Review

The Queens Gambit Will Bring a Smile to Your Face

I put off watching this show for a while. I thought it looked boring and I couldn’t be bothered getting worked up about feminist issues right now (there’s too much going on right now). However, I gave it a chance and actually enjoyed it quite a lot. It was so much more than about chess and feminism, it was about growing up too fast, having a bad family background, being an orphan, depression, alcoholism and coming out of it all triumphant. In this post I want to discuss the show and the amazing message behind it. There will be spoilers so beware please!

Some Background:

The Queens Gambit is about a girl who goes to live in an orphanage after her parents die. Elizabeth (Beth) Harmon is then discretely taught chess by a janitor in the basement of the orphanage. Eventually she gets adopted, by a husband and wife. The Wife’s name is Mrs. Alma Wheatley and I don’t remember the husbands name but he then abandons his wife, as well as his newly adopted daughter. Mrs. Wheatley and Beth hatch a plan. They decide to pretend Beth is sick so she can compete in chess competitions. Beth is incredibly good at chess and is considered a child prodigy. The rest of the story is about Beths journey to become the worlds top chess champion. Along the way; her mother dies due to alcoholism, Beth herself goes through alcoholism and drug addiction, she also encounters people along the way, hurting them but ultimately they support her in the end. So, let’s get into the reasons why this show was fantastic.

A Chess Girl’s Place in the World

Beth is a complex character and she’s written incredibly well. Throughout the show, I noticed her personality was a bit robotic. She doesn’t show emotion quite the same as others and I think that stemmed from her troubled childhood. Despite this, she was very susceptible to peer pressure and even taking on the habits other people taught her. In one scene, she’s at a party and they talk about boys, asking her if she’s taken interest in or even slept with any boys that she’s played against. Already we can see her place in the world. She doesn’t quite fit in with other girls her age nor with the boys. As a result? She feels the need to sleep with a guy to have that sense that she fits in with both of these genders. As with most teenagers pressured into sex at a young age, she didn’t enjoy it, even asking if the guy was finished yet during sex. I think this is something we can all relate to, not specifically in such a way, but the peer pressure to fit in. This show demonstrates another aspect of sexism, from being a female in a male dominated world to having female ideals pushed on her due to living in a patriarchal society. Because god forbid a woman enter a male dominated profession without fraternising with them. This show comments on feminism in a different way to a lot of shows I’ve seen. It does it subtly. From Beths style and elegance in such a male dominated world to her intelligence. She isn’t afraid to be smart and she does this without emphasising her gender (not that there is an issue with that). Beth draws attention to her intelligence through skill and the way she articulates language. I think it’s important to understand a feminist can express their feminism in different ways and my favourite way is to unapologetically be yourself.

Battling Addiction

As we progress further into Beths world, we see her rise up in the chess world and watch her mother delve deeper into alcoholism. Beths mother was supportive, yet she didn’t act like a mother at times. It made me challenge my idea of motherhood. Alma and Beths relationship was very much a partnership in which she was like Beths manager. But regardless, they spent a lot of time together and when a man stepped into the pictures, it felt like there was jealousy on Beths part. When Beths mother died, that was when we glimpsed her first step into alcoholism. She toasted the spot her mother was supposed to be sitting with a martini on the plane. It showed that she needed to drink to cope with stress and sadness. While she progressively became better at chess, she enlisted a guy named Benny to help her. She was drinking at this point by Benny helped her to reduce her intake. What threw her into a horrible bender was Bennys friend, Alice. Beth met up with her the night before an important match and as a result, entered the match hung over. The defeat made her addiction spiral.

