Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Child Out of Context

Jan Svankmajer's film Alice is an adaptation of Lewis Carroll's novel Alice's adventures in Wonderland, yet does it really capture the atmosphere of Carroll's world of nonsense? Carroll's world is full of fabricated bizarre creatures, yet the tone is one of curiosity unlike Svankmajer's Alice which is a tone of curiosity mixed with fright. A young girl, Alice, is thrown into a dirty, run-down house with rickety stair cases, tears in the wall, and overall disgust oozing from every corner. Alike, in Del Torro's film Pans Labrynth a young girl is cast straight in the middle of the Spanish Civil War. Not only does she experience terror in her parents world, but her own underground world she is the supposed princess of holds horrors for her. In both of these films, the idea of the uncanny is illustrated by way of inaniment objects possessing life, noises acquiring exagerated volumes, plant life acting abnormally, and humans acting inhumane. The uncanny in lamence terms is something homely and familiar in a different context or environment causing it to become abnormal and eerie. In both Pans Labrynth and Alice, the films demonstrate a young girl in a filthy, corrupt, and uncanny environment that is not suitable for children, therefore causing the child to be part of the uncanny.

Sigmund Freud demonstrates his understanding of what it is to be uncanny in his work "The Uncanny." He uses the German words "heimlich" and "unheimlich" to show their opposition and illustrate the uncanny. To be "heimlich" is homely, while what is "unheimlich" is the opposite causing eerie, unfamiliar, and sinister feelings (McCallam 135). Freud states "What interests us to find that among its different shades of meaning the word ‘heimlich’’ exhibits one which is identical with its opposite, ‘unheimlich.’ What is heimlich thus comes to be unheimlich," exhibiting that what is familiar may also become unfamiliar (2). Heimlich and unheimlich therefore show the way in which something can be uncanny by being both something homely and something eerie. When a familiar subject is transcribed into a different context or environment the subject may appear to be "unheimlich," or disturbing.

In, surrealist director, Svankmajer's film Alice, a young girl climbs into a drawer and enters a strange world of despair and inaniment objects possessing life. A few of the characters in this film that really caught my attention were the socks and the white rabbit. The socks took on independent motion and drove holes into the wooden floor. Even Alice's own socks gained motion and attempted to detatch themselves from her to drill holes with the others. A sock is normally known to be inaniment and unmoving. The fact that the socks take on life and make loud drilling sounds, signifying power tools, is an example of the uncanny. As well having the imagery of a whole room filled with socks that appear similar to snakes, while making extremely loud drilling noises, makes one unnerved. In this moment the element of the uncanny is taking control over one's emotions and causing them to feel their familiar socks turn into cringingly strange beings.

Also, the white rabbit from the very beginning was a peculiar stuffed animal. This rabbit became the most uncanny being in the entire film in my point of view. First off, the rabbit is depicted in a glass case held down by a pole. This makes one wonder why a stuffed animal is restrained so much from the outside world, almost as if he is meant to be contained. This rabbit does not dissapoint when he thrusts himself from the pole and crashes through the case. Though, when he does escape the pole's hold upon him, he sheds wood shavings rather than cotton and through out the film has to eat these wood shavings. When he eats the wood shavings he makes awkward and loud slurping sounds as well as chomping down his teeth as soon as he see's Alice. These violent acts, peculiar materials, and disturbing sounds make for an uncanny character. He is a stuffed animal, and by social norms he is known to be a amiable fuzzy friend to young children. Instead this animal breaks through Alice's glass encasement and chomps at her while she chases him giving an eerie tone to the film and to the viewer. As well, the thing I found most disturbing about the white rabbit was his occupation and use of sisscors. Instead of serving the purpose of being a toy for a child, he was a minion for the Queen of Hearts who literally cuts of the heads of other cards in the film. He demonstrates an unfamiliar act for a stuffed animal who can almost be catagorized as a religious symbol, being an easter holiday traditional present.

With all the odd activity in this "drawer" land, one would believe it unsuitable for a young child. Alice's expressions and reactions to the characters in the film are one of curiousity and disturbance. It seems as if Svankmajer cast a young naive girl to be shoved into a disgusting, creepy, and uncanny world and let her react naturally rather than giving her a script that entails her expressions. The child is supposed to be percieved as a being of innocence and purity, yet when Alice enters this world it is strange and foreign to see such a young girl experiencing these events. The child representing a symbol of innocence is a very romantic idea that modern society still upholds. William Blake illustrates this romantic idea in his poem "Reeds of Innocence," where he describes how he saw a child on a cloud and gained inspiration from him, though when the child vanishes he says, "So he vanish'd from my sight/ And I pluck'd a hollow reed,/ And I made a rural pen,/ And I stain'd the water clear" (1). In this he shows that once the child, the inspiration, the innocence, was gone, he no longer was inspired but "stained" the water "clear," entailing that he corrupted his inspiration and could no longer produce his former thoughts. Therefore a child being put in a corrupt and menacing environment, like Svankmajer has his young protagonist in, evolves the child to be something uncanny.

