Fifty Shades of Grey

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Fifty Shades of Grey is the first book in the Fifty Shades trilogy, all three books written by British author E.L. James. The book is not based on original characters, and most of the first book is copied verbatim from a Twilight fanfiction titled Masters of the Universe that previously existed on and was removed several months before the publication of Fifty Shades of Grey. More than 70% of Fifty Shades of Grey is identical to Masters of the Universe, with the only differences in the identical portions being "Edward Cullen" and "Bella Swann" being changed to "Christian Grey" and "Anastasia Steele." Smaller, but still significant, portions of the latter two books in the trilogy (Fifty Shades Darker and Fifty Shades Freed) are taken from later parts of Masters of the Universe.

Relationship Themes

The Fifty Shades trilogy shows, on the surface, a relationship that is represented by the characters involved as being healthy and consensual. BDSM mechanics are involved, though it must be stressed that the trilogy was written by someone with no firsthand knowledge of techniques to do with the fetish and consequently is a misrepresentation of both the power dynamics and activities that commonly take place within a BDSM relationship. What E.L. James outlines is not the "safe, sane, and consensual" power dynamic that exists within a relatively-normal BDSM relationship, but a psychologically and physically abusive relationship with multiple red flags being raised for any attentive reader within the first book. Any doubts as to the unhealthy nature of Christian Grey's obsession ought be dispelled when he threatens to rape Anastasia in the elevator on the way to his penthouse.

Relationship to Conservative Values

Though the Fifty Shades series presents a disturbing look into an unhealthy relationship, the book was written by a conservative British female author and is aimed primarily at the middle-aged housewife demographic. It appears to sell well within the demographic, and has beaten the Harry Potter series for the record of fastest-selling paperback of all time.

For those unmarried persons who choose to pursue the series, it cannot be stressed enough that any man or woman exhibiting the obsessive and controlling personality traits of Christian Grey is absolutely not a person to associate with on a romantic basis.