Wonder Woman: Defying Convention and Capturing Hearts

Kavya Weaver '20, Staff Writer

After years and years of male-dominated superhero films, young women around the world can at last see themselves reflected on the silver screen. Wonder Woman, the groundbreaking film released this past summer, blazed new paths for female empowerment and broke free from the traditional superhero paradigm that set a predictable pattern for countless films. The movie captivated millions, women and men alike, and its action-packed plot held viewers on the edge of their seats at every moment. However, the story ultimately stands out because of its moving messages of courage, rebellion against oppression, and sacrifice for those whose redemption might seem impossible. These themes are embodied in the radiant Wonder Woman, a character who beautifully interweaves power and strength with unwavering compassion.

Fusing ancient Greek mythology and the World War I era, the plot centers around Princess Diana, an Amazonian who has lived a paradisiacal life on an isolated, beautiful island populated by only women. Oblivious to the raging conflict occurring in the outside world, Diana trains to become an unconquerable warrior and struggles to uncover the mysterious secrets of her past. When Captain Steve Trevor, an American pilot, crashes on the island and describes the devastating war consuming the world, Diana is convinced that it is her duty to rescue the earth from destruction. Fearlessly leaving the only world she has ever known, Diana willfully steps from the calm eye of the storm into the turbulent tempest swirling around her. She embarks on a noble, but ambitious mission with Steve to restore peace and destroy the root of evil, but grows to understand that the harsh realities of the real world will interfere with her plans.  

Throughout the film, other characters repeatedly try to quell Diana’s independence and drive. Opponents continually bash her philosophy that love is a stronger force than hatred, and many try to end her mission simply because she is a woman. However, Diana never gives up, and her passion to fight for those who cannot fight for themselves drives her to become the iconic Wonder Woman, a hero for the abandoned and oppressed. Diana’s epic strength and bravery enthralls viewers in every heart pounding battle scene, but it is her powerful love and sacrifice that makes her different from her superhero predecessors. Another defining trait of Wonder Woman is her confusion at the cruelty, bigotry, and selfishness of mankind. Her naïveté and lack of understanding about how the world works may seem to be a stumbling block for her character, but her unique view offers a fresh and eye opening perspective on the injustices of the world.

Throughout the film, Wonder Woman not only commences on a physical journey on the battlefield, but also undergoes an inner transformation. She realizes that the line between good and evil is not as sharply divided as she always thought, and struggles to reconcile her belief in the innate goodness of humanity with the despicable brutality she sees in the war ravaged world.  From the very beginning to the thrilling conclusion, viewers witness Wonder Woman’s remarkable transformation from wide-eyed innocence to profound wisdom concerning not only the flaws of human nature, but also its redemptive qualities. Wonder Woman’s poignant conclusion that the world is worth saving resonates with many, and her words serve as a beacon of hope in our tragic world that sometimes seems lost to love: “I used to want to save the world…But then, I glimpsed the darkness that lives within their light. I learned that inside every one of them, there will always be both…I’ve seen the worst of this world, and the best. Seen the terrible things men do to each other in the name of hatred, and the lengths they’ll go to for love. Now I know. Only love can save this world. So I stay. I fight, and I give… for the world I know can be. This is my mission, now. Forever.”