I want to stress that I don't think there is anything wrong with this string of familiar characters who seem imbued with an extra dose of grabbing life by the gonads and making it sing. It's a tried and true formula for stories of self-discovery. If you don't know what I mean by "manic pixie dream girl," I encourage a trip to YouTube for that explanation. But in short, it is basically something that emerged in recent years as a character type that is injected into story lines to teach the male protagonist about life, freedom, love and all things that make one feel alive and connected. Think Natalie Portman's character in my beloved Garden State; she introduces the male protagonist to The Shins, thrusts him into unfamiliar situations to force the emergence of self identity in an effort to cope and adapt, confesses the darkness buried in her being of light, makes him feel unique, makes him question life, and gets him to do something completely freeing. That is essentially the formula for the creation of a "manic pixie dream girl."
Friday, August 14, 2015
Wednesday, August 12, 2015
Mark Watney is a perpetual smart ass. His humor never fails to pierce the severity of his life or death situation and lighten the tone of the story. After being left behind by his crew during a bad storm on Mars, Mark has to figure out how to create water, grow food, and somehow communicate with NASA. The problems he faces are unrelenting, and as a reader I agreed with Mark that it seemed like the inhospitable planet was trying to kill him. Mars is definitely the antagonist of the story just due to its very nature. It becomes coldly clear that Mars is no friend to mankind, and this hits upon a reoccurring theme in the story that Earth is the hub of humanity and all of the things that make humanity worth saving is embodied by this lone man stranded on a planet far from home.