Beth Harmon might not be a typical heroine but The Queen's Gambit character has moments where she was exactly the hero viewers needed.
Netflix'sThe Queen's Gambitoffers a refreshing protagonist for the modern-day. Beth, played by Anya Taylor-Joy, may exist in a fictional world of the 1950s, but the way she lives her life is applicable to the concerns of today's viewers. Beth defies societal constraints in a way that makes it feels more possible to break down contemporary walls in people's day to day life.
RELATED: 10 Queen's Gambit Memes That Will Have You Saying "I Resign"
Beth is a trailblazer in a way that is both subtle and direct. She does not offer herself to the viewer as any kind of obvious visionary or passionate symbol of feminism, but it is in the sure, steadiness of her being that viewers will find the reality of her rebellion. In fact, the simple act of being herself, unruffled by the expectations of those around her, cultivates in a unique, comforting form of inspiring independence that extends itself to the viewer like an invitation.
Young Beth is eyeing Mr. Shaibel's chess set long before she finally gets a chance to sit down and have a try at the game herself. It's clear that she is drawn to it for some reason, perhaps that her active mind is not adequately challenged in the classrooms of the orphanage.
When Beth finally gains the courage to ask to join him at the game, Mr. Shaibel at first rejects her because she is a girl--showing the nerve it took her to ask in the first place, knowing it was likely she was stepping out of the designated female role.
Beth is visited by the head of the chess club at a local high school. It's surprising that, even after spending a day of watching Beth's intellectual sharpness and her keen interest in the game of chess, the man bids Beth goodbye with the gift of a baby doll toy--completely missing the mark for what kind of person she is and the interests she has.
Beth politely takes the doll, under the instruction of Mr. Shaibel, but satisfyingly chucks it in the trash after leaving the room--showing that she will not bend to fit anybody else's idea of who she should be.
Beth faces many blocks in the road that could stop her from doing what she wants. Mr. Shaibel tells her girls don't play chess, but she comes back anyway. She doesn't have a board to practice on, so she imagines one on the ceiling of her room.
RELATED: The Queen's Gambit: 10 Great Movies You Didn't Know Showrunner Scott Frank Wrote
She doesn't have much support from Mrs. Wheatley at the start, so she seeks out a local chess competition to earn her own money. Beth is an inspiration for never letting something get in the way of what matters to a person, and certainly never waiting for someone else to figure things out for you.
When Beth shows up for her first chess tournament and the boys running the table try to put her in the beginners' level, she does not buckle under their pressure, nor is she intimidated by their assumptions.
It seems as though they are essentially laughing in her face when Beth asserts that she must be put into the higher-level competition, but this doesn't deter her from sticking to herself and demanding what she knows to be right for her.
Harry is a good friend to Beth, but this doesn't mean he always hits the nail on the head when it comes to ascertaining what's fitting for a situation, such as whenhe goes to suggest books for Beth to read and it turns out she has alreadyread almost all of them.
This scene displays the fact that Beth is not just talented, but she is alsokeen to studyand attentive to her craft, and won't pretend to be anything less than she is just to spare someone's feelings or pride.
The show does feature several romantic encounters for Beth, but these never dominate the narrative. This is refreshing, asa lot offemale-driven plot lines rely on a strong romantic element.
Beth's romances are additive to her life, but certainly not essential. Instead, the focus is primarily aimed at Beth's inner emotional and intellectual world, her friendships, and the seriousness of her passion for chess.
There comes a point in the show when Beth begins to be criticized for the way she dresses. Some suggest that her glamorous appearance does not befit the chess world, a space considered too serious and intellectual for fashion.
RELATED: 10 Movies To Watch About Chess If You Like Netflix's The Queen's Gambit
None of this commentary phases Beth. The fact that it was unprecedented for a woman to get as far in chess as she does didn't phase her, so it's of little surprise that criticisms of her clothing choices would.
There are many instances in the show that would allow Beth to fail in life because of a lack of resources. One would hardly blame her, either, considering the difficult hand she is dealt.
However, rather than whimper in a corner when life doesn't offer what is needed, Beth simply asks. This seems obvious but is actually a brave, stand-out personality trait of hers.
Anyone who has a passion in life, or even something they are moderately curious about, can take heart and inspiration from how Beth treats her relationship to chess. Beth finds her passion at a young age, and ever since then, she takes it seriously.
Many people will act sheepish about something they like, worrying people will judge them for how good or bad they are, but Beth simply chugs along always trying to improve herself, focusing on what matters--that she loves chess.
Perhaps one of the best things about Beth is that she is flawed. Beth is not a perfect friend--she frequently lets her friends down, putting alcohol before her relationship with Benny, and failing to ever check in on Jolene. She can be a selfish character, and at times say cruel things.
These are the things that make her character feel real, however, and that ultimately makes her more powerful to watch. She does not fit any specific category of woman, as so many shows and films would have their characters do. She is very much her own person, magnificent and messy.
