On ‘Fifty Shades of Grey’

It was kind of a day to hide under the covers and read a book. And so I did -:!

Some time ago I was intrigued by the review I read about this book. It described the book as ‘porn for mummies’. Really? I found surprising that people would read erotic prose in a world where sex is virtually everywhere. But obviously they do since the book (first in trilogy) have been hugely successful. I wanted to understand why, so I read the book.

I must admit that I struggled through 514 pages of rather repetitive prose. There is certainly dynamic in dialogs fuelled by jargons commonly used by contemporary reader, especially those in their twenties and early thirties. And this is where the success of the book really comes from. It is written for modern young men and women with short attention span and well accustomed to short, sharp sentences and quick wit. The main female character endlessly repeats phrases such as; ‘Holly shit’ and ‘Holly fuck’ and alike. The book is certain not to win any literary prizes, but I do not think that was ever intention either.

The intention was to reach large audience, and that was achieved splendidly by mixing two seemingly opposing concepts; a concept of contemporary world that produces and requires fiercely independent young women, and an age old concept of a virgin, innocent maiden who longs for a strong, all-knowing, self-assured and confident male. This was then spiced with healthy dose of passionate sex described vividly and, on occasion, rather deliciously. The final product was packed in BDSM environment to add further mystery, which it did.

While the first layer of the book is easily depicted, there is a second, probably unintended layer that evokes questions about roles of genders in our world. Given the book’s huge popularity among young women, one cannot help but wonder whether, all those years after feminism and in the world where men routinely wax, have facials, and take parental leave, women still long for a successful, strong, protective, even dominant male. What do you think?


Author: Daniela

Reader, Writer, Mother, Freethinker, Habitual Day Dreamer, Blogger - Sharing Ideas, Poetry, Prose, and Conversations on the Lantern Post!

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