As well, Svankmajer has Alice become increasingly filthy with dirt, dust, and grim on her dress, face, and socks. Anthropologist Mary Douglas defines dirt: "a matter out of place" (Berthold 4). I speculated a parallel between her definition of dirt and Freud's definition of the uncanny. What is not supposed to be, but is, causes notice and disruption such as something that is dirty or something that is uncanny. Everything in the film is run down, dusty, and filthy, illustrating how having a dirty environment, or matter out of place, makes an uncanny environment for it is something nice and familiar turned unfamiliar and gross. It is very uncanny in that the dust and dirt is put upon an innocent, clean, child. In this I believe Alice's portrayel as a dirty child is symbolizing her corruption of innocence and the development of her becoming part of the uncanny world. In the end of the film, she too states that she would like to cut off the rabbits head if he were to come back, illustrating her innocence being tainted. She is now a dirty child; she is part of the uncanny.

In Del Torro's film Pans Labrynth a young herione is thrust into a magical world with eerie beings and once again objects, or rather plant life, acting in an abnormal manner. She not only has to take on the challanges of this world, but she is also coping with the hardships of her parents world where the Spanish Civil War is taking place. In the world of the civil war, her step father is a vicious demonic human. He will torcher and demolish a person just to satisfy hismself and advance his own success as a war captain. He takes on an inhumane role that viewers are disgusted by; once again bringing up the issue of disgust and dirt for he is a dirty human being metaphorically causing him to be uncanny. A human being, which is very familiar, acting in an inhumane manner, or unfamiliar and astonishing way, causes him to invoke an unnerving reaction from viewers who can sense the dreadfullness of this being. An example of this type of character can be seen in J.K. Rowlings series of the boy named Harry Potter. Harry Potter's arch nemesis is Lord Voldemort, who is an unearthly being and literally rips his sole into seven pieces by murdering innocent civilians. He strikes fear into the hearts of viewers and I, myself, cringe at the sight of him in the film adaptations. In the real world, these uncanny, unfamiliar, and terrible beings are catagorized for example as murderers and rapists. These criminals are feared and reveared as inhumane beings. They are part of the uncanny since they are familiar, yet unfamiliar since they possess qualities that are not transcribed to their species. In Del Torro's film, there is much uncanny in the underground world as well: fairies are eaten by a disgusting loose skinned monster, an infant is prompted to be used as a sacrifice, and a root that acts similiar to a baby is burned to death. Even writing this caused me to take a second look around my room for I am invoked with an awareness of fear. Ofelia, the young protagonist in Pans Labrynth is thrust into both these worlds of terror and trecherous obstacles. Her being an innocent child makes her uncanny in this corruption.

Even in the film Toy Story, there is a toy who was taken to pieces by a neighboring child who strives to cause mischief and disturbance. The toys come out from under his bed and the most disturbing scene is of a baby doll head with wirey hair, one blue eye, and mechanical spider legs. This toy is traumatizing because he invokes sinister terror into one's mind for it was an innocent infant dissasembled and combined with robotic industrial products and disgusting features; once again bringing up the issue of disgust in relation to the uncanny. This toy is uncanny for it is a baby, which is something sweet and known, transformed into an eerie and disturbing monster, which in fact an uncanny being on it's own.

Placing a child in a horror movie or any type of creepy supsense film enhances the film's ability to strike fear into viewers for the child is not expected to be in such corruption or to be corrupt themselves. In the Journal of Popular Film & Television, Chuck Jackson gives more examples of corrupt children in films such as The Exorcist, The Poltergeist, The Bad Seed, and The Omen (1). Each of these films illustrates a child, an image of innocence, corrupted and wreeping horror. Jackson explores the concept of the child causing shock to viewers in The Bad Seed:

The Bad Seed, I submit, remains a popular referent for the problem of the violent child precisely because of the way in which the film deals with the subject of evil, and because the film is at pains to reverse common-sense assumptions about the connection between innocence, whiteness, and childhood (1).