Addiction is an ugly thing to battle. A downward fall is hard to escape and she couldn’t. Those around her weren’t able to help because she wasn’t accepting aid. That all changed when an old friend (Jolene) resurfaced, to tell her the janitor (Mr Shaibel) who taught her to play chess had died. Jolene brought her to that orphanage and when Beth saw the newspaper clippings of herself hung on the wall, that is when she changed. For me, this was symbolic that she needed someone to be proud of her, because she screwed up so immensely. The fact that it was Mr Shaibel is what mattered. The person who taught her the thing she loved. The childhood dream had re-awoken and the path she had lost was cleared. There’s a scene in which the press are asking her for a statement about a match in the Russian chess tournament. At first, she wasn’t going to say anything, her bodyguard turns and says she should make a statement about America (he was with the NSA I think). Instead she tells them about Mr Shaibel, a janitor who taught her to play chess – and the crowd is shocked that a janitor could do such a thing. She held an enormous amount of respect for this man and returning to her beginnings helped her to come out of the addiction she was trapped in. He helped her even in death. We all face these moments in life, where we’ve had such defeat that it seems like there’s no hope. Like we are alone and lost. Some can turn to substance abuse and that’s hard to come out of. I think this message is extremely important, but that’s not my favourite part of it.

Wholesome Endings

Now, we’ve reached the end. Endings are often bittersweet for me, but I absolutely loved this one. Beth went off to Russia to face the Worlds best chess player in his home country. She got there with a stranger as her body guard (this was set during the Cold War) and she played without drugs or alcohol. Then a friend appeared. Someone from the past, who I haven’t mentioned because like many of us, she had friends whom she lost. They reunited and sorted out their mistakes. Then Benny reappeared in her life, with an (ex-lover who helped her with chess) and a group of people she had become acquainted with. These people reappeared through a phone call and they wanted to help her win and they succeeded. Brainstorming strategies collectively and going through them with her. So, why do I love this ending so much? These people who she thought she lost re-appeared in her life wanting to help her achieve her dreams and through letting them help, she did. They had witnessed her worst, and even her maturing into an adult. They still wanted to help her fulfil her dream and the best part is she let them. Instead of using the alcohol or pills, she let her friends help her and that is amazing character development. I think at times society underestimates the powers of friendship. There’s a stigma that emotions and feelings are meant for romantic relationships. One should be comfortable expressing thoughts and feelings with friends. It’s okay to let see you at your worst. Friends who ignore that aren’t the ones you want in your life. Friends who let you be you and let you grow if need be. Space is fine too, as long as there’s growth. So, this is why I love the ending. Friendship is powerful. A romantic partner isn’t always going to save you. That takes coming to terms with oneself and letting the right people in. Obviously it’s easier said than done, but the journey is a process most people go through in life.

The very last scene was Beth, telling her body guard she wanted to walk to the airport. She walked through an area with old men playing chess. They recognised her and wanted to play with her. Beth was happy and she was making other people happy while doing what she loved.

Thanks for reading everyone! This show demonstrated so many topics but at the very end it was wholesome and inspiring. I wanted to write a review because this is the first show that has left me smiling in a while. I hope you can watch it!

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mental health

Normalising Mental Health

Tiktok has been a great platform for education on many topics, one of which being mental health. It’s fantastic that it’s becoming more normalised in society because most people suffer from a mental health problem at least once in their life. However, I’ve also noticed issues that arise with normalising mental health and I want to go into what these issues are and why it’s damaging.

What’s the issue?

One particular trend that was popular lately was a song would play and two people would be sitting in front of the camera listening. The purpose of the tiktok was to show someone with anxiety masking their anxiety and someone without anxiety. A common trend was that the anxiety sufferer would be fidgety and unable to sit still but the person without it could.

The issue with trends like these lies in the fact that anxiety is different for everyone and that a lot of these people seemed to be acting fidgety. I’m not saying they don’t suffer from anxiety because they may. But it does bring up the question whether or not they do and instills doubt. Normalising it in such a way as this, portrays that fidgeting and erratic movement is normal in all situations, such as listening to a song. It doesn’t take into account that there are triggers. As a result it downplays it and sends the message that this is just everyday life for anxiety sufferers – suggesting triggering events don’t occur.

