Book Review

The World of the Comic Book

November 8, 2021 by Essay Writer

The genre of the comic book culture has many ardent fans. The readership proves that true. In that venue, the proliferation of comic book companies is astonishing. There are over one hundred comic book companies and many more that are defunct. The competitions to produce, advertise and distribute comic books are daunting. Each company tries to produce a character or characters that appeal to the masses. There are exceptions to that.

There are underground comic book companies that cater to a different segment of society. Sometimes they lead to mainstream because one or more of their characters gains acceptance. The mainstream comic book companies like to create characters that exhibit abilities that the public enjoys. Oftentimes it works. The hero of the story is believable enough that it gains acceptance. The acceptance is crucial for the comic book company to survive the harsh struggle it has to endure.

In other circumstances, the hero or villain does not relate to the readership and it quickly fizzles into obscurity. It is a painful process to the company, or the individual, that does not fulfill its perceived duty to the readership. All the painstaking work that goes into developing the whole spectrum of a comic book company is intimidating. The creation of a hero into an actual comic book denotes time, effort and a great deal of persistence. If the persistence is not enough, the reader will never have the pleasure of seeing your creation into fruition. The list of defunct comic book companies suggests that many people have tried taking the plunge into creating a comic book company and failed. Unfortunately, failure is a realistic expectation in any business venture, especially the comic book world.

When you think of comic book companies, the two biggest and most popular are the DC comics and Marvel comics. Likewise, there are many independent comic book companies. Each one are vying for you to sustain their existence, and for your hard earned money. The latter one is understandable. A comic book company cannot survive without paid readership. The more circulation, the greater the money. Supply and demand. The law of economics. All of those maxims hold true.

Once the comic book company gains credence, their ability to construct more characters enhance their share of the market. The comic book figures are a representation of the comic book company. Marvel comics contain more cosmic powered heroes and villains than its main competition. DC has a horde of figures that originate from outside the confines of earth, but do not possess nearly the power levels of Marvel.

Other comic book companies, such as Dark Horse comics, use licensed merchandising figures such as Star Wars and Buffy the vampire slayer. Since Dark Horse comics is the third largest of the comic book companies, it must work. Using established characters from television and the movies was a natural extension of the comic book world. The popularity of the characters was well known so the market was already in place. A comprehensive list of current and defunct comic book companies is easy enough to obtain. The reasons behind the success and failure are another matter. Some of the reasons expounded in this article should make them more lucid.

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Eventual Poppy Day’ by Libby Hathorn

November 8, 2021 by Essay Writer

Author Libby Hathorn has drawn on family history and done extensive research to write a fascinating book that profiles two young protagonists, both seventeen years of age, who are related. Maurice, who went to Gallipoli and the Western Front and his great-great nephew, Oliver, who is trying to deal with difficult family circumstances but whose discovery of Maurice’s WW1 diary changes the way he sees the world. Eventual Poppy Day is a very Australian book as it portrays aspects of Australian society that are unique due to the history of the country and the contemporary make up of it’s society. The book has two seventeen-year-old main characters who are related, but who live 100 years apart. The two young men share several similarities; they are both artists and they both have relationships with women that are physically satisfying but emotionally confusing, leading to emotional breakdown of both characters and impulsive behaviour.

In 1915, Maurice enlists to fight in World War 1 and is sent to Turkey, France and Belgium. He leaves behind a girl who he believes is the love of his life and who he believes will wait for his return from the war. In the chapters about Maurice, the author showcases the futility of war, the disastrous effects on the soldiers and the ripple effect on their families at home and those unfortunate people who are living in the direct line of the war fronts. Oliver is struggling to find his path, find his love but at the same time, do the right thing by his single mother, traumatised younger sister and aged grandmother.

Through Oliver, Hathorn illustrates the difference in opinions and the confusion in contemporary Australia about Australia’s war history and the bemusement about the escalation of memorials and ceremonies both in Australia and overseas. Oliver displays some aspects of the disconnectedness of people who are not impressed by the whole matter but he also illustrates the connections between generations through his reading of his great uncle’s war diaries and letters. Through the letters and diary entries, Oliver is inspired by someone very similar to him to find his own unique way to live life and to survive in contemporary Australia.

I truly believe that “Eventual Poppy Day” by Libby Hathorn will remain well-known and serve as a basis for people that are interested in the Gallipoli campaign. She based her story on authentic diaries from a genuine soldier serving under the ANZACs. To me, classic books are books that will not be eroded by the shifting sands of time. Classics are like a mountain, unshakeable and take more than a century to decay and be forgotten. Hathorn’s book is well written, with the reader constantly questioning the plot and the actions of Maurice.

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Book Review: Creating a New Civilization – The Politics of the Third Wave

November 8, 2021 by Essay Writer

2 April 95I just finished reading “Creating a New Civilization – The Politics of the Third Wave” by Alvin and Heidi Toffler.

I just found it in the bookstore last week and I think it just came out. It has a foreword by Newt Gingrich and he has been waving it in front of the U.S, Congress, insisting that everybody read it, from what I understand, which in itself should be about enough to make it a best seller. I am not exactly a republican and didn’t have any favourable impression of Newt Gingrich, but this forces me to reevaluate my opinion a bit. This is a quite subversive and revolutionary book, actually, predicting a total change of society as we have known it, and the breakdown of most traditional power structures, to be replaced by something new.

Toffler has written about what he calls the “Third Wave” before, and this is for that matter merely a further elaboration. But it is putting it in a context that makes it hit home very well. The First Wave was the agricultural society. The Second Wave was the industrial revolution. The Third Wave is the information society. The Second Wave is symbolized by the factory model. Everything is mass-produced by centralized, hierarchical, bureaucratic institutions. Most of our known ways of manufacturing things, of education, of finance, and of government, are based on Second Wave principles. We have centralized governments that try to make rules for everything and run things from one place. We send our kids to learning factories where they are all treated the same and spit out as standardized products.

The Third Wave is unavoidably upon us. It is driven in part by the increased speed of everything, the increased inter-connectedness, and vast amounts of information. Information is increasingly becoming more important than physical goods.Second Wave institutions are failing to keep up with Third Wave society. Governments and centralized mega-corporations and educational institutions and mass-media are largely unable to keep up with the speed things are developing at. And to that degree they are failing.

Third wave is represented by smaller teams, flexibility and ability to change, reduction of overhead, just-in-time principles. 2nd Wave institutions will not voluntarily give up control, even when they are failing to deliver what is needed. There is therefore a struggle between 2nd and 3rd Wave institutions, which 3rd Wave will unescapably win in the end.In 2nd Wave politics there was the idea of the “majority”. If we let the most people choose some representatives and we let them make rules that apply to most people, then things will stay pretty well organized and acceptable.In the 3rd Wave there is no longer any meaningful “majority”. Society is increasingly divided into special interest groups. There is a large number of minorities, rather than one majority. And hardly anybody really like what the governments are doing. 2nd Wave politicians try to undo the change and turn the clock back. If we can just all have good, decent family values and we can protect the production facilities of the country, and we spend more money on education, then everything will be alright. Mass media are increasingly unable to show what is really going on. They will mostly give the 2nd wave story, showing us what the centralized power figures are doing and saying. But that is no longer what matters the most.It is no longer possible to uphold the illusion of political parties having clear agendas you can count on. The divisions between political parties, what is left and right and so forth no longer make much sense.

