Theory in a Digital Age: A Project of English 483 Students, Coastal Carolina University

Breaking Free with Eddy and Edith

What has been intriguing about Becoming a Dragon for me is the fact that there is this online world, completely separate from reality. A world where people who don’t believe they fit into the real world, can actually fit in. A world where one can warp reality and become exactly who they are meant to be, without the hassle of physically making those changes.

In light of this critical exploration, I wrote a fictional story called Eddy and Edith. I wrote this story as a way to further explore how an online environment such as Second Life can impact somebody’s life, positively and negatively. Upon writing my fiction piece, I stumbled across Ruby Rose’s short film, Break Free. Break Free is a film about gender roles and what it is like to have an identity that differs from the norm. The similarities between my story and this film seemed to mesh well together, and when put side by side they tell parallel stories about a similar struggle.

Eddy and Edith, is about a young boy who believes that he is transgender and was born in the wrong body. The story begins with a young fourteen-year-old boy looking in the mirror. staring at his reflection. Eddy is a prisoner of his own skin. Biologically Eddy is male, but mentally he believes that he should have been born a female. When looking in the mirror, he pictures himself wearing a beautiful dress but is quickly snapped back into reality and that beautiful dress turns into his ratty old t-shirt. As the story moves forward, Eddy finds himself engulfed in the virtual world of Second Life, spending every minute he can playing, even skipping school. Second Life allows him to be exactly who he wants to be.
At first, He creates his ideal avatar. Edith, the girl he wishes to be. As he begins playing with this version of himself, he soon realizes that this is exactly who he should be. The more he plays as this character in the virtual world, he begins to feel more comfortable being Edith and eventually decides that in order to be happy, he needs to make this change a reality.

This story follows similar ideas that were brought up in the Becoming a Dragon Article. In Becoming a Dragon one of the main topics discussed is how virtual environments offer a more reasonable solution for those who want to change their bodies and express who they are on the inside, without spending an outrageous amount of money or making any permanent changes. In my fiction piece, Eddy, uses Second Life to do just that. Being only fourteen, he is not ready to make the full commitment of changing his body to represent his true self and because of that, he uses Second Life as a way to be who he wants to be. Who he was meant to be.
In Eddy and Edith, there is a scene where Eddy is looking in the mirror and sees himself wearing a flowing maroon sundress and skinny black leggings. Eddy is soon brought back to reality and when that happens, the sundress becomes the long shirt he is wearing, and the leggings become sweatpants. The purpose of this scene is to emphasize the inner struggle that Eddy is going through. He wishes to be one thing, but since it is not seen as "normal" and not entirely accepted by society, he can only express himself in small ways. Later on, Eddy begins to play Second Life and we see him choose an avatar that dresses in the same dress and leggings that he saw himself wearing in the mirror. This was meant to show how Eddy is able to be who he wants to be in a virtual environment without all the pressure.

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