In the book of “The Sweet Revenge of Celia Door”, Celia Door is presented as an incoming freshman with interesting motive of revenge towards a person who she holds an immense hatred against but the new experiences of high school confuses her to choose between friendship and revenge. In the book, Karen presents Celia Door with many struggles and some common conflicts of a typical student who goes through high school life throughout the book. In the book, a conflict that is introduced in the beginning of the book is the description about Girl vs individual and society. For example, as Celia reveals her reasons of why she has changed her personality and appearance, she names only one person responsible for it who is Sandy Firestone. As Celia describes her, she states how if Celia “considers you prey, meaning you are ugly girl or a socially awkward boy.
..if she fears you might be a predator, a pretty girl who just moved into the school district or a boy who’s smart…” (Finnefrock 5). The book right away shows how the society or in this case, the society of teenagers expect and think of girls and boys. Girls are mostly seen to be judged towards their appearance and insulted and labeled based on it. For example, in the quote the author seemed to use the words specifically “ugly” (which gives a harsh connotation) and “pretty” towards girls where they used “socially awkward” or “smart” towards boys. The book presents how the society socially accepts girls and boys depicting girls being all about beauty otherwise there are not accepted or will face rejections from boys and friendships where boys are expected to be smart rather than dumb.To further expand on the topic of importance of power and appearance especially in High School is when a small moment takes place where Sandy is advising Becky about how she should try “Atkins diet” (FinneFrock 25).
FinneFrock shows the character of Sandy Firestone and her followers giving the importance to material things and appearances and how they obsess over body image, counting calories, and their bodily imperfections. One of the crucial and controversial topics that still exists today that book addressed was different types of genders among people. For example, an argument took place in Celia’s english class between her and Sandy told Celia how she’s so negative when she made a comment on book set during Great Depression. Celia replied angrily towards that comment by saying why doesn’t she try to take her into a darkroom and see what develops? To which the response comes as “Ewww,Celia is a lesbian”(FinneyFrock 101). The society or in this case the teenagers have always had that image of a girl and a boy and what they are suppose to be and act as either what they taught by their parents or what they see in the people around them.
The book demonstrates heterosexism basically people who do not fit the whole heterosexual social standard are social outcasts. Celia is rejected by her peers as she is falsely perceived/accused as a lesbian. Another example is when as chapters are continued Drake decides to come out to Celia about how he’s into guys but does not want to reveal it yet as the first people he wants to let know are his parents and Japhy (boy he likes who lives in New York).It indicates how guys and girls have a difficult time revealing the truth about their genders as it goes against the society’s expectations and beliefs of a female and male.The people who are unaware of the Drake’s truth in the beginning saw him a newly moved boy from New York who is a handsome young and is athletic like most jocks are. Celia describes his actions when he’s talking how he was “blushing and braiding his fingers together” which is most of times of how girls portray themselves or is a expected behavior when talking about a crush or a boy they are attracted to (FinneyFrock 39). The usages of the words “lesbian” and “gay” are used as insults towards people instead of using it with respect for the purpose of indicating a gender. Placing males and females into social roles starts a problem, because individuals feel as they have to recognize themselves as male or female but not choose in between.
. FinneyFrock equates happiness and normality with heterosexuality. Finally, last example includes how Celia in the start becomes increasingly obsessed with Drake in a way that she likes before is truth is revealed to her. She mentions about she’s expecting him ask her on a date and describes how he’s so handsome.
The story suggests a dependence of women on men, as Celia’s happiness rests on Drake’s acceptance of her. The symbols female insecurity and dependence is displayed by other characters as well, such as Sandy and her eyes on Drake.