When there is a message like this in place it doesn’t do anyone favours. Causing people to believe that fidgeting and inability to sit still equals anxiety can give rise to self diagnosis especially in kids. It can also popularise the term, for example; the way OCD would be used when people were being impulsive. This is an issue because if someone doesn’t suffer from anxiety and they believe these behaviours are normal in anxiety and use the term loosely, it can cause them to invalidate other anxiety sufferers. In the end, anxiety definitely can be self-diagnosable to a certain extent, however a lot of the time it requires intervention by a professional to diagnose and build a care plan based on this diagnosis.

Examples of poor mental health portrayal:

I want to list some examples that poorly portray mental health. There’s a lot out there but I’d like to list a few that I’ve noticed. A common theme tends to be romanticising it and this is quite damaging. It teaches people with mental health issues that there’s a romantic component to it and those without that a person can fix another person. By all means open up to someone but it really creates unfair expectations on both people.

  • 13 Reasons Why. It created a haunting yet romantic aesthetic to suicide and leaving the tapes as a suicide note. It also created a revenge fantasy and did little on suicide education and prevention. Another theme it lacked was that it didn’t encourage those with depression to seek help.
  • Glee. I once played a Glee drinking game. Having a sip for every offensive thing they say can be dangerous. I was truely shocked. Glee does a really great job of making it seem like mental illness and disability is funny. Unfortunately, this was a show a lot of us watched as children. I get that it was a different time but it still amazes me the things people saw as humorous in the past.
  • Sherlock. Great show, however, it throws around the term psychopath very loosely while romanticising it. It also encourages self-diagnosis.

Examples of healthy mental health portrayal:

Some movies and shows I have watched demonstrate mental health incredibly well. The best part is that a lot of them are children’s movies and we do love some positive representations that help children deal with their emotions!

  • Moana. I always saw Tafiti as a representation of a broken heart. Someone took away a part of her and left her there to fester – becoming enraged. It’s a really powerful metaphor because through the help of Moana, she could finally forgive.
  • Frozen. Another really powerful film. Both movies demonstrate anxiety and depression, as well as the fear of losing and letting others in because of these issues.
  • Inside out. As this movie takes place in the mind, it’s really easy to see how it can be about mental health. This is especially true when sadness keeps screwing with her surroundings and effecting the child. It can also emphasise how depression and anxiety can be chemical.
  • The Haunting of Hill House. This show takes horror and gives it meaning. It does an incredible job of demonstrating distorted reality. Most of the characters are plagued in one way or another and some by their own ghosts. I definitely recommend watching this before Halloween on Saturday!
  • Anne with an E. This show is amazing and it shows how societal pressures can effect your mental health. It can be quite heartbreaking at times but the writing is amazing.
  • The Good Place. This show actually shows the process of a person becoming good and it does this in a light hearted way. I think it definitely relates to mental health because we all tend to see ourselves as a bad person at times and it’s a reminder how everyone can be good when surrounded by great people.

How do we combat this?

It’s very important to remember that if there’s demand then the media will continue to produce such TV and film. Openly discussing and analysing films do help. And I understand, we want light hearted films sometimes, ones we can enjoy. That is true however, there’s definitely a difference between funny or light hearted and invalidating or downplaying. It’s much like with other issues, as long as jokes are made about it in a such a way that invalidate’s an individuals’ pain or trauma, then no progress in understanding and normalising the concept will be made. In saying that, joking about ones mental health or having characters that do that is fine. We seek laughter where there is pain that’s just part of being human. It’s very much we should laugh with the person and not at them because we can all relate to a certain extent.

Thanks for reading and I hope it was interesting! Mental health is an important topic and I hope one day it can be discussed more openly.

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Review · Uncategorized

The Inner Struggle Between Good and Evil – Harry Potter Book Review

Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince is the 6th book in the series and it’s significant in that it paves the way for the final battle between Harry and Voldemort. While most people have seen the movies and understand the story, I have found the books offer more insight into the emotions Harry felt. Throughout the book Harry’s emotions are incredibly deep and it anyone can relate to them. Also please note, many people now consider the Harry Potter series authorless or written by Daniel Radcliffe. I am one of those people as I believe an author that can inspire imagination in children should be able to have enough imagination to at least grasp that gender is spectrum and a social construct.