NEXT: The Queen's Gambit: 5 Scenes That Made Us Want To Cry (& 5 That Made Us Rejoice)
Next Sex And The City: 10 Unpopular Opinions (According To Reddit)
Glenna is a Glasgow-based writer from New England. She studied English Literature and Music and loves babbling about pictures.
Continue reading here:
- How to get the most from ChessBase 16 - Chessbase News - January 20th, 2021
- What are the key factors and impact of interventions in Englands COVID-19 epidemic? - News-Medical.Net - January 20th, 2021
- Richmond Hill basketball coaches piece together scouting reports on opponents - Savannah Morning News - January 20th, 2021
- What The Biden Presidency Means For Privacy, Consumer Protection And Antitrust - AdExchanger - January 20th, 2021
- An intro to the fast-paced world of artificial intelligence - MIT News - January 20th, 2021
- Counter-UAS System Market Size, Growth Factor,Analysis And Forecast By 2027| Lockheed Martin, Thales, Boeing - NeighborWebSJ - January 20th, 2021
- Anglo Singapore International School are delighted to welcome you for a school visit. - Bangkok Post - January 20th, 2021
- A Guide to Optimizing Your Mental Health in 2021 - Dan's Papers - January 20th, 2021
- Chess Global Market : Industry Analysis and Forecast (2019-2026) by Type, Application, and Region - The Courier - January 15th, 2021
- ONTARIO: How one womans online chess school is getting young girls worldwide excited about the game - TimminsToday - January 15th, 2021
- LaFleur Won't Be Able to Fool McVay on Saturday - Zone Coverage - January 15th, 2021
- Lewis Carroll Death Anniversary: Here are Some of the Author's Greatest Works - News18 - January 15th, 2021
- Reflecting on 'The Queen's Gambit': Are women genetically hardwired to underperform men in chess? - Genetic Literacy Project - January 13th, 2021
- Chess Market: Global Strategies and Insight driven transformation 2020 2026 - SoccerNurds - January 13th, 2021
- Why Its Not Too Late to Learn New Skills - The New Yorker - January 13th, 2021
- Global Counter UAV Market 2020 Trends, Demand and Scope with Outlook, Business Strategies and Forecast 2025 - SoccerNurds - January 13th, 2021
- The Seedy Chess World of Queens Gambit Is the Shows Masterstroke - Observer - January 9th, 2021
- Chess Market Study by Global and Regional Analysis with Forecast | The House of Staunton, ChessSUA, CNCHESS - NeighborWebSJ - January 9th, 2021
- How this Ontario woman's online chess school is getting young girls worldwide excited about the game - Toronto Star - January 9th, 2021
- Americans are living 30 years longer on average and that's a big plus for businesses - Palo Alto Online - January 9th, 2021
- From Text to Tablet: How to Learn in Lockdown - Global Citizen - January 9th, 2021
- Overcoming lockdowns and uncertainty to triumph at the end of a tough year - Neos Kosmos - January 9th, 2021
- Science-backed strategies to deal with stress and anxiety - World Economic Forum - January 9th, 2021
- 'The Queen's Gambit' Is About More Than Just Chess - Study Breaks - January 6th, 2021
- Barnegat's Kasey Keshecki is our Student of the Week - wobm.com - January 6th, 2021
- Film Study: The Ohio State Offense Was Prepared to Peak in the College Football Playoff | Eleven Warriors - Eleven Warriors - January 6th, 2021
- Chess Market Statistical Overview 2021-2026 with Industry Insights and Growth by ChessSUA, CNCHESS, ChessBaron, Chessncrafts, Chessbazaar.com, and... - January 6th, 2021
- Global Used Construction Machinery Market Precise Scenario Covering Trends, Competitive Scenario, Business Opportunities and Growth Forecast during... - January 6th, 2021
- 2021 Could Be a Banner Year for AIIf We Solve These 4 Problems - Singularity Hub - January 6th, 2021
- Anti-UAV Defense System Market Analysis, Opportunities, Competition Scenario, Threats, Future Prospects, Trends, Applications, And Growth Forecast To... - January 6th, 2021
- Global Chess Market to 2026 Industry Perspective, Comprehensive Analysis, and Forecast - Factory Gate - January 4th, 2021
- From the shadows into the light the man who broke the UFO embargo grew up in Sarasota - Sarasota Herald-Tribune - January 4th, 2021
- Six ways to reboot your brain after a hard year of Covid-19 according to science - iNews - January 4th, 2021
- Neuroscientists explain six ways to reboot your brain after a hard year of COVID-19 - PsyPost - January 4th, 2021
- Nithiin starrer Check first glimpse will leave you intrigued about his character | WATCH - Republic World - January 4th, 2021
- Good News Stories That Actually Made Us Smile in 2020 - Newsweek - January 4th, 2021
- Irelands modern druids: There is hidden knowledge you are asked not to share - The Irish Times - January 4th, 2021
- Keep Calm and QAnon - Slate - December 31st, 2020
