Elizabeth in Infinite Bioshock is an accurate representation of the oppression of women and their liberation

Bioshock Infinite About Booker DeWitt is a motivated personal detective from New York who is sent by boat to the lighthouse. Upon entering the lighthouse, the seat inside turns into a rocket and sends him to Columbia, which hangs in the sky. Booker is given a mission: to bring the girl back to settle her debt. The girl is named Elizabeth Comstock and is guarded by a menacing monster called the Singing Bird or Songbird. Although the game focuses on Booker and his story, this article is dedicated to Elizabeth. Here we are going to look at her from a feminist perspective. If we look at Elizabeth as an independent person - someone beyond Booker - does her release from the tower where she is imprisoned mean true freedom? Is Booker's treatment of Elizabeth different from Comstock's treatment of Elizabeth? Is Elizabeth a self-sufficient companion? Finally, what is Elizabeth's role in Booker's drowning?

BingMag.com Elizabeth in Infinite Bioshock is an accurate representation of the oppression of women and their liberation

Bioshock Infinite About Booker DeWitt is a motivated personal detective from New York who is sent by boat to the lighthouse. Upon entering the lighthouse, the seat inside turns into a rocket and sends him to Columbia, which hangs in the sky. Booker is given a mission: to bring the girl back to settle her debt. The girl is named Elizabeth Comstock and is guarded by a menacing monster called the Singing Bird or Songbird. Although the game focuses on Booker and his story, this article is dedicated to Elizabeth. Here we are going to look at her from a feminist perspective. If we look at Elizabeth as an independent person - someone beyond Booker - does her release from the tower where she is imprisoned mean true freedom? Is Booker's treatment of Elizabeth different from Comstock's treatment of Elizabeth? Is Elizabeth a self-sufficient companion? Finally, what is Elizabeth's role in Booker's drowning?

  • Was Bioshock a fair critique of this trend and objectivist philosophy? What does BioShock learn about gaming? It is introduced to us in the form of propaganda. For example, we often hear and repeat this phrase: "The seed of the Prophet will sit on the throne and will drown the mountains of humanity in fire." This "seed", which is depicted in posters and billboards as a baby or a lamb, is actually an adult woman named Elizabeth. Early illustrations of Elizabeth provide two insights into understanding women's oppression. The first insight is that Elizabeth, despite her adulthood, is referred to as a child or infant. Simone de Beauvoir (1908-1986) The French feminist philosopher argues that female childbearing is an authoritarian way of controlling them. Women are like children, because both "can only be held accountable for the laws, the gods, the traditions and the truths created by men." In this way, women become "Eternal Children" by being neutral towards men who set their goals and values. In this way, women do not need to be taken seriously and they will become permanent dependents of men. However, De Beauvoir argues that, unlike children, women are content to be oppressed. They can fight for their freedom - for more responsibility - but prefer to remain in the familiar care of men. Women when referring to them and thinking about them, not their personalities. A person is someone who can make his or her own choices and act like a real human being. An object is exactly an object. Elizabeth is clearly an object, not a person. He is referred to by terms such as "lamb", "seed" and "sample sample". Not only is Elizabeth constantly being objectified, but she is also constantly referred to in relation to a man - the person of the Prophet -: "the seed of the Prophet", "my lamb" and, according to De Beauvoir's theory, a public depiction of Elizabeth as a baby or object. Based on her relationship with a man, the status of women is repressed and oppressed.

    BingMag.com Elizabeth in Infinite Bioshock is an accurate representation of the oppression of women and their liberation

    In BioShock Infinitely, before you meet Elizabeth up close, all you see of her are the advertising posters about her that have been circulated throughout Colombia. In these posters, he is either depicted as a baby or a lamb. This is an example of Elizabeth's "objectification" as a woman. Of course, one can argue the opposite, and that is that these depictions are not necessarily related to Elizabeth being a woman, but are the work of a Christian-like sect created by Comstock. However, in Christian illustrations, Jesus Christ is depicted as a baby in the arms of Mary and he is a man. But here is a clear fact: you do not see any trace of the real Elizabeth herself. He is just a propaganda tool and his individuality does not matter.

    "Why put me here? What am I? "What am I?" - Elizabeth

    Booker arrives at Elizabeth Tower after fighting Colombian police and security forces. Her imprisonment in the tower is precisely the example of the oppression of women, as defined by Marilyn Frye: He finds himself in the middle of these forces and obstacles, and if he makes any move that is beyond the sphere of influence of these forces, he will be punished. This experience is just like being in a cage.