In the former Soviet Union the Communists are now called “conservatives”. We can no longer classify things in the usual simplistic ways. 2nd Wave economy was based on finite exhaustible outputs. We were talking about physical goods that took raw materials to make and that had a tangible permanence to them.Information, which is the life blood of the 3rd wave, doesn’t work by the same rules. You can use one piece of information any number of times without depreciating its value. You can not treat it the same as a tangible product from a factory.

The 3rd Wave and the 2nd Wave are colliding right now. That creates a considerable amount of chaos and uncertainty and trauma. But there is no doubt that the 3rd wave will win.Many people still operate by 2nd wave principles in their own lives. If you expect that you can just get a good secure job, a nice middle-class house and car, send your kids to college, and just settle back and wait for retirement, that ain’t gonna work very well anymore.In the 3rd wave you need to be flexible, ready for change, always learning, developing your abilities, continuously creating your own opportunities. You can not expect that some centralized institution is going to do it for you. You will need to keep up to date with what is going on.It is of great value to be able to recognize the difference between 2nd and 3rd wave, to know what horse to bet on. Simply put, if it looks like a factory it is 2nd Wave and it is on its way out. If the solutions proposed are about the “masses”, if they put all eggs in one basket, if they are vertically, hiearchically controlled, then they are 2nd Wave and they are going to lose out.3rd Wave solutions are de-centralized, de-massified, diversified, virtual organizations with distributed decision making.

Also, 3rd Wave organization re-empowers the home. The idea of us all driving off to centralized locations to work, be educated, etc, is 2nd wave. The 3rd Wave is more about working and learning where it makes most sense, or where you are most comfortable or productive. There will often be more reason to stay home than to drive off to work.

Anyway, enough said, I recommend reading this book. It is small and easily read.

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Novel Review: Frankenstein by Mary Shelley

November 8, 2021 by Essay Writer

Appearance can be distinguished in many different ways, it can indicate someone’s inner self, but only because society inevitably reacts to beautiful people in a way that makes them able to be good- and to ugly people in a way that make them turn out evil. This is an ongoing question that I asked myself when reading the novel Frankenstein as there was an extinct difference when exploring the various characters that are affected by the opinion of others with respect to their appearance. The narrative in Frankenstein shifts from Robert Walton to Victor Frankenstein to the monster and finally back to Walton. I found that with each shift of perspective, I was able to gain new information about both of the facts of the story and the personalities of the respective narrators.

The role of beauty and ugliness in Frankenstein had two elements that the author was trying to convey through this book. They were, nature’s effect on the characters and the way characters were treated based on their beauty. However, this theme should also teach readers that beauty is subjective to the one perceiving and should be used objectively when judging one’s character. Had the villagers just given the monster the chance to prove himself that many deaths could have been avoided which lead him to the underlining classis message of “Don’t judge a book by its cover”. Throughout the novel of Frankenstein, there was a theme of beauty that incriminated certain characters to act differently than they normally would and I believe this is how Shelly portrayed the characters with these depictions. A few of the characters that I will be discussing is; The Monster, Elizabeth, Caroline Beaufort, Justine Mortiz, and William Frankenstein.

The Monster, who in the novel they explain is the eight-foot-tall, hideously ugly creation of Victor Frankenstein (Shelly, 24). Who was intelligent and sensitive, the monster attempts to integrate himself into the normal world and interact with human social life but unfortunately everyone who see him is shocked of what they see. The monster feels shamed by the way he is treated therefor, compels him to seek out revenge against his creator. I feel like this is such a normal happening in today’s society where we aren’t able to acknowledge someone for who they really are and judge them by their looks first. Shelly makes a great distinction between ugliness and beauty, prior to getting into detail there is definition of beauty that one first should determine what is beautiful. In the novel, Elizabeth was seen as a paragon of beauty. She was an orphan, five years younger than Victor, whom the Frankenstein’s adopted. She is described by Frankenstein; as being who possessed an attractive softness (Shelly 20,).

Throughout the story Elizabeth is overly praised for her beauty and is seen to be the well behaved and innocent one because of it. Being beautiful was a gift that allowed her to integrate within society and life a somewhat normal lifestyle. Elizabeth was able to get an education, gained popularity, and was even able to find love all because of her beauty. Elizabeth’s life would have been considered to be an ideal dream to any little princess prior to the birth of the monster. I feel like we aren’t able to break this habit because even in death she was still seen as beautiful as shown when Victor Frankenstein saved the actual piece of her head for the monster’s bride. While on the other hand, the monster that was seen as ideally beautiful because Frankenstein had selected his features of beautiful and ended up being ugly and suffered for his ugliness (Shelly, 35).

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A Book Review of Unbroken by Hillenbarand Laura

November 8, 2021 by Essay Writer

Unbroken: A World War II story of survival, resilience, and redemption by Laura Hillenbrand is one of the most unusual battle stories of all. It is a book of hope for: a hell of a story in the grip of the one writer who can handle it. The war story is one of its own when it comes to defining courage, humanity, and the impossible. In her eagerly awaited book, Lara Hillenbrand writes with the same rich and through narrative voice she displayed in Seabiscuit, telling of a man’s story of a journey into extremity. Unbroken is a testament to the resilience of mankind in the mind, body, and spirit.

Unbroken is a nonfiction story of Louis Zamperini, a promising young Olympic runner who is from Torrance, California. He was called upon to work on a bomber crew in the pacific in the World War II. Before he had left the states, he had been issued with an olive- drab Bible which he could not read due to anxiety. He literary abandoned the Bible since it made no sense to him. (Laura, 89)

His plane crashed into the sea and found himself with two other survivors, whom they drifted together for 40 days, surviving on rainwater and occasionally on fish and birds they could catch. Zamperini and his fellow survivor were captured by the Japanese navy when they were finally nearing land. The Japanese never informed his home country of his capture and he was therefore assumed dead.

After gentle treatment while recuperating at the hospital, the men were taken to a Japanese prisoner camp where Zamperini was subjected to special harsh treatment from the guards because of his fame as an Olympic runner. He was transferred to several prison camps before finally being taken to a camp in Tokyo. Zamperini was at one time forced to make pro-Japanese broadcast to America but he refused a situation that led to further mistreatment from the guards.

When in prison, the American forces dropped the atomic bombs on Japan leading the Japanese to surrender. It is then that Louis and other prisoners were set free. Louis was hospitalized and in the long run sent home to Torrance, to the happiness of his family. Zamperini got married to a young woman after knowing her for only two weeks. Due to bad memories, Louis got engaged in excessive drinking, a situation that led to problems in his marriage. An evangelist Christian preacher made a turning point in Louis’ life. He even found it possible to forgive the guards at the prison for their brutality.