- Beginners by Tom Vanderbilt review it's never too late to learn - The Guardian - December 31st, 2020
- Yes, 2020 was a historically hellish year. Now for the good news | TheHill - The Hill - December 31st, 2020
- Literature alights that was once burned books | Dec. 30 - Jan. 5, 2020 - Real Change News - December 31st, 2020
- Google DeepMind unveils AI that can master chess without even knowing the rules - The Independent - December 29th, 2020
- Coronavirus: Latest updates on COVID-19 crisis around the world - Outlook India - December 29th, 2020
- Chess Market 2020 Future Growth Analysis With Focusing Key Players | The House of Staunton, ChessSUA, CNCHESS, ChessBaron - Factory Gate - December 29th, 2020
- Counter-UAV (C-UAV) Systems Market Research Report (2020-2026): Key Trends and Opportunities |Lockheed Martin, Thales, Boeing - Factory Gate - December 29th, 2020
- Kwanzaa in Louisville on heels of social justice movement - Alton Telegraph - December 29th, 2020
- The New China Challenge Stems from Beijings Old Ambitions - The National Interest - December 29th, 2020
- International Chess Market Opportunities And Forecast Analysis up to 2026 | The House of Staunton, ChessSUA, CNCHESS - The Monitor - December 29th, 2020
- WHO: Learn from COVID Pandemic, It Wont be the Last - Voice of America - December 27th, 2020
- How 'The Flight Attendant' and 'The Queen's Gambit' Are the Same - GQ - December 27th, 2020
- Online shopping is here to stay in 2021: Refinitiv - Yahoo Money - December 27th, 2020
- Many Jews refrain from learning Torah on Christmas Eve and call it Nittel Nacht. Here's my family tradition to spread light. - JTA News - Jewish... - December 26th, 2020
- Global Chess Market Demand, Revenue, Trends, Profit Analysis and Landscape Outlook to 2026|| The House of Staunton, ChessSUA, CNCHESS, ChessBaron -... - December 26th, 2020
- The kings gambit: Viswanathan Anand enters a different phase of his career - Sportstar - December 26th, 2020
- 19 Calm Coffee Places In Beirut Where You Can Focus While Working - The961 - December 26th, 2020
- DeepMinds Latest AI Can Win Games Without Knowing the Rules - Beebom - December 26th, 2020
- Chess Table Market Size By Type, By Application, By Geography, By Top Companies And Forecast To 2027 - LionLowdown - December 26th, 2020
- Impact Of Covid 19 On Counter UAV Industry 2020 Market Challenges, Business Overview And Forecast Research Study 2026 - Factory Gate - December 23rd, 2020
- Bellamy Richardson The Williams Record - The Williams record - December 23rd, 2020
- Between the sacred and the secular - New Statesman - December 23rd, 2020
- In a winter of change, Eagles are learning that Jalen Hurts is no snowflake - NJ.com - December 22nd, 2020
- PhD grad uses math to explore the brain - ASU Now - December 22nd, 2020
- OPINION: Sometimes it's good to have a team - Arkansas Online - December 22nd, 2020
- Business is continuing its cloud migration. Train to become an Azure and AWS tech professional - The Next Web - December 22nd, 2020
- Staying On Top: How Chess Masters Study The Game ... - December 20th, 2020
- Struggling local entertainment venues: Its time for the state to show it CARES - Buffalo News - December 20th, 2020
- The best series and shows on Netflix in 2020 - RNZ - December 20th, 2020
- 21 Ways to Greater Well-Being in 2021 - Newswise - December 20th, 2020
- The Best Video Games of 2020 - The New Yorker - December 18th, 2020
- Memo to Blinken: Protect the brains of State Department employees - Federal News Network - December 18th, 2020
- Chadwick Boseman Gives His Final Performance in 'Ma Raineys Black Bottom', and It's Gut-Wrenching - Glamour - December 18th, 2020
- Chess Course for High Performance: Grandmaster Package - December 17th, 2020
- Reasons to study international studies and diplomacy - Modern Diplomacy - December 17th, 2020
- Global Chess Market Demand and Opportunities 2026|| Break Down by Top Companies, Countries, Applications, Challenges, Opportunities and Forecast -... - December 16th, 2020
- What is a 'Flow State' and How Can MTBers Get Into It More Often? - Singletracks.com - December 16th, 2020
- This is why you make bad decisions on the golf course (and how to fix it) - Golf.com - December 16th, 2020
- Author Sophie Cousens talks about her book, 'This Time Next Year' - Yahoo! Voices - December 16th, 2020
- The board games market by revenue is expected to grow at a CAGR of approx. 13% during the period 20212026 - GlobeNewswire - December 16th, 2020
- Chelmsford High School October Students of the Month - Wicked Local - December 15th, 2020
- Struggling Museums Are Increasingly Relying on the Generosity of Artists to Convince Private Donors to Bail Them Out - artnet News - December 15th, 2020