Wonder Woman: Modern Eve and Warrior Woman
*Spoilers ahead! Quotes are directly from the movie
Diana, the heroine, is a dynamic warrior who desires to fight for truth, goodness and beauty ever since she was a little girl. She knew that “[her] future self awaits discovery” and wanted to prove herself through learning her true identity and purpose. Diana has a great love for creation - the world is worth cherishing and many of the scenes evoke biblical references of Eden before and after the fall.
Before the fall, Diana experiences wonder, awe and an innocence like Eve. There is no shame in nakedness when Diana encounters Steve’s body. She is not conditioned to objectify him for her own pleasure. This is also why she isn’t aware of modesty because she does not know a world that objectifies or lusts after women. Diana lives in an uncorrupted world but sin and suffering are brought to her land through war and greed for power. After she is exposed to the devastation of war, she's faced with a choice: love or apathy. Diana realizes that all humans are capable of good and evil. Ares, the god of war, takes the role of the serpent who tempts Diana with power in exchange for helping him kill humanity. However, Diana becomes like the new Eve, Mother Mary, as she defeats evil with love and gives her fiat to save the world.
Womanhood meets Manhood
Diana grows in acknowledging her feminine attributes – both physical and emotional. Diana has only ever known an alpha female lifestyle – her mother, the queen, sternly warns her: “Be careful in the world of men, Diana; they do not deserve you.”
She has only ever known a world where men are only needed for reproduction. We see Diana’s femininity blossom as she tries on dresses and sees the power her beauty has over men. She could be tempted to use her beauty to seduce and manipulate men to do her bidding but she challenges men to be worthy of her through her unapologetic personality, intellect and integrity. Diana experiences romantic gestures from Steve such as holding hands and slow dancing which awakens a great synchronism of male and female complementarity. We see how the sexes are depicted as equal but different through Steve and Diana. There is a certain mystery in realizing the complementarity of man and woman. They both challenge each other, protect each other, and will the other’s good.
Her strength and sacrifice inspires Steve to also be strong and have fidelity to justice even when it is inconvenient or challenging. Her femininity inspires Steve to claim his masculinity even unto death.
Diana is a woman on a mission but she isn’t so blinded by her ambition to find Ares that she cannot stop to help others. Her courage and empathy draw others closer to her as they journey with her. She realizes through the movie that “fighting doesn't make you a warrior”. Diana thought she would gain love and recognition by her strength - she was looking for an identity and a cause to stake her life on. There is an innate desire in all of us to be great, to have strength, to have passion for a cause and to fight for justice. Diana shows compassion in the face of suffering. She realizes through others’ pain that “everyone is fighting their own battle just as [she’s] fighting [hers]”.
The movie depicts the universal message that love is sacrifice. Diana believed in love and that saved the world. She was shown love by Steve who was willing to die for the sake of the greater good. Steve’s fortitude inspired her to also show mercy and love to others. Love begets love. Inside each of us, we must make a choice to choose love or apathy. Only love can truly save the world. Love is what fueled her strength to ultimately defeat evil and defend goodness. She took up the challenge and adventure to be a warrior that defends love. You too can take up the same challenge to choose to defend truth, goodness and beauty! The question is: will you say yes?