The author of” Unbroken” interviewed Zamperini several times even though there were a lot of obstacles that hindered her from being so close to Zamperini. Because of her illness and being confined at home, she could reach Louis through her phone. It is evident from her citations that she spoke to Zamperini via the phone. Any journalist would tell that having written something so ambitious and powerful under such trying situations is an act of tremendous courage. Hillenbrand Laura has written the story using a specific style used in the literary works.” All he could see, in every direction, was water.” (Laura, xvii) The story is told on a non-fiction basis given that the author personally interviewed Louis on what took place throughout the World War II.

Zamperini was an enemy of the Japanese and an American soldier. The author takes great care to provide an objective perspective on the behaviour of Louis as well as the Japanese guards that he interacted with. She verifies Louis’ claims with other witnesses and the records as history has it. She also documents similar actions at different places reported by other prisioners. The author is also careful to include Zamperini’s description of the Japanese guards who treated prisoners humanly and worked hard to reduce their suffering.

The major theme of unbroken is basically in the subtitle, “A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience and Redemption.” Louis was saved from unpleasant fate severally during his lifetime, as the author documents. During his childhood, he was a rebellious boy, who was often in trouble. He was almost being expelled from school when his brother and mother stepped in and encouraged him to join athletics. The encouragement put him into the path to compete as an Olympian. Louis joined the training and eventually, his transformation was stunning. (Laura, 17)

Zamperini’s career in the Pacific Ocean as a bomber was an extremely dangerous one. Louis narrowly escaped death at the battle over the island of Nauru and the bombing raid shortly afterward. Louis seemed to be very lucky right from when they experienced a plane crash. He was among the few survivors of the plane crash in the pacific who managed to reach near land. He luckily survived the wrath of the sharks who were rubbing their backs on the bottom of the raft.

“Unbroken” ought to be a required reading for any individual who is interested in the stories of American heroes. It is a story of stamina and courage in the face of unbelievable human cruelty. It may be hard to understand where God was during the horrific period in the American history and experience. The reader will understand better the larger reasons of human suffering and the lessons we learn from adversity. Hillenbrand’s narration is smoothly flowing and would make any reader tore the book and read more and more pages after the other. The chapters prove to be exhaustingly well researched and written. Evidently, Laura’s successfully did a tremendous job researching on the events before, during and after the world war. The book shows not only the finite details of the stories, but also the documentations in the back of the book.

The author’s writings are straight forward and clear. Every word in the narration is accounted for by the author. The atrocities that the American fighters had to endure during the war are anger provoking but any reader would be delighted by the forgiveness showcased at the end of the story, which is also the climax of the narration. Although the story is beautifully written and captivating, it would take readers time to adjust to the unique style used by the author. The story takes readers into a new world where readers are completely invested in the characters. The characters in the story are well organized and their activities are all but emotional and evocative.

In conclusion, the dangers of war, death and mutilation and the horrors inflicted upon POWs are implicated in the nightmares the returning soldier must live within the story. The triumphant ending of the story shows how the hero was a unique character. Readers get a deeper appreciation of those who work to sacrifice on behalf of the rest. Waking up to face the challenges in the society is a way of making other people’s efforts more fruitful.

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Exploring the Power Dynamics of Different Characters in David Malouf’s Book Remembering Babylon

November 8, 2021 by Essay Writer

In every relationship, there is always a power play between the different parties involved and that determines the influence they have on each other as well as the those surrounding them. In “Remembering Babylon”, David Malouf employs characterization in the opening chapters to develop the relationships between characters which in turn develop the storyline. In developing this relationship, he ascribes different characters to different positions of power. “Remembering Babylon”, is a fictional work (book) by David Malouf set in mid-nineteenth century Australia. It is centered around an English boy, Gemmy Fairley, who is abandoned on a foreign land and is raised by a group of Aborigines. When white settlers reach the area, he attempts to move back into the world of Europeans. Gemmy wrestles with his own identity as the community of settlers struggle to deal with their fear of the unknown which he represents. David Malouf made power a theme within “Remembering Babylon” by using characters and characterization. He explores this power through identity/culture -which includes language and behavior and race. In this essay, I will be exploring David Malouf’s use of characterization to explore the power dynamic of characters in his book “Remembering Babylon”.

The relationship between Gemmy Fairley and the McIvor Family including Lachlan Beattie, Gemmy Fairley and then white settler community and George Abbot will be analyzed to demonstrate the influence of such power.

When Lachlan Beattie is first introduced in the book, there is an immediate show of his hunger for power. He has devised a game (hunting wolves) in which he keeps two bored girls by using “all his gift for fantasy, and his will too, which was stubborn” (Malouf, 1994, p.1). A stubborn will indicates a yearning to have your choice followed by others. We see a much clearer display of his power drive when he encounters Gemmy. Using his stick as a gun, after Gemmy had fallen helplessly at his feet, Lachlan “captures” Gemmy and takes him back to the town site. Malouf makes it clear from Gemmy’s ability to speak English, as well as showing no intention of attack, that Gemmy is perfectly harmless. “Do not shoot…I am a B-b-British object” (Malouf, 1994, p.3). This begs a question as to why Lachlan felt it necessary to capture Gemmy, rather than simply let him run on or better lead him to the townsite. From Malouf’s vivid description, we see that Lachlan expressing his belief of white dominance of this seemingly black, white person. To Lachlan, “His power lay in your recognizing what he possessed it” (Malouf, 1994, p.33). Thus the only means Lachlan is able to gain recognition and a sense of power in the white settler society is through Gemmy.

After Gemmy has been introduced to the settlers, Malouf shows that Gemmy has a rather poor grasp of the English language and as such, is not regarded as being an Englishman but a white aboriginal, referring to him as “…the white black man” (Malouf, 1994, p. 63). This leads to the McIvors taking Gemmy in, where a power-based relationship is established between him and the McIvor family. This is first seen whereby the McIvor children believe they have a right to Gemmy “They felt a proprietary right to him…” (Malouf, 1994, p. 31). Which, as a consequence allows the children to “…lead him around like a dog” (Malouf, 1994, p. 31). As Gemmy continues his stay with the McIvor family he soon realizes that “…with the pretense of arms…. [in conjunction with] boy’s fearful but fearless stance [which] was, more important than a stick or gun…the power [Lachlan] had laid claim to…” As a result of this it “…had made an indelible impression on him [Gemmy]. This, therefore, leads Gemmy to be “…always ready to appease[Lachlan].” And as a result of this Lachlan feels and knows the power which he holds of Gemmy. Thus, like before, Gemmy allows himself “…the man on an invisible leash…” (Malouf, 1994, p. 32) and as stated above, Lachlan power was all about his physical possession. Gemmy Fairley though described the dim-witted character and had no say in adult matters was the most influential character in David Malouf’s “Remembering Babylon”.