Much like the previous book (The Order of the Pheonix), Dumbledore is adamant on teaching Harry the reasons behind a persons character. In the Order of the Pheonix, he explained the reasons why Kreacher betrayed Sirius and allowed Harry to interpret both sides of the story. In the Half Blood Prince, the lessons on character were almost entirely on Voldermort as Dumbledore believed he needed to understand his past in order to defeat him. While this was a part of the reason, there was another important factor in teaching Harry about Voldemorts past, so he could draw parallels with his own. Both Harry and Tom Riddle grew up lonely and orphaned, one became humbled and the other turned to pure evil. At one point in the book, Dumbledore questions whether Voldemort was born evil or whether he became evil. When comparing Harry and Voldemort, they both grew up in similar circumstances, so what was the definitive part that made Harry choose good?

When analysing Harry’s childhood, he grew up abused and lied to. He was told his parents died in a car crash, though he still had family and there was some kind of connection to who he was. In contrast to Tom Riddle, he grew up with no connection to anyone, all he knew is that he could do these special things. One of the ideas Dumbledore explained, was that because Riddle was surrounded by Muggles, he assumed he was special and because of this, he was above them. This idea was further developed because Riddle had no idea who his parents were and so he created a fantasy that they were powerful. When comparing Harry and Riddle, it can be quite easy to understand what set them both on their individual paths. Dumbledore wanted Harry to draw these comparisons because in doing so, his own character could develop.

In the Half Blood Prince, Harry was around the same age that Riddle started to kill. Riddle started to become interested in his family because he had this unique ability to talk to snakes and thus he must be the heir of Slytherin. That idea came crashing down when he discovered his family lived in horrific conditions and were living in squalor. Yet, the biggest factor that contributed to what he became, was that his mother loved a Muggle – a group he thought he was above. Learning that he wasn’t special, he sought to erase his past through murdering his Muggle side of the family. Dumbledore believed it was important for Harry to understand this because the journey ahead would involve the discovery of secrets, lies and objects of true power. Glory would be within his reach and he would have to reject it. Throughout the book, Harry is shown to be very susceptible to the effects of gaining prestige. The potion book owned by the Half Blood Prince was an analogy for this. Harry almost gave into the praise he recieved and through trust in the book he severely injured Draco. Through having this insight, Harry could see the consequences of striving for someone else’s greatness, much in the same sense Voldemort strives for the Slytherin familys greatness. Through understanding the consequences striving for glory, Harry could have a chance of overcoming his obstacles, as the ones to come would be the hardest he ever faced.

Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince is a fantastic book and while it is quite dark in comparison to the others, it teaches people to understand and learn from others, amongst other things. Life can be hard and having ones hopes and dreams crushed can have a profound effect on an individual, however taking a path that doesn’t give into those insecurities through seeking greatness is better in the end. This book had a profound effect on me and I felt it deserved an analysis. Thanks for reading!

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    Review

    TV Shows with a Deeper Meaning

    TV shows are a great way to pass time, while they’re a great source of entertainment, there are always hidden meanings behind these stories. I am a huge fan of shows that allow me to reflect on the way society is, so I wanted to list a few of my favourites and explain the messages in them.

    Black Mirror

    While this one is obvious for its comments on the way technology influences society as well as the innate behaviour of it, I must discuss it. Black mirror is one of my favourite shows, it’s incredibly easy to see how technology can influence society in the future, yet it is still able to draw parallels with the present day. One example of this is the episode The White Bear which can show how society follow individuals accused of crimes and how in the end we can put our humanity aside, stooping to their level for their punishment.

    Another example of how well this show comments on society is Nosedive. It demonstrates how people can get so caught up in social media that it becomes a hierarchy. Those with more followers or more likes are richer, more influential and powerful. It also demonstrates how attemping to reach that level will not make people happy, which is what a lot of people search for in social media.

