Here is the final paper that I wrote my Women’s Literature class in college:
I believe in many ways Justice League: A League of One falls under the category of Feminist Literature. First of all it shows and portrays a woman who is strong and capable of being her own person and rescuing herself from danger rather than a wimpy damsel in distress who is incapable of thinking for herself and needs to wait for her prince charming or her knight in shining armor to get her out of a dangerous situation. Another reason it falls under this category is because the lead female character is strong and independent, able to fend for herself , able to fight her own battles, and face down her demons. The lead female character also doesn’t let others get in her way and proves to others she can pick her battles and fight them in her own way, in her own time, in her own strength. The way she does this to fee down what she sees as her own demons to fight and face down.
Many times in life we have demons that we need to face down and face them down alone. Many of these times, in the case of women facing down their demons, people see them as incapable of doing it by themselves showing that people believe women incapable of being independent and living through their own means because of the many stereotypes as women being weak and dependent on others for things they need. This is also because of the stereotypes of women being feminine and girly and only capable being a housewife who takes care of the home and raises the children rather than an independent being able to do whatever she wants. Cordelia Fine, in Delusions of Gender, has stated, “Gender stereotypes are ubiquitous, sometimes even in settings where they shouldn’t be.” (Pg. 8). Women often use these moments to prove themselves to others. Women convince others to let them face down their demons by themselves to show others just how capable they are of living their own lives, solving their own problems, and being independent and strong by living through their own means and their own strength. They use their demons to prove their capability, independence, and strength as their own woman and their own abilities without the help of others. According to Fine in a study done about Gender stereotypes Sociologist Shelley “Cornell concludes that ‘boys do not pursue mathematical activities at a higher rate than girls because they are better at mathematics. They do so, at least partially, because they think they are better.’” (Pg. 49). Because of stereotypes men think women are as good at many things as they are so they want women to think they are as well but many women feel the need to prove this wrong.
In A League Of One, Wonder Woman hears the Amazonian Oracle prophesy her death, as well as the death of the rest of the Justice League in battle against a great and mighty dragon of old that has slumbered for hundreds of years and has just now recently awakened. She listens to the Oracle intently and carefully:
“Princess Diana, it is unwise to hear ones own fate.” “I am not afraid.” “Then attend, the tides run swift beneath the earth. Six hands gather the skein of fate. Three mouths whisper. One eye gazes o’er the world. What it sees shall come to pass. What they whisper, I shall speak. In the north a serpent stirs, waking from her ageless slumber. Stolen god is heaped about, her, rings and gems and signs of power. From the depths, the dragon rises, burning hope and love to cinders. From the sky, The League of Justice, down from Luna’s face come riding. Trumpet sounds and scabbard rings, the war to rule the world begins. This is what the fates decree. This is what the one eye sees. Ancient serpent brought to bay, dies upon a golden spear. Brave hearts riding unto death save the living world from fear. In victory the heroes fall. Dragon slaying, as she’s slain. Good and evil, joined in death. Hades’ Gates admit the twain.” “Wait! Please I have to ask you…” “Peace, Diana of the Amazons. I am but Destiny’s echo.” (A League of One Pg. 19 box 3-Pg. 20 Box 3)
Because of this Wonder Woman devises a plan to disable the other members of The Justice League, rendering them incapable to fight against the dragon, so that she defeats the dragon alone. She does not want to let the other members risk their lives to help her defeat this enemy because she is going to sacrifice herself for the safe keeping of the rest of The Justice League so that they will still be alive afterwards so that they can help to defeat other evils and enemies in the future. In the words of Fine, “But of course many women do persist in male-dominated careers like mathematics, despite the stereotype threat and lack of sense of belonging.” (Pg. 50). Women need to prove themselves and show that they belong anywhere they want to be doing whatever they want to do.
In many ways because the it was the Amazonian Oracle that prophesied her death and because she was the one and only sole member of the league that was there to hear and witness the prophecy and she is the only one who knows of the prophecy she sees this as something she needs to do alone without the help of others. In many ways she see defeating this dragon as a demon she needs to face down alone and no one else will be able to help her do it because they don’t understand what she is going through and what’s going on in her mind. Only she knows the prophecy, so only she understands and knows what she needs to do and that this is the only way it can happen.