He affected each member of white settlement. Gemmy’s power does not come from an action he makes, or any particular traits he shows. His influence or power is derived from two things one is the fear the white settlers have about the unknown which he, Gemmy, embodies. This included losing their identities and culture as white people because of being far from home. And the second is the relationship he has developed with the land and indigenous people living on it. He feels and senses what the white settlers don’t. Because of Gemmy, the settlers including the McIvor family had to continuously evaluate their positions as a “superior” race. At one point, ask themselves if they could lose it, not just the language [as Gemmy lost him], but it (Malouf, 1994, p.35 – p.36). It is clear that some of the white settlers viewed him as a spy for the Aboriginals and thus suspected every move he made. He [Gemmy] had to move to Mrs. Hutchence’s house to avoid being killed by the settlers having been saved by Jock McIvor previously. But the power of the white settlers on Gemmy led him to believe that there is power in his story written down and held by Mr. Frazer and felt stealing would mean regaining who he is. But losses all when the words on his supposed story get watched away by the rain. Balfour’s uses the Gemmy as a catalyst and a checker to the white settler community and in turn uses the white settlers to destabilize the balanced identity of Gemmy.

Another character whose relation and ideology to power will be examined is George Abbot. He is the schoolmaster to the children of the settlement and is not looking to be a leader or a great man, but is looking for the ability to be of a higher class and thus have power through superiority. He drives himself on being the noble and the higher citizen than the rest of the people he is surrounded by, and thus within his mind he is of a higher social rank, thus gaining the respect of his fellow townspeople through social power. George Abbot is not a character constructed to show a powerful man, but a man craving a different power from the normal Australian. He is aiming for an intellectual power that, while useless in the settler community, gives him what he would consider a mental edge over people he deals with. He resents working with Mr. Frazer as “in his eyes, Mr. Frazer is a fool” (Malouf, 1994, p.15), and he also resents the power Mr. Frazer holds for the same reason. This is seen when the both of them collectively try to write down the life story of Gemmy. He puts “a phrase or two of his own” (Malouf, 1994, p.17). In his mind, power comes from intellectual ability, or at least the power he seeks does. One can draw, that Malouf is using this characters to show power’s influence on us.

The construction of characters as a means of exploring power is a tool actively used by David Malouf in Remembering Babylon, where the reader is presented with several instances in which characters share a relationship with one another based on some form of power. Gemmy representing the unknown leads the white settlers and the McIvor family to evaluate who they were at the same time the influence Gemmy to reexamine who he his as he tries to fit into their society ultimately losing his connection to the land and its people. Lachlan and Janet come back after many years to hoping to find something about Gemmy he could reconcile with because of the impact he had on their lives.

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Review on book: Sight and focus

November 8, 2021 by Essay Writer

One of the senses that a human being possess is a sight. Sight enables human beings to see things in the environment (Mertz, 89). It can also be described as vision or eyesight. All human beings have been granted by nature the power of seeing things. This is what enables them to see and make a judgment of what to do. This, however, has been photocopied by different ventures to come up with technology that is similar to the human sight. This includes the motor vehicle sector and more so the photography area. Focus on the other hand can be described as the central attention point or interest placed by an individual or something (Mertz, 89). Without focus, one cannot be able to produce a clear visual definition of something. From the definition of sight and focus, it can be seen that they are interrelated and go hand in hand. In the book Camera Lucida by Roland Barthes, it is more of explaining about imagination and nature of human consciousness. This is viewed from the conclusion of the book when the author says that, “imaginary process relies on intentionality.” The main theme portrayed in the book is the theme of presence and absence. The book is entirely structured as the subject of death. This is seen from its beginning as the writer talks about death as the eidos.

From the book, there is a relationship between presence and absence. Absence can be a kind of presence and presence be a kind of absence. Photography which is used to demonstrate absence and presence in the book is taken to have a kind of direct connection with a form of presence, truth or reality. Roland Barthes is struck by the connection between the representation of photographs which are absent and the presence of truth in it: “what is being produced by the photograph to infinity has only occurred once; what cannot be repeated severally can be done by the photograph.” The represented forms according to Barthes by the photograph refers to something or someone real, but the event does not exist at all but only in the photograph. This can, therefore, mean that a photograph can be categorized as an item which is absented presence. But for Barthes, it’s not absolute truth because it has a significance which is subjective. An assessment done by Barthes agrees on the relationship between truth and photography but in a way that thinks past the binaries of absence equals falsity and presence equal to the truth. In his writing of the book Camera Lucida, Barthes illustrates about photography just to make his audience believe in the past in all of the incongruities that happen. The question that he asked is that how can people view their own historical lives without photography?

According to him, the point that the interior and exterior interplay of our relationships with photography divides the history of the whole world. Barthes says that people want their photos to correspond with themselves even in various postures over time. This shows a notion of more self than solid core. Each time an individual pose for his or her photograph, there is self-assertiveness to the future viewer that the picture will be beautiful. Words like “I am beautiful” or “I am happy” are often used. Though a photograph can never resemble someone. Barthes says that his image never coincides with him for the image is motionless, heavy and stubborn but himself is dispersed, light and divided.

The book Camera Lucida demonstrates interesting ways of viewing photos through punctum and stadium. Punctum illustrates about the wounding and the touch details of the person which brings a direct relationship with the person or the object in the photograph (Roland Barthes, Camera Lucida, pp.27). The punctum provides a detailed explanation and it punctuates the stadium and provides disturbance on it. The experience of the viewer can ground the punctum. Studium, on the other hand, illustrates the linguistics, political and the cultural interpretation of the photograph (Camera Lucida, pp.26). Barthes identified it as the general image interest. The viewer can be told about the historical context, how the photograph is supposed to be viewed and where it was taken from the stadium illustrates directly about what the image communicates, and it expounds it meaning to the general viewer. According to Barthes, a punctum in a photograph is an accident which pricks him, but it also bruises him. A lot of photos do not prick though, but they only portray a polite interest because they are made with the stadium. Barthes further illustrated the punctum in the photograph as the ‘The Winter Garden’ a recognition meaning that ‘This has been’ and ‘This will die.’ The stadium is expanded to be the field of the desires which have no concern and of inconsequential taste.

For instance photos of a posed family, advertisements photos and those in hotel lobbies which do little to disclose the people in them. Barthes says of studium that what he can name cannot prick him. Barthes can read and identify the personal and contextual items within the photograph through punctum and stadium. The family photograph of his mother stands out to be the most punctum; with her recent death is always on his mind. The fact that he pours over and analyses the photographs of his mother shows that Barthes has a desire to recognize and know his mother. The young child image of his mother helps Barthes to understand the relationship between death and photography. Barthes can never deny that every photograph carries a meaning to their referents. About the reality and of the past, there is no superimposition on photography (Roland Barthes, Camera Lucida, pp. 76). It is now many years, and now in the garden, Barthes cannot disprove the presence of his mother before he would ever know her. The concept of erotic photographs was applied by Barthes in explaining photographs. Erotic truly is important in taking a spectator outside the frame of a photograph, but it does not make the central object viewing to be a sexual organ. People mostly think about photography by shaping and thinking as opposed to a recording. This is the reason to as why photography has always been struggling to get a place in the art since it seems to be simple as when one pushes a button in the opening and closing a shutter. Someone who has ever attempted to compel a portrait knows how it is more than a quick snap. According to Barthes, “the great portrait photographers are the great mythologists.”