He states it is to "reverse common-sense assumptions," or to transform what is "heimlich" into "unheimlich." Children become uncanny in horror flicks due to their role in society. Making an innocent child into something evil adjusts the film to be exceedingly scarier illustrating that a child in a corrupt environment, or corrupted by their environment, is uncanny. As well, this branches off to another issue dealing with current events. Children who are violent and wreap havoc upon their environment, or vice versa, their environment wreaps havoc upon them, reaches viewers emotions much more abundantly than if it were an adult. Jackson says upon the killing spree's in the 1990's:

The number of schoolyard killing sprees of the late 1990s totals seven. The following is a list of locations and dates: Moses Lake, Washington (February 1996); Pearl, Mississippi (October 1997); West Paducah, Kentucky (December 1997); Jonesboro, Arkansas (March 1998); Springfield, Oregon (May 1998); Littleton, Colorado (April 1999); and most recently Conyers, Georgia (May 1999). Until the Littleton tragedy, the horrifying spectacle of children who kill seemed most crystallized as a national problem in the Jonesboro, Arkansas, case. In Jonesboro, Andrew Golden, an eleven-year-old boy, and Mitchell Johnson, his thirteen-year-old partner, shot and killed one teacher and four students, leaving ten others wounded (2).

These acts appear more horrific than those of the murderers and rapists mentioned previously due to the fact that an innocent child has done these corrupt and inhumane crimes. As well when a child is reared in a broken home and put into foster care, humans feel much more pity upon the child than an adult homeless man. This is due to the child being uncanny in the situation, for the child is supposed to be pure and unexposed to such vulgar circumstances.

In both the films, Alice and Pans Labrynth, a child is portrayed in a corrupted dirty world where they become part of the uncanny due to their role of the innocent in our society. This issue is supported by Freud's concept of the uncanny and the use of the words "heimlich" and "unheimlich," as well as other films such as Harry Potter and the Order of the Pheonix and Toy Story. Romanticists such as William Blake believe the child to be pure and untainted, yet when real events occur such as shootings at schools that belief is contradicted and the child becomes something to be feared for how they be so tainted at such an pure and young age.

Works Cited

Alice. Dir. Jan Svankmajer. Perf. Kristýna Kohoutová. Channel Four Films, 1988. Videocassette.

Berthold, Dana. "Tidy Whiteness: a Genealogy of Race, Purity, and Hygiene." Ethics and the Environment 15.1 (2010): 1-26. General One File. Web. 15 Dec. 2010.

Blake, William. "Reeds of Innocence." Day Poems. Timothy K. Bovee, 2001. Web. 15 Dec. 2010.

Freud, Sigmund. "The Uncanny." "The Uncanny" by Sigmund Freud Part One. Web. 15 Dec. 2010.

Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix. Dir. David Yates. Perf. Daniel Radcliff. Warner Bros Pictures, 2007. DVD.

Jackson, Chuck. "LITTLE, VIOLENT, WHITE THE BAD SEED AND THE MATTER OF CHILDREN." Journal of Popular Film and Television 28.2 (2000): 1-11. Film & Television Literature Index. Web. 15 Dec. 2010.

McCallam, David. "Encountering and Countering the 'Uncanny' in Descartes's Meditations." French Studies 57.2 (2003): 135-47. Oxford Journals. Web. 15 Dec. 2010.

Pans Labrynth. Dir. Guillermo Del Torro. Perf. Ivana Baquero. Estudios Picasso, 2006.DVD.

Toy Story. By John Lasseter. Perf. Tom Hanks and Tim Allen. Disney, 1995. Videocassette.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Brainstorming: Critical Paper

Movies: Alice by Svankmajer and Pan's Labrynth by Del Toro

Concept: the uncanny and surrealism

Something homely and familiar may become foreign and sinister in a different context/environment. The idea of a work of art invoking a reaction of shock.

Alice: inaniment objects coming to life, Alice always dirty (definition of disgusting: an object displaced from its natural environment) - have source and better definiton in other notebook.
noises, little girl speaking for everyone, violence in child and bunny stuffed animal.

Pan's Labrynth: mythical creatures, inhumane people and creatures, violence in children's story, death to child

Branches off to another issue...
Can a child be something uncanny? When a child is displaced into a scary movie, yes. Is it even that scary with out a child? Still scary, but the child creates an eerier tone. (can also be seen with any female rather than an adult male...the vulnerable vs strong/masculine roles)

Why is this?
A child is viewed as something innocent and when put in a corrupted environment it brings out a reaction in people.
----> William Wordsworth
----> "Little, Violent, White: The Bad Seed and the Matter of Children"

The idea of the tainted child...
- third world countries
- shootings at school

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

The Polar Express

While I was thinking of portal books to use for this assignment, I saw my younger brother watching The Polar Express on the television in spirit of the upcoming holidays. I realized how perfect this film would be if only it had a book. Little did I know, the film is based on a children's picture book from 1985 written by Chris Van Allsburg. This book consists of twenty-six pages mostly illustrated with large depictions of the scene being presented. There are many differences, one of the most obvious being length, since the adaptation is a 100 minute film. So what did the film posses that the short story does not?