    Attack on Titan

    This show is a japanese anime, despite this it still does a fantastic job at commenting on society. To quickly summarise, this show is about giants called titans that eat people and inorder to survive humanity builds a huge wall to prevent them from getting eaten. The wall itself it very symbolic in the functioning of society.

    There are layers to the wall and these layers can correspond to the social class of the person living within this area, with the richer people having the most walls between them and the titans. So far, we can visualise how this wall demonstrates the social system in society. When disaster strikes and the titans penetrate the wall, its the pooer class who is the first to be effected. This is also seen in our everyday lives, one example is global warming, people living in poverty are the ones getting most effected right now, with higher classes being unaware of the effects. The wall is important to understanding class, yet there is much more to social class within the show.

    Tokyo Ghoul

    Tokyo Ghoul is another japanese anime that about a boy name Kaneki who becomes a ghoul and needs human flesh to survive. He tries to restrain from giving into this survival instinct but eventually succumbs to it. One theme that in particularly interesting is the idea that the ghouls are only doing what they need to survive and that happens to be eating human flesh. Some ghouls like to obtain their food by a more ethical means, yet no matter what, the humans hate and hunt them. In relation to society, it demonstrates how humanity can be unwilling to find alternatives and would rather discriminate and alienate, pushing people to do what they need to in order to survive. While there are many others themes, I don’t want to spoil it for anyone.

    The X Files

    While the X Files is a sci fi show and quite bizarre at times, it often comments on themes relating to social groups. Mass hysteria is one example in which people will go crazy due to fear and panic. Another interesting point is how people tend to group together to fit their needs and interests, even if it leads to extreme behaviour. This show does an incredible job on showing human psychology and how it works at a societal level. It also has an overall scary or isolated feel at times which adds to these themes. Despite having quite serious episodes, they always throw in a comedic one and its great.

    These four shows are some of my personal favourites, they do an amazing job at showing the human condition. Of course there are many more out there and these are just a few of them. I’d love to hear any shows that you’d recommend. Thanks for reading!

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    Bujo · Review

    March Reading List

    Recently, I have been trying to read on a daily basis and while I have been able to achieve that, I have only been reading Harry Potter. I am currently up to book four, which is pretty good since I went from one book a year to three. Despite this, I want to expand and read different genres because books contain great insight into the world and every book offers something different.

    In order to make sure I try to read more variety, I am going to share my reading list for March and hopefully at the end of the month – there will be book reviews. Since the four books on my nightstand are quite lengthy, I am going to aim for three, so here they are:

    Sapians

    This book was on my January reading list and it just didn’t happen. However, I am determined to get it finished even if it kills me. My issue with reading this book is that I watch a lot of informational videos and documentaries, therefore, I have heard some of this information before. Regardless, I will give it my best shot as I find it explains a lot about society which I find interesting.

    Harry Potter and The Goblet of Fire

    I am ready to get into this book because I loved the Prison of Azkaban. I enjoyed the first two books a lot, though it didn’t pick up for me until the third. For me, I really love the world building more than the actual writing and storytelling because the all the books are just a vibe. Prisoner of Azkaban changed that because I thoroughly enjoyed that story and cannot wait for the rest of them.

    Illuminae

    This book is quite different to any book I’ve ever read. It tells the story in the form of case files. I don’t know much about the story currently, though it is described as a mix of ‘space opera, romance, zombies, hackers and political thrills’, and of course this is right up my alley.

    Thanks for reading everyone! I hope to share my thoughts on the books.

    diary

    Anger is Toxic – 18th of December

    Hey everyone, just a little diary entry for today where I moved backwards into my journey of developing my character. I’ll discuss anger and why it is dangerous and reflect on my actions.

    I have been trying to be less angry and annoyed at everything. Maybe it’s the 40 degree weather or the disturbed sleep, but I am not proud of myself today.