    Elizabeth He is not allowed to leave the tower and other people control every detail of his daily life. Not only is she clearly in a cage, but like repressed women, she is the reason for her repression of men; Or in his special case a man: his father Zachary Comstock. Sangbord, his bodyguard, is also male.

    The reason for Elizabeth being imprisoned is very similar to the repression of women. Elizabeth is different. He has powers; In particular, the power to open gaps to other parallel worlds. Comstock imprisons Elizabeth because of her nature in a tower; Elizabeth's nature is out of her control (in fact, the reason she has gained such powers is because men in her life have tried to move her between two parallel worlds), but this unique nature is used as a justification for her repression.

    This is the reason for the oppression of women. In some cultures, women are directly or indirectly recognized as weaker beings than men, and this weakness is an excuse to justify their oppression. For example, some people argue that women are physically weaker and therefore at a lower level. But this argument has lost its power these days, because many civilizations no longer need physical strength to thrive.

    "I came out. "It's hard to believe, but it's true, isn't it?" - Elizabeth

    The first time we meet Elizabeth, she is trapped inside a tower, but it does not take long for Booker to help her escape. In some ways it can be argued that freeing Elizabeth from the tower is a way to free her from male oppression. Such a view of his freedom is simplistic. In fact, this time Elizabeth is placed in a more restrictive, but more metaphorical cage. Fry's famous allegory of bird cages describes Elizabeth's new situation. Fry likens the experience of repression to being inside a cage that one cannot see because one is focusing on one or two of the wires around it at the same time. If you focus on a limited number of wire rods at the same time, you may not understand why the bird can not fly out of the cage, but if you take a step back, you will see that all the wire rods are connected and side by side. They also create a complete system, a system that never lets the bird out.

    Elizabeth's first interaction with Booker after falling off the coast of Colombia shows that she is still in the cage. Booker sees Elizabeth dancing and tells her that he wants to take her to Paris. But this is nothing more than a lie; He wants to take Elizabeth to New York to clear his debt. In this episode, Booker, like Comstock, treats Elizabeth like an object; Basically, he sees Elizabeth as a precious object that he can exchange for his freedom. Although when Booker rescues Elizabeth from the tower, Elizabeth begins her journey to freedom, but it is still too early to say that she is completely free. As De Beauvoir argues, even a little freedom is given to oppressed women, but "they only get the freedom that men are willing to give them." He did not, but Booker granted him this freedom. No one gives absolute freedom to another. Everyone - especially if oppressed - must fight for their freedom. Of course, this does not mean that Booker's work does not play a vital role in Elizabeth's release; This means that these things are not enough for him to experience complete freedom.

    BingMag.com Elizabeth in Infinite Bioshock is an accurate representation of the oppression of women and their liberation

    Simone de Beauvoir, the French philosopher and one of the most influential feminist theorists, in her most famous book, The Second Sex, which is the main source of inspiration for this article, discusses in detail all the factors that oppress women in The length of history has been addressed. One of the conclusions he draws in the book is that as long as men and women do not learn to see each other as equal individuals, their war and strife will continue; In this way, men will distrust and disregard women, and women will react aggressively to men in response to this behavior. This dynamic of the relationship between Booker and Elizabeth is clearly visible, especially in the first half of the game.

    We might want to ask Elizabeth why she is so willing to believe Booker's words and promises. According to Dubois, this is the behavior that the oppression of women has created in them: "Because they give him the impression that his main job is to surrender." Elizabeth only knew how to surrender and believed only lies. That's why it's logical that men continue to believe lies. While Elizabeth's confidence in Booker is understandable, here is an example of what De Beauvoir said: Satisfying women with repression. Themselves. Elizabeth, like many women, remains in a position of obedience and obedience, because this position is safe and comfortable. He knows what to expect and what to expect from himself. We can still see why Elizabeth has not yet been released after being released from the tower where she was imprisoned. He does not take any steps to shape his own freedom; He does not try to be an active element instead of a neutral one; He does not try to take control of the situation instead of obeying. De Beauvoir argues that women's inability or reluctance to take control of the situation and express themselves is one of the reasons they can not escape the situation they are in.

    "There is no need for timely Fight to protect Elizabeth; "He can pull his kilim out of the water." Game Instructions

    Another prominent example of Elizabeth's repression in BioShock Infinite, which reflects the repression of women, can be seen in her activities as Booker's companion in the game. He has three important tasks: decrypting the code, unlocking the door, and gathering resources. The first two tasks are completely unique to Elizabeth (however, Booker himself could eat cake from the Columbia trash whenever he was short of life!). Elizabeth learned to decipher and break door locks while in prison. When Booker is asked about both areas, he replies, "When you put someone in a cage, he becomes interested in such things." Elizabeth's abilities are therefore a direct result of her repression. If he had been free from the beginning, he might have learned different skills, such as shooting with a gun. Instead, she confines herself to what she knows, and the resources available to her due to her limitations.