Camera Lucida not only reflects on photography but also reflects on death. The co-mingle between photography and death provides a perfect way no other art does. Barthes suggests that the past is not called by the photograph but the effect it produces in him is not just to restore what was abolished either by distance or time but to test what he sees existing. The pictures were taken by the photographers and photographs of his mother which Barthes analyses illustrate the relationship between death and time (Camera Lucida, pp81). Thus the photograph of ‘The Winter Garden’ explains the reality that Barthes knew and recognized that at the time she would die.

In more instances, photography is associated with death by Barthes. Photography is a way in which one can experience the reality of death in today’s modern world. People choose to look at photographs of those that they love when they have gone. The reason is that to remember them and also to feel as if they are standing next to them. It also refreshes there memories that they are gone and they won’t be able to come back again. This is the closest one can ever be on that person who is ready gone. Barthes decided to focus on the neglected area of society when he wrote the book of Camera Lucida, the popularly known consumer culture which he saw that it had many sociological and ideological site of control. He was very upset by the death of his mother, and this drove him to write the book Camera Lucida which experienced many critics and also hate after it was published during the year 1980. The book was readily available in the market, and there was a time it became one of the classic books since many people have started to get attracted to it. Barthes died before the book became classic although he grew his title into a nascent field of criticism and historical photography. The field of fine arts started to increase its presence in the 1970s, but coincidentally there was a separation of other disciplines which began to emerge.

Barthes has made something strange with all of his work. He encountered some of the interesting limitations when writing his book Camera Lucida for the historian of photography. The fact that he was focused helped him a lot to succeed. He was very much interested in the actual or real photography. He was determined to locate the name of photography which was unique and very intrinsic to the camera image. The term name comes from phenomenology which means that a photograph is an object which is perceived or can be seen. All throughout the book, Barthes is tied to photograph to death, but he does not seek the materiality related to photography, but he is only concerned with language materiality. Photography is characterized by fatality according to Barthes and that there is always a terrible thing in every photo, for instance, the dead can return to the world (Camera Lucida, pp102).

The correlation of the photography with the death of his mother was best analyzed by Barthes (Camera Lucida, pp126). The frozen instant was reduced by the stopped time of the photograph. A photograph can be defined as the most inadequate record which is imaginable and the sole remaining relic of an individual. Life can continue, and the subject can also change, but the photography will just be the same so long as the image is left behind even when the individual has died. Through the search of photos of Barthes’s mother, he calls them the air which moves from body to soul a name called animula meaning an individual soul which is little and it works best in one person, but the to the other is bad. He manages to find photos which portray the identity and the status of his mother. The moment when he compares the photograph of his mother with a Buddhist defines the new form of hallucination a photograph can provide.

The photography can be very dangerous over simulacrum if it becomes more real and true than the memory of an individual and also if it can replace the loved ones. Barthes wrote that photography might resemble the intrusion in the society of today, of a death which might be symbolic outside the ritual, religion of certain communities thereby bringing literal death towards the end of the book (Camera Lucida, pp175). The paradigm of life and death can be reduced to a simple click whereby the initial pose can be separated from the final print. We enter into a flat death with the photograph. It is in here that the region where there is a piece of a slick paper, the image is taken and the photograph then becomes death. Barthes realized that someone who had never produce offspring had engendered his mother because she had reverted to be like a young child when he was nursing her with some kinds of tenderness when he read the Winter Garden Photograph. Barthes had little reasons to go on when she had died. He wrote that “From that day henceforth, there was nothing left to do except waiting for the total death.

In the books ending, the author seems to be totally alone. He is full memories remembering his mother. There is no doubt that he only see death in the photographs. Ironically after the author completed Camera Lucida, he died after he was run over by a car on the streets of Paris.

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A Look at the Theme of Forgiveness and Resilience as Illustrated in “The Glass Castle”

November 8, 2021 by Essay Writer

Despite being faced with adverse conditions while growing up, humankind possesses resilience and the capacity to accept and forgive those responsible. In The Glass Castle (2005) by Jeannette Walls, Walls demonstrates a child’s ability to develop resilience in the face of trouble, early autonomy, and finally forgiveness for all the hurt inflicted. Jeannette opts not to live a bitter life holding grudges against her parents, although they are the responsible ones for her childhood sorrows. Jeannette explains her formative years so that the reader gets a vivid picture of both sides (her siblings and her parents). Three major obstacles face Jeannette as she grows: alcoholism, parental neglect, and empty promises.

However, her resilience has taught her to overcome these barriers. Ironically it is the same adversity that has reinforced in her the determination to live and not be like her parents. A classic bildungsroman novel, the book spans Jeannette’s childhood to adulthood where Jeannette’s grows in a dysfunctional family and successfully grasps the concepts of resilience and forgiveness. Resilience is a quality which builds hardness, obduracy and fortitude. On the other hand, forgiveness is more associated with softness, tenderness, and vulnerability. Blending both hard and soft characters is indispensable for a well-balanced life for she learns the skills needed to survive in a tough world and to love and cherish a family that has not cared properly for her in her decisive years.

An Early Childhood Development survey on international resilience interviewed 589 children from the ages of 0-6 and 9-11. “The findings suggest that every country in the study is drawing on a common set of resilience factors to promote resilience in their children. Adults and older children use more resilience promoting supports, inner strengths and interpersonal skills than younger children” (Grotberg 2010). In the same study, after examining the toll of adversity on children especially parental rejection, children develop such traits as autonomy and self-reliance. However, two groups of children emerge. The resilient children learn to adapt to this adversity by either fighting or changing according to circumstances, whereas the non-resilient children break under the fiery trial and develop depression. Adversity comes in numerous forms for the child: divorce, natural disasters, war, trauma, poverty, abuse, disease etc.

The Health Canada report (August 2005) finds that resilience is more often genetic, but is augmented with certain social-family experiences. This absence of parental guidance allows more opportunities to promote intellectual development since the children have more time to dedicate to study (the uninhibited time periods permit more freedom to study and promote the development of problem-solving competencies. Hence, although the parents are neglectful, they actually develop resilience to withstand their negative impact the kids could possibly experience by developing coping skills. Resilience requires some opposing force in order to develop it; in this case parental abandonment triggers and builds this self-defense instinct. Resilience is crucial to development and survival since, resilience is the necessary quality which fortifies the potential to face graver danger with more possibilities to triumph over adversity.