    So here’s the scenario, I put and a Harry Potter advent calendar somewhere in my house because I don’t have room for it in my room and it’s Christmassy anyway. We decorate for Christmas and I thought it would be okay. Now, my house has always been messy and cluttered so would it make a difference where it was? No. My sister moved it into my room. She’s currently on a cleaning expedition and despite her best efforts (which isn’t much), the house is still a mess. I went to put it back and she outright refused, because it doesn’t look good there and there’s things already there. She put something else Christmassy there. So I get angry, put it somewhere else where things already were since we can apparently just remove things now, then I accidentally broke something. Am I proud of it? No. Did I apologise? No. I do feel guilty, but at this present time I cannot speak to my family without fuming. That place wasn’t good enough either and she moved it to the top of a really tall bookshelf where I can’t reach it and open it, thus defeating the purpose. So I just opened the whole thing, out of anger and ruined the surprise for myself. I know it’s my own fault but it’s like I don’t live here. I can’t decide where to put anything, she’s taken complete control. Even with the Christmas tree, my mum didn’t want it where it currently is and if she said anything she would endure the wraith of my sister. It’s a ridiculous fight, I know and it blew up purely because of my anger but I hate having so little control. My room is a dumping ground for other people’s shit at times so it’s unfair. Next time, I’ll just walk away, no more anger or frustration.

    Why I Hate Anger:

    My household has always been an anger fuelled environment and it translated onto me and my sister. Anger has no benefit, it just hurts people. You can do harm physically and mentally in times of anger which is why I hate it and I am trying to escape that toxic environment. Ever since I moved back in however, I’m surrounded by it. I don’t want to go into too much depth but it’s hard to remain calm in this environment and I’m trying my hardest.

    I need to remember that people’s actions can only affect me if I let them affect me. And if these people act in certain ways that can be perceived as upsetting, then they aren’t worth it. At the end of the day, I need to live with myself. Recently, I have been reading a lot of Stoic writings and will hopefully make a blog post about it.

    How Did I Feel Better?

    I sat down alone so I wouldn’t blow up again, did my make up to calm me down and wrote. Makeup is quite artistic at times so I threw on new eyeshadow colours to distract myself and did a full face. I also took some pictures so I could learn to love myself and feel good about myself despite being a bit emotional earlier. I also wrote this post to get things off of my chest and show people it’s okay to revert back to your old self sometimes, as long as you reflect and improve.

    Thanks for listening everyone, I really needed to get it off my chest to move on.

    Review

    Why I Love Frozen 2 Pt. 1 (spoilers)

    Warning: spoilers. For those of you who just want to read my interpretation of the second movie, skip to paragraph four as the first few paragraphs is what the first Frozen movie meant to me.

    When the first Frozen movie came out, I remember seeing all the hype about it. So naturally, I gave in and watched the movie. I remember feeling emotional every step of the way when it came to Elsa’s and Anna’s relationship. Having a sister myself, I resonated with the idea that I would do anything for her, including shut her out when life got tough, I could relate to Elsa.

    Elsa’s signature song ‘Let it Go’ was an amazing piece in which you could feel that after all the pain and suffering she went through, telling everyone finally let her be free to a certain extent. That pivotal scene in which she transformed into her new self after being free of her constraints and letting her power flow gave me chills. It showed how freedom from your constraints can allow you to transform. Yet, despite releasing all the pain of her life, she was still unable to let those who love her in (a feat I too have only recently came to discover is difficult) because she was still isolating herself. She was able to let go of the past and embrace her power, however; fear of letting others in was still ingrained in her. By refusing to let anyone in she hurt those she loved even more and almost lost Anna through freezing her heart. By the end of the movie, when Anna was frozen and Elsa was finally able to show her love, it was only through that release of emotion that she was able to unfreeze her.

    My love for the first movie stems because of my own childhood and how my sister and I can relate to both characters. Elsa and Anna were the only ones who knew the isolation they both experienced. I could draw parallels with our own childhoods. I resonated with Elsa as I had to be strong and put up a wall and my sister was Anna trying to figure the world out alone. Despite drawing similarities with my own life, I could only relate to Elsa and couldn’t relate to any other character. Frozen 2 changes that, most characters are relatable in one way or another and it’s commentary is outstanding.

