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The Fifty Shades of Grey Trilogy is a romance novel originally written as fan-fiction by E.L. James. It tells the story of a romantic relationship between college student Anastasia Steele, and a young, hot business tycoon Christian Grey. The trilogy is notable for its bedroom scenes and features detailed descriptions of what goes on.
Overview of the Fifty Shades of Grey Trilogy
Fifty Shades of Grey is the first part of the trilogy. It tells the story about college student Anastasia Steel who interviewed the business tycoon Christian Grey who is gorgeous, genius, yet intimidating. Later, Ana realized that she craves for Christian who admitted that he also wants her. However, Christian wants her in his own rules. The couple immersed into a passionate physical romance and Ana uncovered Christian’s secrets.
Fifty Shades Darker is the second part of the trilogy. Ana has already broken up with Christian to start her new career. However, she still craves for Christian. They eventually rekindled their passion, and while Christian still combats his darkest secrets, Ana had to make an important decision.
Fifty Shades Freed is the last part of the trilogy. Christian and Ana have already found love, intimacy, wealth and a bright future ahead. But still, Ana feels that it will not be an easy ride. She was right when malice, misfortune and fate conspire to turn her deepest fears into reality.
Popularity and Cultural Impact of the Fifty Shades of Grey Trilogy
The trilogy mainly attracts married women over 30 years old, but it is also very popular among high school and college girls. In fact, the book sold over 40 million copies around the world, and has earned the record of the fastest selling paperback of all time. The popularity of the trilogy is really phenomenal. Sales of toys that have been mentioned in the book has increased and readers admitted that they are more interested now in experimenting in the bedroom.
Sociologists believe that the trilogy is not only a product of consumer culture, but also a main participant in a cultural cycle. The books contain a distinctive social atmosphere that is popularized through the culture that has triggered its production. Materiality and branding of these books have been employed by the industry experts not only to influence readers but also to initiate the effects of cultural change on the world beyond the paperback. The trilogy’s continuous depiction of bedroom scenes and worldly matters is a product of consumerist culture. In fact, the resolution of the story was highly dependent on the main character’s final transformation into a consumer depicted by her submission to Christian, which is not only domineering but also financial and cultural.
Criticisms on Fifty Shades of Grey
Most critics commented on the trilogy’s depiction of adult practices. Several readers also complained that the trilogy was very popular that underage readers can easily access the books. Meanwhile, some literary critics have also criticized the book as unworthy of high literary merits, noticing that it is based on a fanfiction of the popular Twilight series.
Who is E.L.James?
E.L. James is the author of the Fifty Shades of Grey Trilogy. She was born in March 7, 1963 as Erika Leonard Mitchell. She used her pen name E.L.James for the trilogy. In 2012, Time magazine recognized her as one of “the World’s 100 Most Influential People” primarily because of the trilogy’s wild success around the globe.
E.L. James originally wrote fan-fiction using the pen name Snowqueen Icedragon, and she was popular online for her fan-fiction depicting Twilight characters, which eventually became the basis for Fifty Shades of Grey and subsequent parts of the book. She said that she was shock at the success of the book and admitted that it was a product of her experience dealing with midlife crisis.