Dissecting Dragons

Episode 308: False Prophets and Unwanted Messiahs - Examining the White Saviour Trope in Speculative Fiction Part 1

January 7, 2022

Who gets to tell the story is often as important as the story itself - certainly in fiction and often in real life too. While the dragons generally hold the view that stories belong to everyone, they also feel that not every story is owned equally by all storytellers and that writers have a duty to treat subjects sensitively and do due diligence. That being said, there is also a trend towards using buzzwords to categorise certain narratives, which robs them of their nuance. Stories beget other stories; art doesn't happen in a vacuum uninfluenced, so it's important to thoroughly examine something before you discard it. 


This week Jules and Madeleine take a look at the 'white saviour trope' in films, books and other media. What exactly is it? Where did it come from? Is it as simple as a narrative device used to make certain readers/ viewers feel better about complicated socio-political and historical events, or is there more to it? And could it possibly be suffering from mis-application? 

Find out in part one of a two part episode. On the slab during this discussion: A Time to Kill, The Help, Avatar, Game of Thrones and many more.


Title Music: Ecstasy by Smiling Cynic

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