Mia Thermopolis, Princess of Genovia, from the movie The Princess Diaries is a wonderful example of the concept marxism, which analyzes class relations and societal conflict. Marxism is a method of socioeconomic analysis that uses a materialistic interpretation of social transformation. Mia is a middle-class teenage ‘nerdy’ girl who’s recently deceased father was the Prince of the European country, Genovia. She had no knowledge he was any sort of royalty and after his passing, she is now the only heir to the throne of Genovia.
Mia is not quite ready to become a princess and leave the comfort of her San Francisco home to rule an entire country. The movie shows her struggles on deciding whether or not to stay in her current social class or change her life forever and become Princess of Genovia. Having to choose between middle class and upper class royalty leaves her to manage class relations and societal conflict.One scene that shows her switch from societal class and represents marxism is after she finds out she is a princess and begins taking princess lessons with her grandmother, the Queen of Genovia.
Her princess lessons do not start off really well as she has never been exposed to high class society and does not know how to act. She struggles to figure out proper ways to act in settings that require more poise and respect when she is around other people of royalty or even confronting the people of her country. Being a teenage girl in a big city has never required her to be graceful and elegant and she cannot speak in public, which is something she will do a lot of ruling a country. The class role she grew up in did not prepare her for the class role she was expected to take on as a princess and it was difficult for her to learn new ways of acting. Her princess lessons included everything from learning which dining utensils to use when, how to dance, and even how to walk gracefully. All of these are things she did not need to know as a middle class teenager, but are mandatory to know as royalty. She struggles with the ideologies of marxism and trying to find the right social class she wants to spend her life in. She grew up in middle class with no idea that she was royalty and she has no idea how to act in the upper class.
At the end of the movie, Mia is about to give up and decide she does not want to take on the role of princess until she finds a letter her late father wrote her. At the beginning of the movie she is given until the big Genovian Ball to decide if she wants to become a princess or not. She finds the letter written to her from her father on that night, when she was planning to run away. After reading the letter from her father, Mia decides that she actually wants to give up her place in the middle class and her privacy to become princess. Throughout the whole movie you see Mia struggling to fit into her role as princess and this is the first scene that she realizes being a princess is what she really wants. It is the first time she has really decided to leave the safety of her social class and take on a whole new world.
Mia is an important young adult heroine because she is seen as a normal, almost weird teenage girl who is relatable to many young girls and yet she is the princess of a country. Throughout the movie she faces struggles any normal teenager would face like a crappy first kiss or a bad school presentation but she transforms into an elegant princess who believes she can make a change in the country of Genovia. She starts out as a dorky teenager and becomes someone younger girls look up to in the movie, but also for young girls watching the movie.