as a victim and as a stand-in for Buffy’s situation. Note the way the Guardian describes her situation: “You are the Chosen One. You have no choice.” We’ve forgotten all about poor Rodney Munson and the real Ampata Gutierrez. Ah, but then events bring them back to mind. Ampata tries very hard to escape her Guardian, and we’re on her side because he seems
Well, there you go! I don't have to be the Slayer. I could be dead. … Either way I'm bored, constricted, I never get to shop, and my hair and fingernails still continue to grow. So really, when you think about it, what's the diff?” The irony of this outburst will soon become apparent, but she’s acting immaturely, which she basically admits to Giles. What’s interesting about her reaction to career day is that her dissatisfaction is not at her lack of normalcy today. After all, she’s doing exactly
metaphorically disabled Buffy’s superego. In the real world, a judge separates the innocent from the guilty. In Freudian theory, the superego acts like a judge because it punishes misbehavior with feelings of guilt. In the twisted demon world, the Judge performs the opposite function: he is “a demon brought forth to... separate the righteous from the wicked... and to burn the righteous down.” The Judge operates by burning the souls – in the Buffyverse, the metaphorical conscience (Joss’s word) or