Alcoholism and vagabondage are elements which the Walls children must confront in their parents and in the end, Jeanette learns parental acceptance. “Dad was driving and smoking with one hand and holding a brown bottle of beer in the next” (Walls 2005). Here Jeannette describes her life on a dangerous journey with her father, Rex. Throughout the book, Jeannette shares instances of Rex’s powerlessness to control his vicious alcohol dependency. He knows that his alcoholism is robbing the family money and the quality of life they deserve; but he cannot and will not stop. Being exposed to parental alcoholism affects his children in several ways. Lori, one of Jeannette’s sister’s finds work in New York as a bartender, as children they played games such as shoot the beer cans, and as an income substitute the Walls children would collect beer bottles and redeem them for cash. Father’s alcoholism involves the family in several spits. In the end, Rex ultimately dies for his chronic alcoholism, suffering a major heart attack (Walls 2005). Jeannette forgives her father and loves him completely in spite of himself.

Acceptance comes in the face of knowing objectionable habits and personal downfalls. At the hospital bed, Jeannette sympathetically clutches her father’s hands in his final moments and has a strong urge to check him out of the hospital, for he hated hospitals-just to make him happy for one last time. Jeannette never judges and despises her father although he is alcoholic. On her last visit to him before he dies, Jeannette passes him a beer and a vodka while he is in bed. Like an indulgent parent, Jeannette wants to make her father happy. On the part of her mother, Jeannette accepts her for she is, unashamed to have dinner with her at a restaurant, although her clothes are in tatters and is reduced to a common vagabond.

Jeannette feels the palpable absence of her parents in The Glass Castle and in the rare occasions that they are present, she still feels a void of intimacy and care. The first instance of parental neglect happens at the tender age of three when she suffers from burns while cooking. Jeannette’s parents listlessly raise them, abandon them to their own childish devices, and leave them to fend for themselves at quite an early age. As a toddler, Jeannette has to cook in order to eat. When the kitchen accident occurs, she has to be hospitalized. Because Rex her father hates hospitals, he checks her out of the hospital without her receiving all the care that she needs. Nevertheless, Jeannette rewards the past parental neglect with kind, dutiful attention. Jeannette chooses not to neglect her parents when they need her. Forgiving them of past hurts, she stands by their side, at home, at the hospital bed and at the funeral, showing unconditional love. She fosters a valiant spirit of forgiveness even not neglecting her tramp mother and looking out for her.

The Walls parents expose their children to unnecessary danger. Jeannette confesses that “by the time I was four, I was pretty good with Dad’s pistol, a big, black, six-shot revolver” (Walls 2005). The parents, in neglectful error, have the family handgun exposed and in the children’s reach. When a bullying neighbor squirts them with a water gun, the kids take the handgun and shoot seriously wounding him. The children cultivate a heightened sense of looking out for danger themselves and taking precautions to protect or defend themselves. Had the Walls parents been overprotective, coddling their children and keeping them under their wing, the children would not have been able to take care of themselves in adversity. Due to parental negligence, Jeannette and her siblings must scrape an existence. She recalls that “one afternoon when Brian and I had come home to an empty fridge, we went out to the alley behind the house, looking for bottles to redeem” (Walls 2005). This statement shows two elements: poverty and proactive self-preserving provision. Money was always scarce in the Walls family. Her father, the breadwinner, who works as a miner, would fritter his meager earnings on beer and women.

In the face of this horrific abandonment, the siblings demonstrate resilience by seeking their own nourishment and care. The house arrangement at night (the time where danger is most active) gives a microcosmic picture of the Walls children’s reality. Jeannette attests to the fact that “at night Mom and Dad left the front door and the back door and all the windows open” (Walls 2005). This open vulnerability incarnates parental negligence where the children are exposed to danger without any parental intervention. The time when Jeannette is almost raped by a vagabond who steals inside the family’s home Jeannette simply states that “Dad was out that night and when Mom slept, she was dead to the world” (Walls 2005). The parents’ irresponsibility frequently endangers the children but resilient like hard leather, with continued adversity, the Walls children become tougher and empowered to weather more difficult circumstances in the future.

The itinerant lifestyle causes the family to be unstable and more fragmented. “Dad was fed up with civilization. He and Mom decided we should move back to the desert and resume our hunt for gold” (Walls 2005). This uncertain, fantastical lifestyle of roaming robs Jeannette of the contentment, permanence, constancy, and consistency which she longs for as a child. Frequent wandering causes Jeannette to feel alienated at school with very few friends. Irresponsibility can also be measured by an unsettled existence. One of the reasons why Jeannette calls her autobiographic narrative “The Glass Castle” is because, in the midst of excessive movement, she desires a stable haven where she could finally call home.

In The Glass Castle, Jeannette Walls portrays her autobiography, based upon empty promises. Ironically, the story derives its title from Rex Walls who promises his children a glass castle where they would live blissfully happy and untouched by trouble. Of course, this promise does not materialize; however, it remained as a salient image in her mind. A glass castle is known for its fragility, exclusivity, transparency, defense, and fantasy. Walls constructs the glass castle symbolism as an image representing the empty promises of the family and the Walls’ hope for the future. Just like the walls form part of any building, the family, surnamed the Walls, unwittingly contributes to this magnificent edifice. Walls recalls that “when Dad wasn’t telling us the amazing things that he had already done, he was telling us of the wondrous things he was going to do. Like, build the Glass Castle. All of Dad’s engineering skills and mathematical genius were coming together in one special project” (Walls 2005). This promise of a permanent, luxurious home far away in the desert beyond the cares of civilization etches itself in the mind of the children. They believe in their father and they have faith in the plan’s fulfillment.

As an innocent child, Jeannette’s gullibility set her up for a hard disappointment. In order to build the glass castle, Rex Walls tells his children that he needs to find gold. Nevertheless, this pie-in-the-sky tale spurs hope within his children that things will get better. As they shift nomadically from place to place, Rex Walls allows his children to draw, sketch, and modify his plans for the glass castle. They continue to hope in him despite his vices that cost them such grief. In the closing scenes of the novel, when Jeannette and her father Rex reunites, Rex says remorsefully, “Never did build that glass castle” (Walls 2005); yet, in a true heart of forgiveness and kind dismissal, Jeannette responds, “No, but we did have fun planning it” (Walls 2005). Resilience has taught her that although grand promises fail, sometimes the fun, optimism, and hope which the glass castle inspired are worth more than the glass castle itself. Jeannette has matured as a young woman. She is now much more realistic and forbearing. At that same meeting, she even apologizes for not inviting Rex, in a moment of anger, to her graduation. By this act, Jeannette shows herself ready for reconciliation and a stronger, loving relationship with her father.

In conclusion, the novel emerges as a bitter-sweet one. Assembled at the family dinner for thanksgiving, after Mr. Walls’ death, the Walls family comes together to celebrate. It is ironic that the only thanksgiving celebration that Jeannette recollects is the one where she has organized it herself, something her parents never took the time to do in her youth. Walls crowns the book’s ending chapter, “Thanksgiving” to show the pinnacle of her success of resilience and forgiveness. She endures a difficult, tumultuous life – a life that the average American kid does not have to pass through: alcoholism, parental neglect, and broken promises. She has many reasons to harbor recriminations, however, she chooses to pardon and move on.

