Monday, March 24, 2014

Real Influential Women Role Models (Real and Fictitious) - Fictional Woman of the Week: The Warden from "Holes" (1998, 2003)

The Warden became another Disney villainess when the Disney film adaptation of Louis Sachar's novel of the same name came out in 2003. She was portrayed by Sigourney Weaver.

I wanted to write about a book character and asked for suggestions via social media. I expected to get Katniss from The Hunger Games series or Hermione from the Harry Potter series (later on I actually did), but instead I got Scarlett O'Hara from Gone with the Wind and Catherine Earnshaw from Wuthering Heights.

I don't know as much about Hermione or Katniss or have much of an attachment to them in order to write about them and the other two don't seem that very influential in a positive way, so I decided to choose one of the few female characters from my favorite childhood book and movie. It's still among my favorites.

She actually might be a strange choice for this series given that she is not necessarily positive herself, but you be the judge.

Holes is very testosterone heavy, so therefore The Warden stands out that much more. It isn't determined until much later that the Warden is indeed a chick. She even has this whole introduction scene.

The nameless Warden runs Camp Green Lake, which is where juvenile delinquent boys dig holes to "build character." However, there is a more sinister behind it.

Anyway, what makes her influential is how she carries herself running a company. Sure, some of her actions aren't quite honorable, but she is actually very soft-spoken and rarely needs to raise her voice for the men at the camp to do what they are told. The male camp counselors, Mr. Sir (Jon Voight) and Dr. Pendanski (Tim Blake Nelson), never seem to have a problem taking orders from a woman. In fact, they actually seem pretty scared of her and her low key scoldings. She's one of those people who is frightening because she is so calm.

Until she strikes you with rattlesnake venom nail polish.

Regardless of her intentions and that she is running a sketchy facility, she is actually a pretty brave and clever woman. She is someone with whom you do not want to mess.

Her Outcome: The Warden, along with her camp counselors, is arrested for misconduct. However, you do feel sorry for her.

I can't recall if they revealed this in the book, but in the movie it is revealed that she is Trout Walker's (Scott Plank) granddaughter and Walker forced her to dig holes in this very area as a child in pursuit of Kissin' Kate Barlow's (Patricia Arquette) treasure. It turns out that the treasure belongs to the Yelnats family, and before Stanley Yelnats (Shia LaBeouf), the main character serving time at Camp Green Lake, leaves, she asks to see what's inside the chest. He sarcastically replies with her own catch phrase, "Excuse me?", and refuses.

From the audience's perspective, he could've very well showed her to give her some closure. You sympathize with her because it wasn't her fault that her childhood was ruined by her grandfather, making her frantically search for the treasure herself in her adult years.

But then again, making a sneaky institution force teenage boys to dig for her is pretty cruel.

No comments:

Post a Comment