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Smith, p. 110. Here, Mary Sue is used as a derogatory synonym for any protagonist who is hated or dismissed for their talents and virtues. She isn't beautiful, she is, She is the best person you will ever meet. "You're right, and I respect you for it. Mary Sue's are considered obnoxious by fandom veterans, so please be careful when you make characters. While the four officers languished in Sick Bay, Lt. Mary Sue ran the ship, and ran it so well she received the Nobel Peace Prize, the Vulcan Order of Gallantry and the Tralfamadorian Order of Good Guyhood. In a lengthy exploration of the term, Elizabeth Minkel writes, “Even detractors admit Mary Sues are about young girls finding their power and agency in a world of fictional landscapes that rarely afford such journeys to women.” In an example of how reclaiming the Mary Sue as author-insertion can be empowering, writer Ash Davis explains how she wrote herself, as a woman of color, into her Lord of the Rings fanfiction: “If there were no black people, I made them. The concept of a Mary Sue has received fair and significantly complex criticism in the decades since the term was coined, with confusion over whether it has become inherently misogynistic to accuse characters of being a Mary Sue or whether it is a legitimate type of literary character. General (2 matching dictionaries) Mary Sue: Wiktionary [home, info] Mary Sue, Mary sue, The Mary Sue: Wikipedia, the Free Encyclopedia [home, info] Slang (1 matching dictionary) Mary-Sue: Urban Dictionary [home, info] "[17], However, Bacon-Smith notes that fans have argued that in Star Trek as originally created, James T. Kirk is himself a "Marty Stu," and that the label seems to be used more indiscriminately on female characters who do not behave in accordance with the dominant culture's images and expectations for females as opposed to males. "Oh, Lieutenant, I love you madly. The Star Trek: The Next Generation character Wesley Crusher (who was actually supposed to represent Star Trek fans in the series) was described, in hostile terms, as a "Gary Sue" by the feminist popular culture magazine Bitch. They usually have names like, 'Princess Rainbow Sparkle Killer Kawaii Desu' or, 'Miss Sexy Thang Sparkle Rainbow Queen Psycho Killer Shiny Beauty Girl'. It didn’t matter, you were gonna see me!” Stories like these and many others illustrate the complexity of the Mary Sue in contemporary fanfiction culture. The Role of, "Bitch: Feminist Response to Pop Culture", "Nostalgic Impulse: In defense of… Wesley Crusher", "Psychology of a "Superstar": A Psychological Analysis of Jonathan Levinson", "they finally did it they made a fan fic movie with a Mary Sue as the main character", "Eight Problems Nobody Wants to Admit About Star Wars: The Force Awakens", "What is a Mary Sue, and does Star Wars: The Force Awakens have one? ", "The Problem with Perfect Characters: Mary Sues, Gary Stus, and Other Abominations", "Mary Sue Gives Birth, Baby Undergoes Sex Change. Mary Sue is most frequently used as a noun (a Mary Sue) or modifier (a Mary Sue story), although it may also sometimes appear as a verb, to Mary-Sue, meaning “to insert oneself into a fictional story/character.”. Her prescence literally lights up a room. The very short story was written by Paula Smith in 1973 for Menagerie, a Star Trek fanzine for which she was an editor. Salon wrote in 2015, “The term Mary Sue is rooted in a long history of dismissing female characters and holding them to absurd double standards,” alluding to the point that identical forms of author-insert or wish-fulfillment with male characters/writers are rarely noticed or called out, while female characters tend to be held to a much higher degree of scrutiny when it comes to believable traits and abilities. Even to this day her birthday is a national holiday on the Enterprise. As the joke goes: “What do you call a male Mary Sue? [21] There is speculation among fans and academics, mainly pejorative, that Wesley was a self-insertion character for Gene Roddenberry, Roddenberry's middle name being Wesley. I am not that kind of girl!" When you first meet her she seems innocent but she really isn't! People tend to associate Mary Sue’s with several character traits. [24][25], A popular subject of debate pertains to whether the Star Wars sequel trilogy features a Mary Sue in its protagonist, Rey. She is the best girl you'll ever have the pleasure of meeting in your life. [23] The Buffy the Vampire Slayer episode "Superstar" has been analyzed as being a deliberate satire of Mary Sue/Marty Stu type of stories. that will help our users expand their word mastery. [20] In 2012, Paula Smith told Cynthia Walker that the male alternative is rarely pointed out as they both cited popular characters James Bond and Superman as Marty Stus. … A protagonist.”. A Mary Sue is a generic name for any fictional character (usually female) who is so competent or perfect that this appears unrealistic for the world's settings, even in the context of the fictional setting. [3] The Mary Sue is a type of stock character. (1986) by Diane Carey. Mary Sue characters were first identified in fan fiction in 1973, but they have subsequently been identified in professional fiction and in films. She gets excited about everything, which brightens up your day, everyday. ‘Here I am, the youngest lieutenant in the Fleet — only 15 1/2 years old.’”. They may disregard previously established aspects of the fiction such as characterization and natural laws. [9][10][11], The term "Mary Sue" has gained a connotation of wish-fulfillment and is commonly associated with self-insertion, though the characterization of upstaging the established protagonist remains fundamental. Your Buffy fanfic has a problem. This character can also be found burrowing her way into the good graces/heart/mind of one of the Big Three [Kirk, Spock, and McCoy], if not all three at once. [7], While originally used to describe fan fiction characterization,[8] the term has also been applied to professionally published fiction, one example being the main character of the Star Trek novel Dreadnought! "What are you doing in the command seat, Lieutenant?" What that character type is, exactly, differs wildly from circle to circle, and often from person to person.. TV Tropes doesn't get to set what the term means; the best we can do is capture the way it is used. Smith has also agreed with others who claim that writing an autobiographical Mary Sue character/story is an inevitable part of the process for new writers attempting fiction. A Mary Sue is a generic name for any fictional character (usually female) who is so competent or perfect that this appears unrealistic for the world's settings, even in the context of the fictional setting. rather an informal word summary that hopefully touches upon the key aspects of the meaning and usage of Mary Sue They may also be praised by every other character in the work, especially by the antagonist of the work, regardless of whoever the Mary Sue characters are.


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