What is a Waif?• In basic terms a waif is known as the damsel in distress, or the girl in the hero’s eyes.• She is usually the girl in the villains eyes as well, therefore making her a constant target for kidnappings and ransom requests.
The Waif in the World• The archetype of the waif is widely told in many different cultures and has been for a long time.• For example: in Greek Mythology Helen of Troy, the face that launched a thousand ships, is the classical example of the waif.• Why? Because her beauty was admired by all including Thesseus king of Athens, that he sent abductors to take her for himself. Therefore making her a damsel in distress.
Waif in Greek Mythology• The waif in the slide before was just an example. Here is the real example of the Greek Waif: Andromeda, the boastful waif.• She proclaimed that she was more beautiful than the Nereids, which triggered the wrath of Poseidon and then he sent a sea- monster that destroyed both man and beast. And if this was to stop, then the father of Andromeda must expose her to the beast. As she was about to be eaten Perseus saves her, kills the beast, and then marries her.
Typical Waif in Greek• In Greek mythology a typical waif is basically either a daughter of a king or a god or goddess.• The daughter must always be beautiful, and always, in one form or anther, find herself in a situation where she would require the assistance of a hero.
Waif in German Stories• The waif in this story is about a girl who is put under a spell that places her in an eternal slumber until a man with a pure heart kisses her and frees her from the curse.• This is the story of Snow White.• It was made into a movie in America but the story originated from Germany.• It was a story of love, trouble and… a damsel in distress.
How this fits under the conditions of a Waif?• Well for one snow white is a damsel in distress. That’s the first and most important part in being a waif.• Second, Snow White is the eyes in Prince Charming’s eyes. He is willing to risk his life and fight a gigantic dragon to save her.• Third and final reason: When she gets saved, she and Prince Charming get married and live happily ever after.
Waif in Japanese Culture• Now in Japan the waif is put in a situation that she needs divine assistance, literally.• The girls name is Kushinada-hime. And she is about to become devoured by the infamous eight headed snake: Yamata no Orochi.• By that time Susanoo, the Japanese god of storms, is banished from heaven by his father: Izumo. When Susanoo walked on earth he came upon an elderly couple and found that they were crying with a girl in between them.• He asks what is the problem with the parents and they say that their last daughter Kushinada was about to be devoured by Yamata no Orchi. Before they had eight daughters but seven of the eight were already eaten and they did not want their last daughter the die.• So Susanoo decides to kill the serpent and as reward he gets the daughter. They agree and Susanoo kills the serpent. Thus ending the story.
How is she a Waif?• Well, in terms Kushinada-hime is considered a waif centrally because she is a damsel in major distress.• Also she was the prize in Susanoo’s eyes when he agreed to fight the serpent.
Waif in the Modern World• Now for this one, there are many examples for a waif, unfortunately I can only supply the audience with one: Princess Peach, the face that launched an Italian plumber into the depth a gigantic turtle dragon kings castle.
What’s the Story?• If you have played Mario or Super Mario, then chances are you know what the story is.• Basically Princess Peach gets kidnapped by Bower (the turtle dragon king) numerous times that the Kingdom must put their faith into the hands…of an Italian plumber that somehow has a head as hard as steel that he can destroy blocks of rock floating in the air.
How is SHE a Waif?• …Ok if you still don’t know why she is a waif then please pay close attention to this slide.• First she is naïve enough to allow herself to become capture by a monster multiple times that it has basically become part of her daily schedule.• Second, she is a major damsel in distress, she somehow thinks that after Mario defeated Bowser once, he would change his ways and peace would be returned to the kingdom…and she has been telling herself this every time she gets saved by Mario (which is about thirty times).• Third and final reason why she is a MAJOR waif: she is ungrateful. Because every time Mario saves her all that happens is that she says thank you and leaves him… wow you can just feel the love.
Waif in Indian culture• The last example of a waif can be found in the tale of “Ramayana”.• The Waif is Sita wife of Ramayana, and she gets taken hostage by Ravana.• She is a very good example of a waif: the prize of many warriors, the target of the villain, and eventually becomes rescued by the main hero and lives happily ever after with him.
What have we learned?• Waifs are naturally naïve, pure hearted, and seems to be the one who gets taken hostage a lot.• Also some waifs tend to stay with their rescuer after that whole fight is over, but then again, they may just leave you in a dark castle with no way back out. That’s just the life the hero has to live with.