March 16, 2015 The Meaning of Who You Are:
An Examination of the Film Brave In the film
, directors Mark Andrews and Brenda Chapman argue that even if an individual does not represent and uphold the typical behaviours and values of society, he or she can still make an overwhelming significant contribution on their own terms. Primarily, this is supported by the character, Merida. Although Merida does not want to act like an actual princess, and does not perform the same activities as her royal counterparts, she is nonetheless able to make a highly societal contribution in her own way. This Scottish society is a new found fragile kingdom where Merida is expected to marry one of the three founding clans firstborn sons in order to solidify an alliance within the kingdom. A princess is supposed to be a prim and proper lady. This is evident by the way her mother acts and how she tries to get Merida to act. Given how new this kingdom is, it is easy to see why the queen and princess’ role are so important. Merida does not conform to the traditional princess archetype as she travels by herself and bears a bow, and she also has a knack for leaving her bow on the table (naughty girl).
With this, Merida does not conform to the traditional princess archetype, which is strongly exemplified by her mother. Merida is expected to be a role model for not just her village, but her entire kingdom as she is next in line for the throne. But she isn’t the greatest leader. She is bad at giving speeches, she runs away once a week, and she is defiant towards her mother. In addition to this, she also performs masculine activities such as horse riding and archery. Merida really is an inept role model. Undoubtedly, Merida does not fit in with the actions of a typical princess. In a changing world, a woman can find it hard to stand up for her own values and be a strong, independant woman. Merida is lucky enough to be this sort of female. In the film, Merida shows her courage by her ability to stand up to the villagers when her mother turns into a bear, and the entire village attacks her, thinking she’s Mor’du.
Merida stops the villagers from trying to kill her mom by acting as a barrier between her and the villagers until the real Mor’du shows up. By doing this, she ends up saving her mother’s life, and brings the clans and their leaders together. Her values show in turn quite simply how
she really is. Merida is able to convince the entire kingdom that people should have their own choices, including who they marry. She showed defiance towards her mother in the game of archery, where the suitors were shooting for her hand. She also cut the family
tapestry that her mother was sewing by hand. This enraged her mother enough to throw her bow into the fire, sending Merida into tears and straight out the door. Throughout this movie Merida proves her strength and independence, even with the differing perspectives and values of the kingdom, and makes it work against all odds with her mother and the leaders of the three clans. Some critics say Merida is a typical teenage brat due to her inability to compromise. Multiple arguments with her mother occur throughout the movie. She continually brings up the fact that, “ her mother isn’t listening to her” , and “she just wants her voice to be heard by her mother.” Every single teenager uses these retorts in some sort of way during disagreements with their parents or guardians. With this, she needs to learn how to compromise, she can’t just think the world revolves around her
(another teenage trait). She has to learn to be fair, which would also be essential when she becomes Queen when making