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The Wordsmith's Forge
The Writing & Other Projects of Elizabeth Barrette
Prejudices in Film
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dulcinbradbury From: dulcinbradbury Date: November 17th, 2011 02:50 pm (UTC) (Link)
Of all the odd things, I watched "Notting Hill" the other day. I was looking for something light. One of the things I really liked about it was the one of the protagonist's friends was a woman who was paraplegic. It wasn't the main storyline. It was just there. I would love to see more of that.
ysabetwordsmith From: ysabetwordsmith Date: November 17th, 2011 06:15 pm (UTC) (Link)


That's called "background parity." It means that a group or trait has become sufficiently familiar to the audience that it can appear in a story about something else, rather than always having to be the focus of the whole movie/book/etc. It definitely is a good thing.

A good Torn World example is Marai, who is deaf. Most of her stories are about her profession, which is raising children, along with a few about other aspects of life in her culture; see "These Teeth, Like Stars." Her stories show a lot about what it's like to be deaf, but they're not about that -- they're about something else, such as a ceremony or a wilderness trip, and the deafness just comes up as something that people cope with routinely. It's actually kind of an asset for her because she works in the infant-house and isn't easily awakened by screaming babies, so there's always one raiser well-rested for the day shift. And like any Torn World character, Marai can pop up in stories that are about someone else, as one of the background people; see "Beads and Memories." That's a cool feature of having many authors sharing a big character pool; you get a lot of different focal points.
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