Persona and Rebellion in Trickster Narratives. Case Study: Fleabag (BBC 2016-2019)

  • Helena Bassil-Morozow Glasgow Caledonian University, UK
Keywords: Female Trickster, Persona, Fleabag, Jung, Goffman, Social Mask

Abstract

This paper brings together the concept of persona and the figure of the trickster to examine the dynamic between social norms and creative noncompliance, between the social mask and human authenticity, in moving image narratives. In particular, it looks at the female trickster challenging the female persona in recent television shows, primarily BBC’s Fleabag (2016-2019), using the previously outlined framework of trickster attributes (Bassil-Morozow 2012; Bassil-Morozow 2015).

The concept of persona is examined using a combination of Erving Goffman’s presentation of self theory and Jung’s persona concept. It is argued that the female persona – the artificial vision of socially acceptable femininity – is a particularly rigid psycho-social structure, comprising repressive and unrealistic expectations for women’s looks, bodies, and conduct in public situations. Using the nameless protagonist of Fleabag as a case study, the paper shows how the female trickster can challenge these prescribed attributes and expectations while defying the individual-controlling techniques: shame, social embarrassment, social rejection and ostracism.

Author Biography

Helena Bassil-Morozow, Glasgow Caledonian University, UK

Helena is a cultural philosopher, media and film scholar, and academic author whose many publications include Tim Burton: The Monster and the Crowd (Routledge, 2010), The Trickster in Contemporary Film (Routledge, 2011), The Trickster and the System: Identity and Agency in Contemporary Society (Routledge, 2014), Jungian Film Studies: The Essential Guide (co-authored with Luke Hockley, 2016) and Jungian Theory for Storytellers (2018).

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Published
2020-12-11
How to Cite
Bassil-Morozow, H. (2020). Persona and Rebellion in Trickster Narratives. Case Study: Fleabag (BBC 2016-2019). Persona Studies, 6(1), 30-42. https://doi.org/10.21153/psj2020vol6no1art998
Section
Themed Articles