Tag Archive: Movie


The Original: Females

Does the book contain one or more female characters? Yes

Do these characters have names? Yes: Sarah, Ernestina, Aunt Tranter, Mrs. Poultney, Mrs. Talbot, Mrs. Fairley, Milly, Mary

Do these characters talk to one another? Yes

Do they discuss something other than men? Yes. Mrs. Fairley and Mrs. Poulteney talk about Sarah. The one time that conversation is witnessed by the reader, however, they discuss Sarah walking through what serves in the story as the red light district. Therefore, while the conversation is not about men, it does indirectly pertain to men.

Other-The fascinating thing about a Victorian novel being written in the late sixties is the perspective and self-awareness The French Lieutenant’s Woman has. While the 60’s were not as advanced when it comes to feminism as we are, today, the author is surprisingly advanced for his time: “What are we faced with in the nineteenth century? An age where woman was sacred; and where you could buy a thirteen-year-old girl for a few pounds–a few shillings, if you wanted her for only an hour or two. Where more churches were built than in the whole previous history of the county; and where one in sixty houses in London was a brothel…Where the sanctity or marriage (and chastity before marriage) was proclaimed from every pulpit, in every newspaper editorial and public utterance; and where never–or hardly ever–have so many great public figures, from the future king down, led scandalous private lives…Where the female body had never been so hidden from view; and where every sculptor was judged by his ability to carve naked women…Where it was universally maintained that women do not have orgasms; and yet every prostitute was taught to simulate them. Where there was enormous progress and liberation in every other field of human activity; and nothing but tyranny in the most personal and fundamental” (p266-267).

Racism:

Does the book contain one or more characters of a minority race? No

Other: “My dear Charles, if you play the Muslim in a world of Puritans, you can expect no other treatment,” the doctor tells the main character. While there are no minority characters in Victorian England, this statement does imply that there is awareness of other races, at least in the more educated population of the country.

Heterosexism:

Does the book contain one or more gay characters? It is unclear, though the book does make mention of the question, during a scene in which the main heroine is seen in bed with another woman: “But some vices were then so unnatural that they did not exist. I doubt if Mrs. Poulteney had ever heard of the word “lesbian”; and if she had, it would have commenced with a capital , and referred to an island in Greece . . . But what of Sarah’s motives? As regards lesbianism, she was as ignorant as her mistress” (p. 157-158). Is Sarah a lesbian? Maybe.

Classism:

Does the book contain one or more lower-class characters? Yes. There is a significant amount of time spent on the romantic subplot between two lower class characters.

Do these characters have names? Millie, Mary, Sam…

Do these characters talk to one another? Yes, frequently.

Do they discuss something other than the upper class? Sam and Mary discuss their love, marriage, as well as make some small talk. The conversation that the reader is privy to does tend to revolve around the larger plot, Charles and Sarah, so the instances of Mary and Sam talking, unrelated to their employers are few, but existent, none the less.

Other– The narrator, in his more “enlightened” viewpoint, seems to have interesting opinions about the Victorian class structure. Mr. Freeman, one of the only financially successful characters in the novel offers Charles, his future son-in-law at the time, his business. This immediately pits Charles in a quandary. Though he has no money, it’s so plebeian to work for money. Gentlemen simply don’t do that. The most respectable character in the novel, Dr. Grogan, is both learned, middle class, and self-employed in the business of helping others.

Also important to mention is the distinction and time the author spends on Sam’s position: “Of course, to us any Cockney servant called Sam evokes immediately the immortal Weller; and it was certainly from that background that this Sam had emerged…But the difference between Sam Weller and Sam Farrow (that is, between 1836 and 1867) was this: the first was happy with his role, the second suffered it. Weller would have answered the bag of soot, and with a verbal vengeance. Sam had stiffened, ‘rose his hibrows’ and turned his back.” This paves the way for much more characterization and time spent on/with Sam, but it only ends up being foreshadowing.

Fishy in the Sea!

Ponyo, ponyo, ponyo, fishy in the sea
tiny little fishy, who could you really be?
Ponyo, ponyo, ponyo, magic set’s you free!

Beetlejuice

First up on our Quotes we Carry, it’s BeetleJuice.


Lydia: Beetlejuice, Beetlejuice, Beetlejuice
Betelgeuse: It's  showtime.

In the 23 years since this film was released, Beetlegeuse and Tim Burton have become rock stars in our society, transcending the typical power of a single film. Anyone who existed in the 90’s knows who Beetlegeuse is, whether they’ve seen the movie or not. So why was this movie and character so memorable? My theory is, Beetlejuice marks many people’s first exposure to the gooey innards of Tim Burton’s mind, and based on his successes since then (Edward Scissorhands, The Nightmare Before Christmas, Sleepy Hollow, Corpse Bride and Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street) people seem to like those innards. The film made a generation of weirdish, nerdy teenagers feel like they weren’t alone with their macabre imaginations.

Additionally, Bettlegeuse himself is the mischievous stock character that is rooted deeply in our society and mythology. Like Anansi, Brer Rabbit, and Puck, before him, the audience is amused by Bettlegeuse’s tricks, while the characters interacting with him are simply horrified. Moreover, these tricks are set in the 20th century, and far more appealing to an audience than watching two country animals trick one another.

As for the quote, itself, it is uttered by the absurdly goth and wholly sympathetic Lydia Deetz. At the time, Lydia is watching her two friends suffer at the hands of the repulsive Otho. Lydia has an inkling that Beetlegeuse is terrible, and realizes that she may suffer the consequences of her actions in an eternal matrimonial bond with the creature who tried to kill her a few short scenes before. However, while watching her friends suffer, she is faced with a real-life Machiavellian crisis. Anyone who’s ever had to make the choice of doing something wrong in hopes that it would eventually help someone can relate to Lydia’s predicament at the time of this quote.

The Quotes We Carry

I’ve been thinking a bit about MoPapparani‘s compilation of frequently quoted movie catch phrases.

 

I feel that each of these quotes stick in our collective consciousness for a reason. I am, therefore, starting a series, in which I examine each of these quotes and explain why I feel they are important. Stay tuned.