    Besides, Elizabeth's skills in deciphering and unlocking are not absolutely necessary. . In other words, you do not have to open all the doors and decrypt the code to finish the game. Elizabeth's contribution to the game - at least when it comes to these two skills - is not entirely necessary, but it is efficient and fun. Using her skills, you can explore new areas and perhaps even find new equipment, but there is no need to do so.

    Elizabeth plays a more central and engaging role during the fight; This is not the case at first, though. At first, his help is limited and he only gives you first aid kits. Even if you are not playing at the highest level of difficulty, you will not need his help. If you look at Elizabeth in the middle of the fight, she hides, squats on the floor, and does her best to get away from Booker.

    The game tells you that Elizabeth does not need protection; You will probably breathe a sigh of relief as you become aware of this, especially if you have struggled in other games with friends who do not know how to defend themselves and play the role of a magnet for enemy bullets. But is Elizabeth an individual who "can pull her rug out of the water," or is it merely an object for Booker and unnecessary help for her?

    Is admired; Because this is an unusual feature for most video games. However, even this characteristic of hers corresponds to that of a repressed woman from Dubois's language. "Eventually there will be a balance [between men and women], but as long as it does not cost the man too much, it will become a nuisance if the woman takes too much time or demands it," De Beauvoir wrote. img src="https://bingmag.com/picsbody/2206/20546-4.jpg" class="content-pics" alt="BingMag.com Elizabeth in Infinite Bioshock is an accurate representation of the oppression of women and their liberation" title="BingMag.com Elizabeth in Infinite Bioshock is an accurate representation of the oppression of women and their liberation" loading="lazy">

    Elizabeth donates money, ammunition, first aid kits during gameplay And helps you - Booker. On the other hand, since he has no health tape and it is practically impossible for him to be killed by enemies, he will never stop you. In this sense, Elizabeth is an "unnecessary gift." According to De Beauvoir, many men see women as an "unnecessary gift" in their lives, and the gameplay with its gameplay tries to leave such an impression of Elizabeth in your mind. But over time, Elizabeth's role becomes more vital and her presence becomes more and more necessary. You too will be taken by surprise if you keep this humiliating image of her in your mind.

    The reason Elizabeth has been hailed as a good companion is not that she can pull her kilim out of the water; This is because he does not stop your hands and feet at all. He does not need care and does not talk too much to distract you - the male hero of the game - from his mission. It is only at the end of the game that Elizabeth becomes the driving force behind the story; Until then, he had only accompanied Booker on his mission.

    De Beauvoir argues that when a woman is in the presence of men, "she becomes a representative of neutrality; She is available, she is open, she is practically like household items she falls in love with a man and the man treats her like fruit "It's coming." At the beginning of Booker's interaction with Elizabeth, he is a neutral prisoner that you, like a fruit, take with you. Then, when the struggle begins, she plays the role of tool - the kitchen utensils - for the main character and the story's struggles.

    De Beauvoir writes: It is an unnecessary companion and gift. "But [the man] for the woman means life and justifies its existence." This clearly describes the relationship between Booker and Elizabeth at the beginning of the story. Elizabeth enjoys seeing the world, because she had never seen the world up close before; Elizabeth's reaction to the world is at best amusing to Booker. Elizabeth is a helper; His presence is a blessing, but not necessary, at least not at the beginning of the game. Booker frees him, tells him a story, and aims at his life by promising him to go to Paris. Without Booker Elizabeth is nothing; Certainly not an individual or a personality. Because it depends on Booker to exist; She has not yet been released.

    Although Elizabeth's skills as a companion are not necessary, in the second half of the game she reveals one of her skills that is crucial to the story: opening the gaps. Tears). It is not clear exactly what the nature of the gap is. Even Elizabeth, who has lived with cracks all her life, does not fully understand them. One reason is that he was not allowed to fully explore them. As his power increased, so did the Siphon Tower (whose job it was to weaken his power). "Their head is found." These gaps are completely unique to Elizabeth and play a vital role in the gameplay. You can not go through some parts without Elizabeth, but as the story progresses, their role becomes more important. Let him escape, he looks happy. Elizabeth claims she can use the gaps to help, but Booker's answer is: "It looks more like a shortcut to kill us." And "I can handle any problem myself." So cracks at first seem like a horrible phenomenon that do not benefit Booker. The reason is that he can not "understand" them. Booker's reaction to Elizabeth and her powers is synonymous with men's reaction to women.

