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Background Edit

Karen Jenson

Dr. Karen Jensen in Blade

Dr. Karen Jensen (N'Bushe Wright) is one of the main characters in the movie Blade. Karen is an intelligent hematologist that plays alongside the half-human half-vampire named Blade (Wesley Snipe).

We first see Karen in the film in a hospital scene where she is examining the scorched body of Quinn (Donal Logue), who is a vampire working for the antagonist of the film, Deacon Frost (Stephen Dorff). Karen is frightened and bitten by Quinn, who seems to have risen from the dead. Upon being bitten, Blade arrives at the scene and chases after Quinn, hoping to permanently kill him (since vampires can regenerate). Looking down at the injured Karen, Blade begins to walk off. He suddenly sees the helpless image of his dying mother flash before him, and in an act of compassion, he decides to save Karen.

With Dr. Karen by his side, the two work together to try and stop the antagonist vampire, Deacon Frost, from wiping out the human race[1].

Character traits and development Edit

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Dr. Karen with a gun

Dr. Jensen represents a strong female supporting role that fights for her survival. She is a fiery character that aids Blade and the other protagonists and vampire hunters in the film. She starts out at the beginning of the film as defenseless and incredulous to the world of vampires around her, but she later realizes that vampires walk among humans in disguise. As she gets put in more and more dangerous and violent situations alongside Blade, Karen becomes a rather courageous woman who can hold her own. Blade and his mentor Abraham Whistler (Kris Kristofferson) repeatedly advise her throughout the film that she should learn how to use a gun. Karen ends up being able to defend herself with a gun, and scarifies herself for Blade. Karen's character surprises viewers and even invents a seemingly impossible cure for humans who have been bitten by vampires.

Dr. Karen Jensen and Typical Female Leads in Vampire Stories Edit

Dr. Karen Jensen defies the tradition molding of female leads in vampire stories by being in a powerful position at the beginning of the movie and remains powerful throughout. In Bram Stoker's 'Dracula', Mina is shown as the bystander to the acts of Dracula. Mina is shown as a weak, fragile woman who easily succumb to a man's (in particular Dracula's) power. Jensen does not portray herself that way, she is a hematologist who is attacked by a vampire. She decided to follow Blade and help him in his war against the vampires all while attempting to find a cure for herself. Despite being a 'side kick' to Blade, Jensen holds her own by fighting along side of him rather than sitting on the side lines like Lucy in 'Dracula' (Lucy, Mina's best friend, is enticed by Dracula to follow him and give in to his power by being bitten and fed off of by Dracula). Lucy gives up her power to this being without knowing who he in the courtyard of her mansion. Dr. Jensen, who is in a profession that is dominantly men, begins in a powerful position and is taken away from that because of an attack by a vampire, not by giving up her power to him. After the attack, Blade guides her and helps her become stronger all while she tries to cure herself. Dr. Jensen exemplifies how powerful women can be in a position meant to break them down. After Blade premiered in 2001, the next big vampire saga to come out is the Underworld series, who has a female protagonist who is a vampire. Dr. Jensen is a character that bridges the gap between traditional roles like Mina or Lucy in Dracula to Selene in Underworld.

References Edit

  1. Blade. Dir. Stephen Norrington. 1998.
Dracula, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dracula

Blade, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blade_(film)

Underworld, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Underworld_(film_series)

Blade Film, https://arizona.hosted.panopto.com/Panopto/Pages/Viewer.aspx?id=54741b31-211b-422a-933c-8a5da8bb7ea3

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