Works Cited

  1. Grotberg, Edith. “A Guide to Promoting Resilience in Children: Strengthening the Human Spirit,” Early Childhood Development: Practice and Reflections, Bernard Van Leer Foundation
  2. <http://www.leedsinitiative.org/uploadedFiles/Children_Leeds/Content/Standard_Pages/Levels_of_Need/Resiliance_new.pdf>. Retrieved 29 Apr 2010.
  3. Walls, Jeannette. The Glass Castle. Scribner, Simon and Schuster Inc, New York, 2005.
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Death in Context: Analyzing the Characters of The Duchess of Malfi

November 8, 2021 by Essay Writer

In ‘The Duchess of Malfi’ the characterisation of the protagonists allows the concept of death to be explored deeply. Webster’s portrayal of the Duchess marks her embracement of death as she appears to be prepared for her fate, whereas the Cardinal is shown to be terrified when truly exposed to the idea of mortality. This is due to their contrasting beliefs with regards tot the afterlife – as the Duchess has faith that she will united with her loved ones after death, whereas the Cardinal shows no ushc beliefs. This suggests that although the characters are shown to be aware of death, their unawareness of what may await after impacts the way in which they perceive their end.

Webster captures the characters’ awareness of death via their ability to embrace their end – this is particularly apparent with regards to the Duchess’ execution scene. Despite the fact that the Duchess is fully conscious of her inevitable end, she remains composed and ‘kneels’ to her death. She then simply states ‘come violent death’ – this marks her collected nature, as Webster suggests that she is almost content with her sentence. The Duchess’ unfazed attitude is marked by her cry ‘I am the Duchess of Malfi still’ which again demonstrates that although she is aware of her physical end, she is also aware that her name will remain alive throughout history. This provides a contrast to the presentation of the Cardinal, who is shown to fear death rather than embrace it. This is exemplified via Webster’s use of short cries from the Cardinal in his death scene, such as “Help!”, “My dukedom for a rescue!”, “Help, help, help!”, therefore presenting his death as far less graceful. R.S White regards the Duchess’ death as somewhat valiant, describing the play as a ‘tragedy of a virtuous woman who achieves heroism through her death’. This stresses her bravery, indicating that she is clearly aware of mortality, unlike the Cardinal who remains determined to escape death. One may also argue that Webster’s decision to portray the Duchess’ death as courageous is evidence of his nature as a an author with some feministic leanings. This is due to the fact that Webster almost illustrates the Duchess as superior to her male subjects – many of which are shown to be afraid of death (notably the Cardinal and Ferdinand). This positive presentation is far ahead of Webster’s time, as during the 17th century women were largely regarded as inferior and significantly weaker than men, therefore it is somewhat ironic that Webster has chosen to reverse this stereotype and allow his female protagonist to adopt a role with many conventionally masculine traits. It could be debated that this approach from Webster is consequent of the contemporary societal context, as throughout the 1600’s death was by no means unusual – especially in the city of London which was often plagued by disease. The high rates of infant mortality and homicide are likely to have influenced the outlook of Webster, as it’s evident that death was regarded as normal to an extent.

Despite the apparent acceptance of death from the Duchess, her awareness of what lies after death differs to other characters in the play. The Duchess is shown to be a strong believer in the afterlife; for example when speaking to Antonio she explains that they will ‘know one another in the other world’. This allows Webster to suggest that the Duchess’ faith in a safe afterlife is what grants her the ability to face death peacefully. The portrayal of the valiant Duchess is reflective of the contemporary context, as during the 1600’s both England and Spain remained predominantly Christian nations; Catholicism and Protestantism forming a key part of society. This meant that many people of this period believed in an afterlife, which was not only a Christian belief but also provided them with a sense of comfort – due to the fact that the mortality rates were extremely high. A modern audience may regard this belief as somewhat foolish and unreliable, therefore one could argue that the Duchess perhaps convinces herself that she is aware of what awaits after death – merely as a form of self-comfort. Nevertheless contemporary audiences will have shared the same perception as the Duchess herself, meaning spectators would have been more likely to sympathise with her and belief her embracement of death is characteristic of traditional Christian teachings.

When considering the characters’ awareness of death, it is clear that this differs as a result of their beliefs of what awaits after death. This is likely to have been largely influenced by the views and societal contexts surrounding Webster – as the normality of death means that the characters are generally aware of their end. Despite the fact that both the Duchess and the Cardinal meet their end in the play, their different feelings towards the afterlife slightly hinders their perception of death – as the Duchess sees it as a triumph to be united with her family, whilst the Cardinal is shown to be reluctant and scared; perhaps Webster has characterized him in this manner to stress the irony of his unreligious ways.

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Death and Discordance in Moonlight

November 8, 2021 by Essay Writer

In Harold Pinter’s Moonlight, discordant scenes create a state of transition for the characters, who are facing the death of family patriarch Andy. Throughout the play, Pinter sets up scenes which would not fit logically into a linear story. Old friends reappear and converse with Andy, his wife and their two sons. A daughter, stuck at the age of 16, provides commentary from a “third area.” Sons Fred and Jake deny the fact that their father is dying and ignore their mother’s attempts to contact them. Pinter provides these scenes to suggest that death is a process of crossing a line — death will be a “new horizon” for Andy, as Bel (twice) suggests (p. 46) — but some lines crossed in the past can never be revisited.

The first suggestion of discordance is marked by Maria’s appearance to Jake and Fred when she describes, in a long speech, her relationships with Bel, Andy and her husband Ralph (p. 15). Although the stage directions suggest that she is speaking directly to Jake and Fred, her words suggest otherwise. They do not interrupt her as she openly reveals a long-standing “great affection” for Andy (p. 16). “How he danced,” she says. “One of the great waltzers. An elegance and grace long gone. … And he looked you directly in the eye. Unwavering. … But I was young in those days” (p. 16). Maria, who has had affairs with both Andy and Bel, adds, “Your mother was marvelously young and quickening every moment. I — I must say — particularly when I saw your mother being swirled across the floor by your father — I felt buds breaking out all over the place” (p. 16-17). At the end of her monologue, Jake and Fred drop out of the scene entirely, and the play cuts again to Andy’s bedroom. In fact, although Maria is speaking to the young men, there is no indication that they hear her, or are even aware that she has entered the scene. Considering the magnitude of what she is telling them, the sons would ordinarily be expected to react her speech. Yet they ignore her as they continue to pretend that their father is not dying.

Ralph, the next visitor to Jake and Fred, is aware that his entrance is equally nonsensical. He, like his wife, also speaks to them in a long tirade, receiving neither interruption nor response. He tells them that their father wasted his life as a “thinker,” drawing attention to the uncertainties in the play that cannot be clarified by analysis (p 28). He says,

What do you think this thinking is pretending to do? Eh? It’s pretending to make things clear, you see, it’s pretending to clarify things. But what’s it really doing? … It’s confusing you, it’s blinding you, it’s sending the mind into a spin, it’s making you dizzy, it’s making you so dizzy that by the end of the day you don’t know whether you’re on your arse or your elbow, you don’t know whether you’re coming or going. (p. 28)

Death in Moonlight similarly defies intellectual reasoning. If death is a new horizon, as Bel has suggested, “Is [it] endless? What’s the weather like?” (p. 46) Andy, the thinker, while dying, is searching for reassurance and certainty as the concepts become more difficult to grasp.

