Archive for November, 2009

The Picture of Dorian Gray

November 29, 2009

“Yes, there was to be, as Lord Henry had prophesied, a new Hedonism that was to recreate life, and to save from that harsh, uncomely Puritanism that is having, in our own day, its curious revival.”
According to me wrong influence can have a great impact on an individual’s life. Here I am referring to influence of Lord Henry’s philosophy of hedonism on Dorian. After Sibyl Vane’s death Dorian had an emotional breakdown, he was desperately looking for something to hold on. Lord Henry saw this as a perfect moment to persuade Dorian. Because of emotional instability and guilt he was easily infested by Lord Henry’s immoral philosophy of being a spectator of life in order to escape its sufferings. By choosing Lord Henry’s path, Dorian tried to prove to himself that the previous mistake was not a mistake. Analogously speaking, lying to hide a lie, lying again to hide the previous lie and so on. This chain of choices took him away from innocence and righteousness. Dorian’s motive behind his choices was to kill the past. Later when Dorian realized that he had been doing wrong he decided to be the person Basil wanted him to be-innocent and pure. But he found even worse changes in his portrait. Dorian understood that this was yet another attempt to erase his past resulting from vanity and hypocrisy. Consequently Dorian realized that Lord Henry’s corrupt ideologies lead him into a horrifying never-ending fall into sin.

The Turn of the Screw

November 29, 2009

Insanity and innocent kids:
The turn of the screw by Henry James is a mysterious and daunting novella. It is different from the stereotypical ghost stories of screams and growls. The story reveals everything in a subtle manner. In other words, everything has been indicated but nothing has been explicitly told. The story ends way before the reader/viewer expects it to end. I took a moment to realize that it was the last scene just because it said “The End”. The answer to the question about who the doer is remains controversial.
According to me the children, Flora and Miles were partly possessed by the spirits of Miss Jessel and Quaint respectively. Although one could argue the governess Miss Kittens, a novice was given too much responsibility and authority which made her vulnerable to all kinds to nightmares and visions. I believe Miss Kittens was relatively correct because the last few scenes strongly imply the occurrence of dual personality in both kids. The plot keeps giving some hints towards the fixing of the kids by the spirits. For instance, Flora asked Miss Kittens if she would ever go to the heaven or just walk in the corridors at night. Also Miles recites strange poem about rising from the grave. Finally in the end, the kids react abnormally and speak impolite words. The common aspect of all the incidents was that the children were too young and innocent for these ideas/words. This strengthened my assertion of the involvement of spirits and of Miss Kitten’s genuine concern for the kids.

The Innocence. DUN DUN DUN….

November 24, 2009

The innocence was quite a suprising movie. I had no idea they could actually make a scary movie in the 1960’s. It was quite interesting how they showed the spirits connecting withg the kids. Whenever Flora plays with her music box or hums the song, the ghost appears around her. She doesn’t see her though. Also, if Miles suddenly turns sharp or says something more than he could say, you could tell that it wasn’t him talking. When the governess saw the ghostly man, miles was right around him. It’s as if the spirits are thriving on their sould being living and able to hold there souls. With all this taken into account though, it seems as if the children either don’t see the ghosts or realize their existance but choose not to show it.

Mrs. Grose is the holder of secrets in the house. She knows more than anyone about the sexual tendancies of the old governess, Jessel, and the old ruler of the house. She knows what they did and how they died. You can see the fear in her eyes as she explains to the current governess what events took place and what the children saw. There are many references in the movie to the amount of secrets and whispering in the house; in the present and the past. All of these things seem to live on and create a spooky enviornment for the current workers in the home.

In the end of the movie i found it a little difficult to understand why miles died when the spirit died. The spirit wasn’t keeping him alive. or was he? Was the spirit the soul of Miles? did he overtake his body or did Miles die from within his heart because he finally saw the spirit corrupting him? it’s very interesting looking at the possibilities of what drove and kept Miles alive. The same can go for Flora except she never faced her ghost within her.

