Study Guide

The Rocky Horror Picture Show Janet Weiss, A Heroine (Susan Sarandon)

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Janet Weiss, A Heroine (Susan Sarandon)

Not a Virgin Anymore

At the beginning of Rocky Horror, Janet's like Madonna. No, not because she's wearing a pointy bra (though she's also wearing a pointy bra) but because she's like a virgin.

Actually, she isn't like a virgin, she is a virgin, waiting to be touched for the very first time. She's your typical good girl, who is scared of the strange castle and the odd people inside it…just like good girls are expected to be.

She's initially shy and demure, but she soon declares herself a "muscle fan" when looking at Rocky's ripped bod. And, after being seduced by Frank, Janet turns into a bona fide sex goddess. She just needed to shrug off the pressure to be a chaste girl…and shrug off some of her modest clothing as well.

JANET: I'll put up no resistance. I want to stay the distance. I've got an itch to scratch. I need assistance. Toucha toucha toucha touch me. I want to be dirty. Thrill me, chill me, fulfill me. Creature of the night.

In talkbacks at live shows, Janet is often referred to as "slut." (But this is usually said lovingly—Rocky Horror fans are nothing if not sexually liberated.) (Source)

She's a character who parodies the ridiculousness of the virgin/whore dichotomy, a concept that goes back to before Shakespeare's time. What light through yonder window breaks? It is the east, and Janet is a "slut."

Madonna and Child

Janet's sexuality is made over the top to parody the ridiculous fear of female sexuality. But she isn't just a one-dimensional being whose entire character is just an excursion from Point A (Virgin) to Point B (Sexy Mama).

Speaking of "Sexy Mama," Janet's also a nurturing force. After being chased by dogs, Rocky turns to Janet for comfort…and Janet dresses Rocky's wounds and cares for him like the mother he never had.

Maybe that's why Frank is really jealous: not that Rocky and Janet have sex, but that Rocky is comforted by Janet and not by him.

In the end, Janet leaves the castle a sexually awakened woman. She is gussied up in Frank's sexy clothing, but after the castle blasts off, she is left writhing in the dirt with Brad and Dr. Scott. It's quite an experience to go through all this in less than twenty-four hours.

We're left not knowing whether or not Brad and Janet will still be wed. Considering Janet's no longer "saving herself" for Brad (and that Brad seemed super into knocking boots with Frank-N-Furter) we doubt it. Brad might be saying "Dammit, Janet" for a different reason and calling off the engagement.

But by this point, Janet might not be satisfied by Brad anyway. Take a bow, Brad.

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