Sunday, 1 November 2015

Representations of disability- Donna (Eastenders)

In the first clip, 'the morning after', we see a close up of Donna reaching in her draws to get some pills. If you watch the show you will know that Donna has a disability, so the dominant ideology would be that she is taking prescripted medication to help her. However, the negotiated reading of this could be that she is reaching for a 'morning after' pill as she just had a one night stand with Fatboy. This goes against Paul Hunt's identified stereotype that disabled people are seen as 'non sexual' as she has been sexually involved with Fatboy; representing her as a countertype.  Also when Fatboy enters bringing her breakfast and sits down talk to her, multiple two shots and shot/reverse shots are used to capture the conversation. They are set as a mid shot which shows Donna and Fatboy to be equal and on the same level; minimising her disability.

The second clip, 'in public', we see Fatboy walking awkwardly away from Donna as they enter the square, showing his embarrassment/awkwardness of people staring at them and speculating about their night together. One of Donna's friends comes along and begins speaking to her as if she is a child and look down on her which is shown by the low angles behind Donna's shoulder; enabling us to capture her friend looking down. By Pam looking down, it is suggesting she feels dominance over Donna and is more of an adult. Donna's represented to be like a child by the camera angles and the way Pam slightly bends down towards her, and speaks in a soft warm tone like mothers speak to their children.
Soon after this, Donna ends up talking to Nancy and makes comments about her being a pretty blonde; offending Nancy. It soon becomes clear to Donna that Nancy is disabled too as she has Epilepsy; which causes Donna to regret ranting at Nancy. Later in the program we see Donna apologising to Nancy in the cafĂ©, and the two of them begin making jokes and telling stories about their disabilities as a form of comfort and support. This is shown in a two shot where they are both on the same level, showing how similar they are because they both have disabilities; even though Nancy's isn't noticeable like Donna's.
In the final clip, ‘mate or date’, the diegetic sound of the radio helps to eliminate the awkwardness between Donna and Fatboy, as well as it showing the normality and realism of the scene. The upbeat track on the radio suggests that Donna is getting ready for her ‘date’ and is overly excited about it. This subverts the stereotype that disabled people are unable to help themselves and are always in need of care, as she is shown to be getting ready by herself. This is further stressed by the mid shot which only shows Donna waist up, which makes her seem equal to everyone else and eliminates her disability. After Donna falls, Fatboy enters her bedroom to find her lying on the floor. The low angle from behind Donna emphasises how Fatboy looks down on her, portraying the stereotype that they are inferior in society to ‘normal’ people. He bends down to help her after she asks him to get down, and a two shot of the characters helps to eliminate the differences between them. They end up on the same level which balances the power as well as demolishes her disability.

1 comment:

  1. well done Hannach - effective analysis and use of technical terms here