 

Supernatural and Insanity

November 24, 2009

One of the main observations with The Turn of the Screw is that because the governess is seeing ghosts and hearing supernatural things that she is insane. However, I do not think she can be classified as mad. One just because you believe you see something that no one else sees does not make you mad. If this were true, then concepts such as religion, Santa Clause, and the Tooth Fairy would all be reasons to classify that people are insane. Just because not everyone sees something remarkable happen doesn’t mean it didn’t happen. A lot of what the governess feels and sees is based on her instinct. Her instinct to protect the children and preserve herself. I am not arguing that she isn’t disturbed because I think she is based on her abnormal relationship with the children. I just do not see her as insane because she is perfectly aware of what is going on around her. Saying the governess is insane is equivalent to saying that people who believe in faith are insane just because faith can’t be seen.

ghost stories

November 24, 2009

in today’s society, with all of the scientific developments and technological developments, it has pretty much been proven that ghosts are just imagination or fiction. for the most part, only little kids believe in ghosts, and that is only because they dont know better. back in the 18th century, when science was not as advanced and that sort of thing, it would have been easier to believe in ghosts, because people wouldnt have known better. there are a lot of different variables that could come into play that would help promote people thinking they saw ghosts. the movie, in general, was very interesting and thought provoking. the dutchess’ relationship with the children, in those times may have seemed normal or a little more than normally attached to them, but in todays standards, their relationship would not be viewed as positive or good.

The Turn of the Screw

November 23, 2009

Personally, I think the Governess is insane. I think she is hallucinating the ghosts and doesn’t actually see anything. I think if she was really seeing anything she would have asked the children about them when she first developed suspicions about the relationships between the ghosts and the children. When the Governess finds Flora outside by the lake and spots Miss Jessel no one sees her but her. If Miss Jessel actually existed, then the others would have seen her too.  Mrs. Grose never admitted to seeing any ghosts and Flora acts if she has no idea what the Governess is talking about when she questions her about Miss Jessel. Also, even though the story is based on the Governess accounts in the house, none of the other worker’s ever mentioned seeing Peter Quint or Miss Jessel. I think the ghosts are just a figment of her imagination.

Dorian and Basil

November 22, 2009

The book discussed many instances of beauty with comparison to many aspects of life. The main theme was to discuss the art and the creators of these pieces of art. Basil has passion for artwork and an even greater passion for the artwork he made for Dorian. It was his way of showing his love and compassion towards Dorian. His actions and his amount of love towards Dorian came off as “homosexual.”  We are unsure if they were actually homosexual or if they were very comfortable with each other. However, we can assume from the intensity in their actions and the meaning behind the painting that something may have been going on between them.

 

Dorian Grey

November 22, 2009

Dorian Grey is a book for its time to handle some very racy issues during a time period that such issues were never discussed let alone put in print. Though at no point in the book it ever states the sexual orientation of the characters, but it does lean strongly to the idea of our artist being homosexual. In the present day and time this is not seen as an issue anymore it is by far more generally accepted and to have it written in a book would be nothing new because we are used to it. Also Dorian Grey shows how marriage is not always a pleasant and perfect thing that some times people lie and keep secretes to keep thing “interesting”. These issues are very controversial for the time and it was a daring move that one would write about such issues considering what the consequences can be for that.

Justice Forsaken for Peace

November 22, 2009

Sadly in the society we live in today it is down to the option that either  you get the choice to fight for justice or remain inactive to maintain peace. This is evident in every case of domestic battery or abuse in a case with adults because no matter how badly the police want to press charges they can only do so if the victim consents to it. The only problem with the idea of remaining inactive in order to maintain peace is that more often than not the problem reoccurs and the victim is put in danger again. In these situations trying to keep things peaceful is not a realistic option and justice needs to be brought forth. Sometimes people need to realize that there is no such thing as true peace, If our world leaders who we elect because we think that they are in a better position to lead than ourselves can not keep peace how can the average person on this planet.

Dorian Grey

November 20, 2009

Rading the book, my first thoughts were that I thought it wierd how fond Basil was over Dorian and how vivdly he described the potrait he painted of him. It seemed as if it could be hidden meaning of homosexuality being presented in the text but I didn’t want to believe this until we discussed it in class. Usually men aren’t as open with their feelings toward other men, but in this case things are different. Maybe we tend to see Basil, Dorian, and Henry as gay because we aren’t used to this openness in our culture. It’s possible that they are just very good friends and just enjoy each others company. This may be normal during their time period, but society today would definitely view them as gay or on the “down low”. Today this openness would not be excepted.