    Men do not understand women because they see women as different and alien beings - or, as De Beauvoir puts it, "Other." That is why they try to suppress or limit them. Instead of seeing Elizabeth's difference as a good - or at least neutral - coincidence, Booker, like other men, sees it as a strange and unwanted phenomenon. Elizabeth accepts this view because she is accustomed to giving in to the desires of other men in her life. It is only late in the game, when Elizabeth gains true freedom, that she regains control of her powers and her power is seen as a necessary gift.

    "The days of my sacrifice are over. Reaching - Elizabeth

    Although Elizabeth spends a lot of time in the cages, she is eventually released. De Beauvoir uses little detail to describe women's freedom, because in her view "a free woman is just being born." Her purpose in writing The Second Sex was simply to describe the oppression of women. He repeatedly claims that women can only secure their freedom by achieving economic equality - such as finding a high-paying job. Finding a high-paying job is not Elizabeth's goal, but we can look at it. Jobs who see De Beauvoir as helping women liberate, better understand what he is saying. De Beauvoir argues that a woman can be free when she "stops being a parasite," when she is "productive and active," when she "takes responsibility and comes to an understanding of responsibility." In other words, "a woman should be allowed to try her luck for personal gain and for the benefit of others." In some critical parts of the game, she does what De Beauvoir expects from a free woman: to become more active, to express her interests and to actively use them, and to take responsibility. One of the most important moments of the game is the moment when Elizabeth sees her mother's ghost and a conflict takes place between Elizabeth's mother's ghost and Booker/Elizabeth. When Elizabeth realizes Lady Comstock's true feelings and condition, she realizes that Zachary Comstock had suppressed his wife, Mrs. Comstock. "You were imprisoned there too," Elizabeth tells him. It 's like we have a common ground. "

    BingMag.com Elizabeth in Infinite Bioshock is an accurate representation of the oppression of women and their liberation

    As soon as Elizabeth realizes that her mother has met the same fate as her, they talk to her ghost, this ghost calms down and the fight stops. The reconciliation between Elizabeth and Lady Comstock coincides with De Beauvoir's claim that women's liberation should be a "collective effort." For this collective freedom to become a reality, women must stop fighting with each other, especially if the reason behind it is to get approval from men. Elizabeth and Lady Comstock end their quarrel together. However, the main cause of the situation they are both in is none other than Zakhari. They must turn their attention in this direction. They have to fight Zachary Comstock, not each other.

    Another important moment in the game for Elizabeth happens when we see her in a parallel world. We see a fountain of Elizabeth in old age fulfilling her father's prophecy by destroying New York. We hear his voice behind Colombian speakers imitating his father's words and ideals. Old Elizabeth is the scourge of male oppression on someone like Elizabeth.

    As De Beauvoir wrote: "Women are not allowed to have a clear understanding of the situation, because they have been taught to accept the power of men. So the woman refrains from criticizing and judging things and delegates these tasks to the upper class. " Old Elizabeth seems fully aware of her repressed state and laments, "What would have happened if I had untied the reins and seen that I was as obedient as ever?" This quote carries a heavy burden, as it emphasizes the idea that even when a person is released from a real cage, he may still remain in a metaphorical cage. This quote is also a reflection of the situation of women described earlier: being in bondage and accepting it; Or, as De Beauvoir puts it: "Consent to be oppressed." He helps young Elizabeth to avoid her fate. Old Elizabeth writes a note to Booker to give to young Elizabeth. This note contains information that plays a vital role in Elizabeth's release: how her guard controls Sangbird. Old Elizabeth decisions make young Elizabeth free; This assistance is also another example of women's collective cooperation in achieving shared freedom.

    In these examples, we see several common themes. Elizabeth sees the world around her more clearly. More precisely, he sees the wire rods of the cages, which together have created a kind of domination system. In addition, she realizes that Zakhari Kamstak was the cause of all these strings.

    Elizabeth, after understanding these issues, takes a more active role and becomes responsible. After reaching this understanding, it is Elizabeth who carries out each of these missions and determines the next step on the map, not Booker. Elizabeth no longer depends on Booker to find the answers to her questions, but finds them herself. Of course, this does not mean that Elizabeth herself has achieved her freedom alone, or that the examples mentioned are the only ones we see her learning and acting on.

    Booker also plays a pivotal role in securing her freedom. , But his role is not enough. As De Beauvoir argues, in order for a woman to achieve true freedom, she must end her absolute dependence on men and act according to her will.