A joint appearance of Ralph and Maria at Andy’s bedside is as equally unreliable as their previous visits to the sons. This time, however, the couple does entertain the reactions of the dying man and his wife — but the interaction does not seem to fit into the rest of the play. For instance, Andy tells Bel near the beginning of the play that he “bumped into Maria the other day, the day before [he] was stricken” and that she invited him to her flat for “a slice of plumduff” (p. 18). However, when she and Ralph appear at his deathbed, Maria says, “It’s been ages. We don’t live up here anymore, of course” (p. 68). Andy, therefore, may be imagining Maria, at one, or both, instances. More likely, however, they appear to be speaking from a gray area between reality and fantasy, appearing suddenly after Andy and Bel have been talking about them; the dying man seems to have conjured them to him by thinking about his affair with Maria, Bel’s affair with Maria, and his football games with Ralph, the referee. The stage directions are vague about when Maria and Ralph enter and where they are standing. And, when they arrive, Andy denies having a past with them. “I was a civil servant. I had no past. I remember no past. Nothing ever happened,” he insists (p. 70). He doesn’t behave as if he is in the presence of the woman “he can’t die without” (p.38). Maria and Ralph’s entrance, therefore, serves as a direct analog to the new and uncertain “horizon” of death. Andy asks, “The big question is, will I cross [the horizon] as I die or after I’m dead?” (p. 46) As time passes in the play, Andy is crossing boundaries.

Bridget too has crossed a boundary and it is unclear from where she is speaking; Andy’s youngest daughter is cast in shadow both through stage lighting and through her cryptic monologues. In addition, although she is represented as only four years younger than her oldest brother in one scene (a flashback), she is 12 years younger than he is throughout the rest of the play. Bridget admits, “I am hidden. … Hidden but free. No one in the world can find me” (p. 22). The assumption is that Bridget died at the age of 16. However, she is accessible now to Andy, who is also dying. Andy’s last words address Bridget. After asking for his dead daughter throughout the play, wondering why she hasn’t come to see him (and brought grandchildren that were never born), Andy asks Bel to “tell Bridget not to be frightened. Tell Bridget I don’t want her to be frightened” (p. 76). He does not share the same anger over her absence at his deathbed that he harbors for Fred and Jake. Furthermore, Bridget says that her “task” is to see that her parents “sleep in peace and wake up rested. … Because I know that when they look at me they see that I am all they have left of their life” (p. 1). Bridget is, in fact, the tie that holds together the members of the family. The brothers dote on their younger sister. “Bridget would understand. I was her brother. She understood me. She always understood my feelings,” Fred says (p. 53). Jake adds, “She understood me too.” Bridget, however, is “hidden,” to her brothers when they need her the most.

At the end of the play, Bridget provides a metaphor for the transition from life to death. She describes a house “bathed in moonlight. The house, the glade, the lane, were all bathed in moonlight. But the inside of the house was dark and all the windows were dark. … I stood there in the moonlight and waited for the moon to go down” (p. 80). Bridget, frozen in time, has the first and last word in Moonlight, and she is speaking for Andy, waiting on his deathbed for enlightenment. Andy is not even sure if he is dying; “I don’t know how [dying] feels. How does it feel?” Andy asks Bel (p. 76). He has expressed doubt throughout the play, hypothesizing “Personally I don’t believe it’s going to be pitch black for ever because if it’s pitch black for ever what would have been the point of going through all these enervating charades in the first place?” (p. 46) The dying man only wants security, a “loophole,” that he will “meet [him]self coming back” (p. 46). Yet before he dies, he is able to reconnect with people in his past and, in a sense, confess before dying. (For instance, he finally tells Ralph that he was “certainly no bloody good” at being a referee [p. 69]). While waiting for his own life to end (his moon to go down), Andy still has a brief opportunity (the moonlight of his life) to make amends.

Alongside scenes in Andy’s bedroom — but never crossing paths — Jake and Fred deny their father’s impending death, arguing instead about old friends and confidential meetings. A phone call they exchange with their mother is illogical. “Your father is very ill,” Bel says to Jake. “Chinese laundry?” Jake responds (p. 73). The exchange is repeated with Fred until Bel relents. “It doesn’t matter. It doesn’t matter,” she says. “Do you do dry cleaning?” (p. 74) She asks the question twice, and both times the sons respond as if they do indeed own a laundry and are not sitting in Fred’s room, pretending they have not recognized the voice of their own mother.

Pinter captures the limitations of the past through Andy’s relationship with Jake and Fred; he can settle his relationship with Maria and Ralph, but his sons remain at a distance to him, even at the time of his death. The first time Jake refers to Andy, he says, “My father weighed it all up carefully the day I was born,” referring to his inheritance (p. 9). Fred immediately replies, “Oh, your father? Was he the one who was sleeping with your mother?” Fred responds to Jake’s formality with a mocking statement, which reveals a bitterness toward Andy. They characterize him as a sperm donor, devoid in any emotional connection to them or even their mother. “Gratitude came not his way. No did he seek it. Masturbation came not his way. … I’m sorry — I meant approbation came not his way –” Jake says (p. 10). “Oh, didn’t it really?” Fred says, adding later, “The answer is that your father was just a little bit short of a few Krugerrands” (p. 10, 14). The sons ridicule Andy in their first appearance on stage and then drop him from their conversation, even as they are approached by Maria and Ralph. Andy is both hurt and infuriated with his sons. “Two sons. Absent. Indifferent. Their father dying,” he says. “They were bastards. Both of them” (p. 35). Yet Andy cannot undo the past; it is too late to repair his relationship with his sons.

Fred and Jake philosophize on their father’s life and imminent death and they also recognize that Andy will die before they can reconcile the past. Jake eventually tells his brother that what Fred has been saying about Andy is “atrociously biased and illegitimate onslaught on the weak and vertiginous. … All his life my father has been subjected to hatred and vituperation. … He love me. And one day I shall love him” (p. 56-7). Jake explodes under the emotional pressure of losing a father he does not love, but a father nonetheless. He and Fred then determine that “the full price of that love” is death (p. 57). Death is the price of love; the biggest obstacle to love is the possibility of losing that person. Yet when the sons have the opportunity to confront their father’s death, they turn it into a farce. They can understand the past — their broken relationship with Andy — but they cannot overcome it.

In Moonlight, Pinter characterizes death as having a great deal of power. It allows Andy, for instance, to connect to his old love and her husband, a football referee. Yet Andy is restricted in what he can remember about past events, even though Maria, Ralph and Bel insist that they share common memories. He can sense Bridget but he cannot recall that she has already died. Death therefore has a sense of finality in Moonlight; in his journey into the new horizon, Andy can reach back into the past but cannot change what happened. The ultimate loss in this play is for Jake and Fred, however. The sons cannot scale the divide between themselves and Andy; when the father most needs to conquer the past, he is unable to do so.

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