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Annalise Keating How To Get Away With Murder Essay

This previous summer, I was recommended by my mother to watch the new show, “How To Get Away With Murder”. Despite a general idea in my mind of what the T. V. series could be about, I asked her what the premise was. She told me it was “a law show about five students taking a women’s law class of the same name of the show. ” Despite law shows not exactly being my scene, I decided to begin watching it due to my mom insisting I’d love it. From the first five minutes it was already successful in reeling me in.

Not only from the suspense built from the non-linear storyline, but how one of the main characters, Annalise Keating, held herself while teaching her class the steps of how to become a successful lawyer. The show caught my interest as well with their incredible line-up of five multilayered, diverse law students. Laurel is a Latina woman, Michaela is a black woman, Wes is a black man, Conner is a gay white man, and Asher is the “token white guy with privilege”. Professor Annalise Keating, however, steals the show. She is represented as a woman in power, who also happens to be a black woman as well as a queer woman.

A powerful woman n a field where success and recognition is almost non-existent for not only black women like her, but women in general. She refuses to be held back by the frustrating system put in place. Keating is one of the most genuine examples of a woman of color in the field of law, she shows the determination and force that is needed to be put forward in order to make it to the top in a predominantly male field of work, as well as representing the reality of life of an older woman. Initially, one of the very main storylines focus almost solely on Annalise Keating’s Five diverse law students.

And while their storyline is riveting and new, it doesn’t have the impact of Annalise Keating’s character alone. Though the story is supposed to focus around these students essentially getting away with a murder. A pretty self explanatory premise due to the title of the show. Keating’s harsh and overwhelming class, is filled with adoring students who still wait every session to learn from her abrasive teaching. And during these segments her students’ eagerness is mesmerizing. Due to each of them knowing the steps that she had previously taken are what have made her a successful lawyer.

Her chosen students, the “Keating Five”, all take aspects of her personality and try to apply it to their own work to get ahead of one another. All to purely be recognized by Keating. The majority of the time these actions are dangerous and hurt each of the students around them. yet they do end up being successful for themselves. (Rankin, 1) Much like in the ninth episode, Laurel breaks into the Keating home to attempt gaining information on a case, the conflict setting off a domino effect. Resulting in the death of Annalise’s husband. They do, however, end up following Annalise’s lead in covering up the death.

But some of the most compelling scenes throughout the series are the ones with Keating showing her skills as a lawyer as she takes the difficult steps that are made in order to win her cases. In episode six, Keating finds out that she is finally able to retry someone who was put on death row more than twenty years ago and she is now given the opportunity to attempt to convince the Supreme Court of his innocence. During the trial Annalise is called for how her case is built on circumstances, only for her to argue that the original case was the same way, resulting in their client being set free.

Incidentally, in the book “Sisters In Law: Black Women Lawyers Struggle For Advancement”, Carla Pratt speaks of the difficulties in entering the profession of law as a woman, specifically the trials that black women face. Pratt writes how some argue that less women aspire to leadership positions in the field of law than men and that this explains the low numbers of women in leadership positions. This argument is essentially used whenever the question, “Where are the women? ” is brought into light. “While 17% of law firm partners were women in 2004, only 4% were women of color. (Pratt, 1779)

Others however argue that structural barriers create a “glass ceiling”, which prevents many women from achieving positions of leadership in the field of law due to women, despite seeing these leadership positions, are never given the opportunity. When women lawyers are separated into racial groups as well, we then see that the difficulties in this field that confront women lawyers, as a whole, are not always the same in nature or degree. “… in the ABA’s 2010 study of women of color in law firms.

In that study, the ABA found that women of color in the legal profession fare worse than white women and men of color. ” (Pratt, 1778) Not all women perform or experience gender in the same way. Many of the challenges confronting women lawyers of color are unique and different from the challenges confronting white female lawyers. And these exact statistics are just a small example of why Annalise Keating as a character is incredibly important to possible viewers of the show. Essentially, Keating is an unapologetic legal genius who isn’t afraid of getting dirty.

Who isn’t afraid of showing everyone around her how she reached her successful career, but does not show to the public how it affects her internally. Something as simple as removing makeup in one scene, she keeps an audience entranced as Viola Davis, the Annalise Keating actress takes off her mask piece by piece during a personal and existential crisis. Removing what she has built up to the outside and revealing how she has had to deal with underneath it all to the audience in the comfort of her own home. Everything Analise does is an expression of what older women and women in power are feeling.

That’s what makes the character relatable for women. After winning her Emmy for her performance in How To Get Away With Murder, Davis conducted an interview with “E! Entertainment” “When you’re in a TV show that can span who knows how many seasons, you have to always be in the process of not limiting your character, putting them in a box. We’re both brave and bold enough to always push the envelope. ”(Davis, 2) She was allowed to create her own iconic character, and she was in no way afraid of show the dark edges that come with reality. To be brief, she is a mess.

There is something about Annalise that, even in the chaos of this intriguing fiction, feels real. Taking off her wig, the way that she allows herself to be a mess without a care. I believe a lot of women can relate to how she presents herself, in front of others and alone. The secrets, revealing her private moments, and then putting on that very public persona and mask. “Her being strong in her professional life and weak somewhat in her personal life, I think a lot of women can relate to that,” she says. “It’s those two masks that we wear all the time. ” (Davis, 2)

She speaks of how tired she is of the same “women tropes” of romantic comedies so she asks deeper questions to potential characters, asking “Who are they really? ” And that is exactly what she puts into Annalise. She took her opportunity to create a real life representation of womanhood and a leading lady. She also discusses TV networks, in the sense that most of them want to know exactly what a character is like immediately, yet that isn’t who anyone in real life actually is. In real life people are diverse and individual. You never know someone just by looking at them once, and you never know what that person is like on the inside.

In short, Annalise Keating is one of the greatest portrayals of women in a modern television show, she’s a woman who doesn’t allow herself to be held back by statistics and chooses her points of action specifically and with pure purpose. Annalise is just what so many viewers have been yelling in the faces of writers for years. To have characters that can reflect themselves, even if at times the reflections aren’t nice to look at. A multi-layered main character who absolutely refuses to be held back by being a woman or being black or being bisexual. Because that exact description is true for so many people in real life who strive to see them.

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