Behind the lady of the knight: mapping the Bond girls’ inter-emotional narratological functions in selected novels
Tippins, Laura Ann
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The Bond girl is one of the most renowned and most disregarded characters in the James Bond franchise. Although she is an important commercial element of the film franchise, she is mostly overlooked in many studies of the James Bond canon, especially with reference to her narrative significance. In studies about the James Bond canon, the Bond girls are commonly perceived as disposable assets or are used to demonstrate their roles as gender stereotypes. These seemingly insignificant roles, however, do not explain the continuous presence of the Bond girl in a large proportion (about 20-50 percent) of the Bond plot. In fact, this continuous presence is confirmed by unexplored counterpoint plot structures. Such counterpoint plot structures provide a better description of the underlying relationship between Bond and Bond girl. This study postulates that the relationship-oriented structures that support the emotional relationships between Bond and the Bond girl are complementary to and interwoven with the event-oriented structure. These new structures are manifest from the Bond girls’ behavioural patterns as well as their underlying causes that are used to trigger Bond’s reactions. By considering these patterns as the function of the characters, the study of narratives deepens. Consequently, Bond’s emotional development as a new structure is counterpoint to Umberto Eco’s action-oriented narrative structure. The conclusion is drawn that relationship-oriented structures can be identified in the James Bond narratives and explain why James Bond remains culturally relevant. The purpose of this study is to understand the continued success of the James Bond canon through these narrative counterpoint structures. These structures are associated with male and female relations which can be used as an example of how the chivalrous man should respond to his ‘Lady’, in literature (and potentially in life too).
- Humanities