Wonder Woman knew that she needs to face down her demons by herself to prove herself to those around her. She needs to prove to her enemies and her friends to show her independence and capabilities as a grown ass, strong, independent woman. She needs to prove to the other members of the justice league that she is capable of doing this on her own even if they don’t agree with her. She is trying to prove to the world that women can be independent and are capable of doing things on their own especially facing down their demons and fighting their own battles their own way, in their own time, in their own strength without the help of others, that women have the capability to pick their own battles.
Wonder Woman knows that if she tells the other members of The Justice League about the prophecy of the Amazonian Oracle that they would only to stop her from doing this on her own. They would try to help her but not because they are her friends and feel a strong bond with her but because they are all strong capable men and they know she is a woman and because of this they see her as weak and small and not capable of doing this on her own and able to be independent, not able to see and know when to pick her battles and to fight her battles on her own. The only way she sees herself as able to prove her capabilities and her independence to the rest of The Justice League is to get rid of them and get them out of her way. The only way she sees of getting them out of her way is to render them unconscious, putting them in a place where they won’t be able to reach her, a million miles away, in capsules orbiting around the sun, “I’ve imprisoned Green Lantern, Flash, and Batman in the watchtower’s lifeboats, and programmed them to fly to the Asteroid belt. By now, they should be in orbit around the sun, surrounded by thousands of similar objects. They have twelve hours of oxygen remaining.” (A League of One Pg. 70 Box 4). Since she sees this as her only way to do this she is not going to let anyone get in her way.
She sees this as away of facing down her own demons deep inside herself and a way that her own demons manifesting themselves in a tangible way, a way that she can hold in her hand, as physical thing in her real life. She sees her facing the Dragon as the only way she can both face down her demons and sacrifice herself while keeping the rest of The Justice League alive for and through another battle. This is what she believes and she is sticking to it and making it happen in a any way she has to no matter what, whether other people like it or not, whether other people know what she’s doing or not,
“This…. is no dinosaur, Batman. It’s a dragon. An ancient power. The bane of the world. And, as Hera is my witness, how dare you call me a coward. I…. know what you’re doing. Trying to goad me into making a mistake. But it won’t work, Batman. There’s too much at stake.” (A League of One Pg. 54 Box 1-Pg. 55 Box 4).
Wonder Woman believes that this is her demon because she is the only one who is pure enough to survive the battle against this fearsome enemy, this great and mighty dragon. She is the only one who can fight this battle and win once and for all. She is the only one strong enough, in her own way. The other members of the justice league would not survive this battle this fight against their enemy. They fight and die trying to defeat the great and mighty dragon,
“Diana’s bracelets glow white hot her wrists. She is suddenly suffocating, the flame devouring oxygen, beating against her face like a scorching wind— — A white hot cataract of agony that thunders over and around her and…into her. Through the haze of pain, Diana recognizes the dragon-fire’s terrible, insistent, hidden, onslaught. Like her one magic lasso, it is questing after lies. Not to reveal them, but to feed on them. To set her flesh ablaze with them. The fire does find fuel, for even wonder woman is guilty of some self-deception— —It is not nearly enough to annihilate her. Diana’s unrelenting quest for purity has spared her. Her friends, for all their powers and resourcefulness, would have perished here, in this flaming crucible beneath the earth. For the first time since her ordeal began, Diana is certain, utterly and completely, that she has done the right thing.” (Pg. 87 Box 6-Pg. 89 Box 1)
Although Wonder Woman’s motives, means, and actions in A League of One might have seemed selfish she had legitimate reasons behind them that showed they were the right thing to do. Her reasons were to protect her friends and fellow heroes as well as to show self-sacrifice, and to prove herself capable of being a strong, independent woman who can pick and fight her battles by herself through her own means, in her own way, in her own time. This all shows how this book can be categorized as a book of Feminist Literature