Is Dorthy Gale one of the original Final Girls? – Meeting


The last girl trope defined the characteristics of the last living character to face the killer in horror films, particularly slasher films. The rise of feminism in the 1970s became a landmark of the genre, as the damsel in distress no longer needed a man to save her. Sally Hardesty out The Texas Chainsaw MassacreEllen Ripley im extraterrestrial Franchise and Jess Bradford Black Christmas all portrayed strong female characters, all of whom fought back their attacker.

Laurie Strode is one of the most famous last girls in the Halloween franchise, which was first released in 1978 and saw Laurie as a victim of her brother, Michael Myers. As the definitive girl traits have evolved, like the franchise, she no longer waits for Michael but is ready to fight him and is no longer a target. The baton passed to the ’80s movies, which followed the trope starring Alice Hardy, Ginny Field and Christine “Chris” Higgins Friday the 13th Franchise and Nancy Thompson A nightmare on Elm Street.

The 90’s would continue the tradition with Sidney Prescott being portrayed by Neve Campbell as the longest surviving and character centered last girl of nine different assailants as the ghostface killer in The Scream Franchise. Lest we forget stormy weather Scream, who Also deserves a mention, as does Julie James in I know what you did last summer.

The last girl trope may have been coined to only include ’70s slasher movies, but before that was Alfred Hitchcock’s Psycho’s Lila Crane, who deserves an honorable mention for outlasting Norman Bates. But could the last girl be dated back even further? Could the original Last Girl be Dorothy Gale, portrayed by Judy Garland in the 1939 classic? The Wizard of Oz? Here are the facts from Professor Carol J. Clover in her 1992 book Men, Women, and Chainsaws, who coined the term “Final Girl.”

According to Clover, the last girl is typically sexually unavailable or a virgin to avoid the victims’ vices, and occasionally the last girl shares a history with the killer. Dorothy is a young girl who is taunted by the Wicked Witch of the West, who represents her neighbor Miss Gulch and threatens to destroy Toto in Kansas and Dorthy in Munchkin country because she accidentally killed her sister, the Wicked Witch of the East did Dorothy’s house fall on her.

Dorothy also represents other Last Girl qualities of “examining consciousness” and driving the narrative, and as such she displays intelligence, curiosity, and alertness as she travels the yellow brick road and encounters obstacles along the way.

During the last girl’s confrontation with the killer, Clover argues, she is masculinized through “phallic appropriation” by taking up a weapon such as a knife or chainsaw against the killer. In this case, her weapon is water, which the witch melts after Dorothy throws it to put out the scarecrows’ flames caused by the witch. Dorothy eventually takes the witches’ weapon, a long wooden broomstick, which can be described as phallic since riding a broomstick was a symbol of female sexuality, considering the broomstick was a symbol of female domesticity in medieval times.

Overall, the Wicked Witch of the West constantly terrorizes Dorothy by stalking and threatening her. She fails in an attempt to poison Dorothy in the poppy field and sends her flying monkeys to kidnap Dorothy and imprison her in her castle with the intention of killing her, but Dorothy survives this pathetic terror inflicted on her, thus making her an honorable last maiden.


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