simply, Nancy is a feminist Final Girl, and arguably the first and best model of feminism in the classical slasher film. While Laurie in Halloween operates by the sexist principles of "true womanhood," A Nightmare on Elm Street, as James Kendrick writes, "un dermines several of the structural components of the slasher [film]..." (19) and thus is more conducive to revisionist feminist values. Although Kendrick's study is not the first scholarship on both the original Nightmare (Markovitz) and the Nightmare series (Heba; Trencansky), it is one of the only studies to consider how both gender and the Final Girl theory factor into Night mare. According to Kendrick, A Nightmare on Elm Street undermines vari ous components of the standard slasher film, three of which relate to those outlined by Clover. First, the traditional profile of the slasher villain is under mined, as Freddy is a killer who is not driven by "psychosexual fury" (Kendrick 28) and is not represented in constant POV/I-camera shots, with Nightmare opting for more "objective detached camerawork that empha sizes the openness of the dreamscape rather than a focused, singular per spective" (Kendrick 24). Second, rather than Nightmare's Terrible Place being a physical location that the victims wander into as in other slasher films, "the Terrible Place is actually the human subconscious" (Kendrick 27), the site of the characters' fatal nightmares. Third, Nancy is able to defeat Freddy, but not by resorting to phallic violence; Kendrick contends that Nancy rejects Freddy's "gaze" on her body by turning her back to him in their final encounter (Kendrick 29) and denying him the chance to objec tify, and victimize, her. Inspired by (and in some instances complementing) Kendrick's schol arship, this study further addresses how, through Nancy, A Nightmare on Elm Street undermines, and also brings feminism into, the slasher genre and the Final Girl. Nancy proves her feminist sensibilities in three ways. First, Nancy is not afraid of men (as evidenced by her romance with her boy Studies in Popular Culture This content downloaded from 188.8.131.52 on Tue, 30 Oct 2018 15:32:59 UTC All use subject to
The Final Girl versus Wes Craven's A Nightmare on Elm Street 31 friend, Glen, and her love for her father, Donald Thompson), but she is also not so smitten with them that she loses her selfhood. Second, Nancy does not subscribe to the sanctity of the domestic sphere, defying the reign of her insensible and alcoholic mother, Marge Thompson, and converting her home into practically a "war zone" to battle Freddy. Third and lastly, Nancy uses the powers of her alert, paranoid mind and will (not violence) to defeat Freddy and transcend his domineering masculinity. To demonstrate how Nancy is a stronger feminist version of Clover's Final Girl than Laurie Strode, this study will explore these three areas of Nancy's character, shedding light on how feminist ideology has been integrated into at least one success ful classical slasher film.
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