Dorian Gray-Art and beauty

December 5, 2009 by

The first part of the novel talks about art and its beauty. It discusses how beautiful art is and how cultivated the people that appreciate and can see the beauty are. My favorite quote was “It is the spectator, and not life, that art really mirrors.” I think like this quote because it’s true to Dorian. I think he became conceded when he saw the first view of his beautiful painting with some influence from Lord Henry. I think that the art really mirrors the spectator and not real life. It is really about what the spectator wants to see when they look at the painting and how they base their lives from it. This is also where I got my first realization of the homosexual tenancies in the novel. The first quote for me was “When I like people immensely I never tell their names to any one. It is like surrendering a part of them. I have grown to love secrecy”, this quote show’s Basil’s secretive personality and gay tenancies.

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Dorian Gray

December 5, 2009 by

“It is nature, not he, who dictates the pursuit of pleasure.”

This quote is from Lord Henry. He says this when Basil is worried that Dorian is marrying below his class. I like this quote very much. I like it because it is the complete opposite when it comes to Lord Henry’s influence on Dorian. Dorian follows Lord Henry’s corrupt ways instead of being the pure innocent person Basil sees in him. Lord Henry had philosophy that leads you to question his ethos.  Lord Henry lead Dorian into a long train of lies. This could also apply to the idea of homosexuality in the book. Nature could be used as an excuse of Basil’s hidden pursuit of Dorian. I don’t think it was fate that led to Basil’s obsession over the painting of Dorian but his own pursuit for pleasure. Lord Henry insists that its “fate” that dictates sinful acts when he knows that he has a strong influence on Dorian.

Turn of the Screw

December 4, 2009 by

This movie is truly a moving experience.  Moving as in making you crawl in your seat from beginning to end.  Who knew that such a creepy film could be made back in those days?  I sure did not know.

Throughout this movie, figures appear to Mrs. Grose seems to be the only normal person around this estate.  The two children she is in charge of both have questionable histories.  The boy, Miles, recently was expelled from his boarding school and sent back to stay at the country estate with the new caretaker.  The girl, Flora, is seemingly normal.  Although, she has a eerie way about her.  As Mrs. Grose becomes more curious about the reasoning for Miles’ expulsion, ghosts begin to appear around the grounds.  The ghost begin to haunt the inhabitants of the country home.

Watching this film just makes your spine chill up and down repeatedly.  The way the ghosts appear to Mrs. Grose over and over makes the viewer dread the next time they appear.  In a way, this movie reminded me of the story, The Fall of the House of Usher.  I read it back in high school and just thought that it would make a great thriller film.  Directors need to go back and take a look at these older films and books.  With all the computer graphics these days, they could make some extremely good movies from the plots.

The Innocents are never Innocent

December 2, 2009 by

The movie based on “The Turn of the Screw” but I think the movie title is more fitting for the plot. It seems in every ghost story or scary movie involving children, the children are always up to no good but viewed as angels by the adults around them. This is the case in this story as the children are actually carrying out the actions of their dead role models. Though this is very disturbing, I found it more disturbing how the new governess took it upon herself to act as the exorcist and cast out the lost souls. Any person in their right mind would see from the get-go that these children are messed up and either A. run far far away and never look back OR B. act as the housekeeper did and ignore that anything is amiss. Although the story is interesting and probably scary for the time that it was written, I felt that it was too short and had too many loose ends and unexplained scenes. Nonetheless it was definitely interesting to be exposed to a scary story written so long ago because I have never read something like that before.

The Innocence

December 1, 2009 by

When I first started watching this movie I wasn’t sure what to expect from the children and the giant mansion. This seemed like a typical TV family in today’s society where the widowed father works too much and gets a nanny. However, it had many new twists and turns during the film. There were numerous things including the children who never seemed quite right, to the old stories from Mrs. Grosse of what had happed before Miss Kitten had arrived.  I found that this movie was shockingly scary. I think that the movie had great tactics of suspense and I also liked how the movie had a sense of curiosity looming over. It made things mysterious and unpredictable. It also really creeped me out when Miss Kitten accused Flora of seeing Miss Jessel. Flora seemed to become even more possessed and distraught. The children seemed like they were always up to something and after they spoke or sang a song there was something looming in the air. Miss Kitten was the one chosen to help these children which is ironic because she was the only one who could see the spirits, and by this fact she was the only one who could actually help them.

The Picture of Dorian Gray

November 29, 2009 by

“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 by

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 by

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 by

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 by

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.