Orphan Black

The Women of Orphan Black: Faces of the Feminist Spectrum

Orphan Black‘s Tatiana Maslany plays a host of the show’s main characters, all clones of an illegal experiment. The mighty heroines save one another and destroy the patriarchy–with the aid of supportive yet bumbling males–while subverting gender expectations and celebrating the many facets of feminism.
Sarah, the punk feminist clashing with her radical feminist foster-mother; Alison, the quintessential post-feminist housewife; Cosima, a herald of second-wave lesbian feminism in Birkenstocks and dreads; Beth, a third-wave feminist bogged down by drug and relationship problems; and M.K. a fourth-wave feminist who tackles the hardships of disability through the Internet. This book explores these portrayals and how they relate to the science and ethics surrounding cloning through an emphasis on the women’s war against corporate power.

Orphan Black and the Heroine’s Journey: Symbols, Depth Psychology, and the Feminist Epic

On the heroine’s journey, the young woman quests for autonomy, with adversaries who reflect her shadow side. They polarize with her, evoking different aspects of the personality. Wrestling with these figures and achieving a rapprochement, the heroine discovers all the untapped potential and hidden strength that lies within. BBC’s Orphan Black follows this perfectly. Sarah Manning discovers she’s a clone when she meets her identical copy, Beth, and sees her commit suicide. Through the first season, Sarah plays Beth, learning discipline and responsibility. All this gives her the strength to grapple with her wild sister Helena and evil sister Rachel as she battles the patriarchy in an ancient feminist clash. This book analyzes the symbols and inner life of the five main characters’ journeys, along with some of the lesser Ledas, as all seek the power of a united sisterhood.