American Gods: Women warriors

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American Gods: Women warriors

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mar 10, 2014, 12:03 pm

American Gods features a number of strong, protector-type women, both humans and gods (and maybe some in-between). Shadow seems drawn to them: Laura, Samantha Black Crow, Bast, Easter, even the Zoryas to a certain extent. Audrey is one of the few who doesn't fit this type, and has a fairly contentious relationship with Shadow. What is the significance of this phenomenon in the novel? What does it say about Shadow?

Redigerat: mar 10, 2014, 7:42 pm

Well he seems to appreciate it when they clean up his messes . . . sorry, but I didn't view these characters as women warriors at all . . . more like mother figures . . . not that mothers can't be warriors . . . I just saw him as kind of a hapless baby, led around by Wednesday (and others), occasionally/often in need of rescue.

I did appreciate Laura calling him out on not really being alive.

Oh, and I love the Norns . . . who I recognized from Wagner's Götterdämmerung.

mar 10, 2014, 7:49 pm

Yeah, I wasn't terribly impressed with the women in this book. They were either committed to violent men, addicted to sex (which was frequently violent) or messed up some other way. I suppose Sam was OK, but rather impotent.

mar 10, 2014, 9:34 pm

>2 LucindaLibri: Laura doesn't count? She actually murders people*. I'm not trying to justify their protection of Shadow, but I thought it interesting that many of these women he seems drawn to are more active/alive than he is—as Laura described him, a "man-shaped hole" in the world.

>3 MrsLee: I guess I didn't think their commitments to violent men or sex addictions diminished other aspects of their characters. I can't think of any male characters who could be legitimately held up as great examples, either. Except maybe Thoth (Mr. Ibis), but that's probably just my inner Thoth fangirl talking.

*"People" being a loose term, here. I think they were demigods or something, if we're being technical about it.

mar 11, 2014, 1:10 am

>4 lorannen: Yep, I agree, and in fact, that is a common complaint from some who have read this book, there simply wasn't a character to love. I think we all wanted to love Shadow, but how do you love a "man-shaped hole?" Which he certainly was. My biggest disappointment in the book was the fact that even though he was supposed to be more "alive" after hanging on the tree, he wasn't. At least not much that I could tell.

I really liked Laura. Not that she would be a model for me to hold up, but I liked her anyway.

mar 12, 2014, 12:04 pm

I did not get Shadow's mother at all. She worked as a translator for the embassies all over the world, but used the word "ain't" when talking to her son? Their relationship seemed to get short shrift. Here is a mother who raised her son by herself, died alone and seems as though she is a heroic person, but seems to have had very little effect on her son. His remoteness from her was part of what made him cold and empty. I don't really know how to express it, but I was dissatisfied with her and him because of her and their whole storyline.

mar 12, 2014, 7:39 pm

>4 lorannen: I don't include "kills people" in my list of what makes someone a strong female character and/or a warrior . . . It's about more than body count. :)

mar 16, 2014, 2:38 pm

I think that the fact that Laura came back to help Shadow and in that role becomes a warrior makes her interesting to me.

mar 26, 2014, 9:59 pm

Inevitably in a book with a male protagonist, the women revolved around Shadow. Working within those limits, though, I thought this book did a fantastic job exploring the various ways women can have power. I thought it was especially interesting that Laura IS so violent- a trait usually reserved for amped-up male superheroes. In many ways, she is Superman to Shadow's Lois Lane- she sweeps in to save the day when he gets too deep into a mess. This is particularly fascinating to me, given that Shadow is a demigod, even if he doesn't know it most of the book. But the demigod has to be saved, over and over again, by his dead ex-wife.

I also really love that Laura is ALLOWED to be nasty, is ALLOWED to be violent, is ALLOWED to break so many tropes surrounding the "love interest" character.