    Anna’s Character Development

    The start of the movie opens up to an upbeat song titled ‘Some Things Never Change’, which sings about well… things never changing. In the song she describes how the world around her is changing, yet the loved ones who surround her remain the same. She sings how the way she is ‘…holding on tight…’ to everyone around. Anna is a very family oriented person and would do anything for the people she loved because she grew up in perpetual loneliness. She is afraid to lose the ones who she now holds so dear which is why she holds onto them so tightly. These actions are something a lot of people can resonate with as we often go through life losing the people we hold dear in one way or another. Anna’s character is very much relatable because she has so much fear in losing the ones she loves and compares her will to hold onto them as strong as a ‘old stone wall that will never fall’. This idea is one that many people can draw parallels with, I for one have often fought for those I love/value even to the point I will hold them as close as possible, however; this doesn’t always work.

    Holding on tightly to others doesn’t always turn out the way you want it to. Anna tried to keep Elsa close to her throughout the entire movie so she wouldn’t lose her again and have to experience the loneliness she felt throughout her entire childhood. At the end of the day, she couldn’t stop Elsa from adventuring alone to find herself. After that pivotal scene where Elsa strays too far and drowns, Olaf fades away and Anna realises that her sister is gone. The song ‘The Next Right Thing’, is a song that Anna sings coming from pure despair. The first line of the song explains how she’s ‘seen dark before’, suggesting that Anna has gone through depression in the past, yet nothing can compare for the darkness she is in now. She explains hows what is feeling is ‘cold…empty…numb’ and the ‘lights are out’. Anna is finally ready to ‘succumb to the darkness’ because ‘the life [she] knew is over’. The first lines of this song display how reliant Anna is on Elsa because without her there, only darkness remains. This is further evident with the next lines of the song in which she says ‘I have followed you around, I always have, but you’ve gone to a place I cannot find’. Elsa is Anna’s older sister and she is a role model to Anna. She later sings ‘the only star that guided [her] was [Elsa]’, further supporting that idea that Elsa has always taken care of Anna and has always been held on a pedestal by her. Without Elsa there she has no guidance or ‘reason’ to rise up, she only allowed herself to be guided by others to rise up for them in order for her to keep them held so tightly. This is something a lot of us can resonate with as sometimes we don’t act for ourselves, but for others, so they can see us in a good light. ‘The Next Right Thing’ produces a fantastic message which is to not rely on others or their guidance to rise up.

    The idea of not relying on others to feel validated and develop yourself as a person is one that many of us can relate to, and its not until we listen to the voice inside our own head that we can do that. In the second verse, Anna sings ‘a tiny voice whispers in my mind, “you are lost, hope is gone, but you must go on and do the next right thing”‘. This is the crucial moment in which Anna starts to listen to her own voice. The use of the word ‘tiny’ shows how small her own voice is inside her own head because its been pushed back so many times. The voice doesn’t use the word ‘I’, instead it uses ‘you’, demonstrating the disconnect from that voice inside her head. Anna doesn’t picture the voice as her own because she’s never listened to it and its only now that she is starting to. And in darkness, the voice is telling her ‘to do the next right thing’, to ‘not look too far ahead’ and ‘break it down to this next breath, this next step’. This process that the voice inside Anna’s head is telling her really resonates with me because in those moments I suffered with depresssion, just getting through the day, one day after another, life slowly was able to get better. Frozen 2 brought a whole new side to Anna that wasn’t present in the first movie. In the first movie she was always bubbly and determined, and in this move, her mental health issues are demonstrated incredibly well.

    I didn’t plan for the section on Anna to be this long, it wasn’t until I started reading and writing that I felt the need to express how I saw Anna’s character. So I will divide my analysis up into parts and continue to write about the other characters I could draw parallels with.