    Elizabeth's journey to freedom is not unimpeded. . Obviously, his father wants to put him back in a cage, and Colombians are constantly trying to get him back. Elizabeth is struggling not only with the citizens of Colombia, but also with Booker himself to achieve freedom. We see the first sign of this conflict when he blames Elizabeth Booker for not being honest with her. After Elizabeth agrees to board a plane with Booker to go to Paris, she looks at the coordinates of the destination for the ship and realizes that they are on their way to New York. After Elizabeth realizes Booker's deception, she punches him in the head with a heavy object and runs away.

    They reunite, but this time her behavior has changed. With Elizabeth Booker He calls out, "Mr. Dwight," and tells him, "Mr. Dwight, do not feel comfortable that I am accompanying you. "You are a means to an end." Booker responds to his rivalry with reciprocity, even saying in a relatively harsh manner: "When I released you, what did you think my goal was? Charity?

    The tension between the two is absolutely necessary for the story. Booker, however, has benefited from Elizabeth's obedience in most of the game. It is also a natural consequence for Elizabeth and any woman who struggles with repression and tyranny. As De Beauvoir wrote: "[The man] is content to retain his role as ruler, guardian and ultimate power. He refuses to accept women in a meaningful way as equals. "Women are also behaving aggressively in response to this mistrust." According to Dubois: "This struggle will continue as long as men and women do not accept each other as equal individuals." At first, Booker sees Elizabeth as a means to an end. As Elizabeth gains more power, she sees Booker as a means to an end. This tension continues until the two see each other as equal individuals, and Elizabeth draws closer to true freedom.

    "Suffocate her in the cradle." Booker

    Elizabeth's release is an essential part of Colombia's story. As mentioned earlier, there is a direct relationship between Elizabeth's growing freedom and her centrality in the story. As he learns how to defend himself and question Booker's motivations and actions, his presence becomes more necessary for Booker and the game itself. His slits, which Booker initially felt negative about, now play a key role in advancing the plot. For example, in one part you have to open slits to take the tools to the warehouse and save Lin. As the game progresses, as Elizabeth is released, she transforms from an object into an individual. He is no longer an unnecessary companion, but his presence is very important and an integral part of the game process. His ability to help - and your need for his help - increases. His skills are now on par with Booker's shooting and weekly shooting skills. Now, instead of Booker playing the role of a more powerful and necessary person, he equals Elizabeth. She needs Elizabeth's cracks, her help and guidance, and Elizabeth becomes more active and involved, and her dependence on Booker decreases.

    BingMag.com Elizabeth in Infinite Bioshock is an accurate representation of the oppression of women and their liberation

    Infinite BioShock, through its story and gameplay, portrays Elizabeth primarily as a Booker-affiliated individual. But the further we go in the story, the less dependent it becomes. Elizabeth's release from her tower was merely coming out of a physical cage, but she was still in a metaphorical cage. The story of Infinite BioShock is the story of Elizabeth coming out of her metaphorical cage and achieving true freedom. Although obviously you - as a player - can not control Elizabeth, her actions and desires become the driving force behind the story. It is Elizabeth - not Booker - who wants to see her mother. It is Elizabeth - not Booker - who wants to go to Comstock and face him (now it is Booker who wants to go to Paris!). In the end, it is Elizabeth who leads us to the end of the story; At least her role in this is far more prominent than that of Booker.

    Elizabeth realizes the end of the story long before Booker. He can see and understand everything, while Booker remains confused. Elizabeth explains to him that although they killed Comstock in their own world, there are still millions of other worlds in which Comstock lives. Booker then declares that they must suffocate Comstock in the cradle so that there will be no Comstock in any other world at any other time. When it comes to video games, this is the closest we get to the final bass: we have to drag Comstock into the cradle to finally win the game.

    But a shocking revelation happens: Booker himself Is Comstock and has become Comstock through accepting baptism. A number of parallel world Elizabeths are baptized and drown Booker/Comstock, defeating the last giant.

    What could have happened at the end of the story was that Booker came as a hero and everyone Get rid of the villain of the story, while Elizabeth (like Princess Peach in the Mario series) is merely a witness to her heroism. But Elizabeth remains an active element, and in fact the giant of the game is killed by her hands.

    However, Elizabeth does not do this alone; In other words, he does not kill Booker against his will. Such an impression of the end of the game may give the wrong impression To liberate women is possible only if men are destroyed. The fact is that Booker knows that this must happen and enters the water of his own free will. Killing the Ultimate Giant is what Booker and Elizabeth do as equal individuals. Both are active, involved, and motivated to do so for personal gain. This final collaboration provides absolute freedom for both: Booker's debt will be cleared and Elizabeth will no longer be imprisoned in her tower.

    Author: Catlyn Origitano

    Source: Bioshock and Philosophy: Irrational Game, Rational Book

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