Daily Archives: October 18, 2014

Diversity in media


Let’s talk about diverse characters in fiction.

The above is a depiction from Stephen King’s The Dark Tower series.  The series is about Roland the gunslinger in his quest to reach the Dark Tower.  When we first meet him, it opens with the words “the man in black fled across the desert, and the gunslinger followed”.  Once Roland reaches the man in black, he learns he must draw forth three people to aid him.

One of those people (in truth, two of those people) is Odetta Holmes.  Odetta is described as the heiress to a fortune her father had built by developing a better way to help dentistry.  She is a civil rights activist in the late 50s early 60s.  And she is disabled, having her legs cut off below the knee when she was pushed in front of a train.  She also suffers from a form of multiple personality disorder.  Odetta is one personality, who is a forthright, logical thinking, polite individual.  The other personality is Detta Walker, a spiteful, harsh, fear filled woman who spits venom when she speaks.  Detta has a hatred of men (mostly white men as described in the book), and often threatens to kill Roland and Eddie (another of the people Roland drew from the doors to help him on his quest).

At the third door, which the reader believes is to be the third person to help, we discover that the person is in fact the man who pushed Odetta Holmes.  At some point Roland gets Detta to look into the door and she sees herself.  Or rather, she sees Odetta.  This causes the two personalities to recognize each other and forces them into a new personality, which becomes Susannah Dean.

Even in a wheelchair, Susannah is recognized by Roland as being a gunslinger.  He does not discount her ability or her tenacity just because she is bound to such a device.  And she proves in the second and third book that she is indeed a gunslinger as Roland teaches her what was taught to him.  He also teaches Eddie, but Roland believes Susannah is the better of the two.

Susannah is also very adept at movement even though she is confined to a wheelchair.  At one point in the third book, she crawls along the ground using her arms to catch up with Roland and Eddie, making hardly a sound as she goes.

Susannah Dean is one character that represents diversity and how it can be done in popular media.

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Posted by on October 18, 2014 in Fun, randomness


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