Scott Pilgrim vs. Himself: The Patriarchal Presence of NegaScott in Edgar Wright’s Scott Pilgrim vs. the World

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Turner, Alicia B
lecture / presentation description
This paper will examine the ways in which the figure of NegaScott in Edgar Wright’s 2010 film Scott Pilgrim vs. the World, a text derived from Bryan Lee O’Malley’s comic book series Scott Pilgrim, exists as a presence that represents the characters’ conflicting unconventional and stereotypical portrayals of masculinity, as in the text, he is seen merging with this manifestation of himself, and in the film, confronts and separates from it. Using a feminist, theoretical lens, I will examine the portrayal of masculinity as it is viewed in bell hooks’ work on the feminized male, going into the significance of Scott’s reoccurring run-ins with his violent vision of himself. I will argue that the addition of this fragmented character is to interrogate institutionalized gender dynamics throughout our culture, as the being is not wholly there as Scott himself is not a complete person through maintaining both unconventional and hyper-masculine traits. Scott challenges our institutionalized idea of the heroic modernist narrative by possessing the prowess needed to defeat a league of challengers, while also existing in the “needing to be saved role,” a position that is typically associated with female characters in young adult works of literature and film. By examining the fantasy, game-centered adaptation, I intend to expose how Wright addresses issues that are very true and prominent throughout our culture by bringing up a conversation regarding gender role manipulation, as Scott is forced to face his greatest opponent yet: himself.