Captain Marvel and Fun with Extended Metaphors

Captain Marvel and Fun with Extended Metaphors

I have now arrived at what has become my favorite activity during the week. For about an hour, I get to sit outside in my lawn chair underneath a colorful open sky in what has lately become a cool Florida breeze all. At the same time, B and P partake in the joys of dribbling, passing, and kicking soccer balls in a field of about fifty kids wearing bright orange shirts. It might be time for me to quit wearing shorts—I don’t know? For all the deliberating we did about whether we allow the kids to participate in soccer because of COVID, at this point, I’m very, very glad we didn’t miss another season of fun team sports.

I have been thinking a lot about feminism lately. More on that later. I have also been wanting to want to write. Does that make sense? It means I haven’t wanted to write, but I’ve wanted to want to write. See, writing is something I must do every day. The tricky thing is we all write every day, I technically write every day, so I will go beyond the canned “write everyday advice,” and say that I must do the kind of writing counts, for me. It’s like running. Every week I plan to run 15 miles. It used to be 30, and when I need to prepare for a Physical Fitness Test, that’s what I’ll do. But for now, it’s just maintenance. Just 15. But it can’t be a brisk walk. And it can’t be zero for me. Zero miles is not maintenance. Zero miles is just me getting out of shape.

I watched Captain Marvel this weekend for the second time since seeing it in theaters, and I was pumped and amazed at the extended metaphor woven into the storyline of Carol Danvers. I suppose when I first watched Captain Marvel, it was obvious to me that this was a story packed with pro-woman, girl-power vibes. Still, this second time around in the final scene, where Captain Marvel faces off against the Supreme Intelligence, the details of the extended metaphor became more apparent in this bad-ass way. Here’s the scene in Captain Marvel. Below is some context:

1. Carol Danvers is an airforce pilot who absorbs the power of the tesseract but is abducted by an alien people (the Kree) in search of this technology.

2. The Kree people manipulate Carol, giving her a new name and identity, and convince her that she needs to control her power because it’s dangerous.

3. Her Kree mentor (played by Jude Law) installs a device on her neck so that whenever Danvers’ power threatens to overpower, he can subdue her. She allows this because he is her mentor, and it’s for her good.

Many other features are baked into the story, but I thought all of it was just incredible. And fun. Many movies try to speak to feminism, and many miss the mark being too on the nose (see Incredibles 2). And while there’s no mistaking what Captain Marvel creators are aiming for, the experience is still fun and validating. It’s just a lot of fun to watch her crush all those Kree and discover her true potential.