Coming Of Age Trope Character Analysis

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The coming-of-age trope is one of the most well known plots out there. In modern cinema, the story goes the same way every time: our gloomy, uptight young white male protagonist falls in love with an eccentric young woman who pulls him out of his misery. But if we take a closer look at this overly adorable, quirky girl, she is nothing more than a one-dimensional character. She has no depth, no life, and no other purpose than to rescue our male hero from his own self-pitying and bring him back to life so he can find happiness and pursue his own endeavors. But what about her endeavors? What about her own goals? Writers do not bother with developing her character and giving her a life of her own because what is the point? She is only good for…show more content…
Take Elizabethtown (2005) for example, the film that created the catalyst for the term itself. The suicidal male protagonist, Drew Baylor, lost his job and his girlfriend, but then meets a girl named Claire, who saves him from himself through embracing the fun in life. But the manic pixie dream girl dates back to even before the term was created, the most notable being Audrey Hepburn’s roles in Roman Holiday (1953) and Breakfast at Tiffany’s (1961). A more unexpected manic pixie dream girl is Belle from Beauty and the Beast (1991). The characters in these movies are fundamentally the same, for they remain the same throughout the plot and only further the storyline and growth of the male hero. Belle was a static character whose essential purpose was to provide the Beast with true love’s kiss to transform him back to his former human self. The stereotype of the manic pixie dream girl appears in works of literature as well, for example, The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald. Daisy Buchanan has no substance. Her significance in the novel is to be the unattainable object of desire and infatuation for Jay Gatsby, but her value ends there. Gatsby put her so high up on a pedestal that she was no longer a person, but an idea. “Possibly it had occurred to him that the colossal significance of that light had separated him from Daisy it had seemed very near to her, almost touching her. It had seemed as close as a star to the moon. Now it was again a green light on a dock. His count of enchanted objected had diminished by one” (Fitzgerald). Gatsby has been yearning for Daisy for so long, yet when they are finally together, she is no longer an idea but an actual human being, so his dream of his idea of her dies. Gatsby had anticipated this moment for so long and Daisy could not fulfill his expectation of her. This reveals that vision manic pixie dream girl creates an impracticable

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