The film The Polar Express begins with a young boy laying in bed who appears to hear bells chiming and wonders if it could possibly be Santa Clause. He is perturbed to see his sister and father to be the source of the chimes. He goes into his drawers and pulls out articles and such on the issue of who plays Santa: the magical Chris Cringle or ones own mom and pop. This illustrates his doubt in Santa's credibility. Yet, in the 1985 book the boy says, "'There is no Santa,' my friend insisted, but I knew he was wrong." In the book form, the boy does not have the issue of not believing in Santa, yet the film created a dilemma that the boy had to overcome which was finding his Christmas spirit and believing. Another indicator of this is when he can hear Santa's sleight bells immediately for he says, "they pranced and paced, ringing the silver sleigh bells that hung from their harnesses. It was a magical sound, like nothing I'd ever heard." Only people who believe may hear the sleigh bells, since at the end of the book and film his parents cannot hear the sleigh bell he recieves from Santa. The movie demonstrates the moment when he overcomes this obstacle with the sleigh bell. He cannot hear it, yet all his new friends can until he says in an agonizingly sincere tone, "I BELIEVE." Finally he is able to hear the melodic chimes of Santa's magical bells.

Another addition to the movie that helped articulate the boys dillema was the bum on the train. Who was he? I believe he symbolized the main character's doubts and frustration with the myth of Santa Clause. He was cynical and vulgar, yet he always helped a person in need and vanished into snow. He would challange the boy by saying that Santa does not exist, yet ironically he is magical himself and should not exist either to the cynic. He wants to believe in magic and in Santa, yet he is approaching an age of adolescense where this is questioned. In the book, there is no "bum" character on the train and I believe this change made a big difference. The main character has a clear cut self discovery quest where he learns to believe in Santa and enjoy Christmas again. This difference made a difference.

Another huge difference is the fact that there are other children the boy befriends on the express in the film adaptation. He meets a sweet young girl and also a meek little boy. He ends up having a very strong bond with the both of them as they help him on his journey to believe. Having these extra characters adds human qualities to the story and allows the viewer to connect emotionally. As well, the meek young boy has his own quest and story. We do not get to hear his whole story and how come "Christmas never works out for [him]," but we can see the change in his attitude through out the journey. I actually think it is clever to exclude his backstory because this gives opportunity for another story to branche off from this film all about the meek little boy. We see his journey from meek nameless young boy to Billy, who is cheerful about Christmas and ecstatic to see a present from Santa. It is peculiar how he is the only character who recieves a name. I don't know why the main character does not but I enjoy when Billy recieves his name in the film. It is when he finds his Christmas present in Santa's workshop and I believe that is the turning point for Billy. When he recieves his name, he grows into a different person. This is a significant difference from the short story that only shows one boys adventures to the North Pole. The film shows different perspectives on the journey: for children who are doubting Santa, for children who may not have the best holidays, and for children who a still firm believers in Santa and are full of holiday spirit (represented by the young girl). It is a film for everyone and appeals to every humans emotions.

The characters and the quests presented in the film made it completely different and more enjoyable than the childrens book. These are the most significant differences that made a huge impact. All in all, the film is fantastic and the book is a sweet story to read to young ones during the holidays.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Visual vs Print: End of Oz

I'm in love with the MGM film, The Wizard of Oz, as I have always been since I was three years old and was terrified of the Wicked Witch! After reading the novel though, I found many differences and information that was not provided in the movie...which is a good thing. There is a big significance between the two endings of the works, since it entails the "moral of the story" and serves to wrap it up.

One difference I thought is worth discussing is the Wicked Witch's death. In the movie this is the beginning of the end, the climactic moment. Contrastly, in the novel, it occurs on page 154 in a book consisting of 261 pages, so there is still about 100 pages to go after her death (clearly not the ending). As well, in the movie it was a huge scene where Dorothy and her friends are running for their lives and all the guards have them surrounded. The witch wants to start with the scarecrow and begins to set him on fire. As this happens, Dorothy reaches for a bucket of water (conveniently right behind her) and throws it upon the scarecrow to extinguish the fire. By chance, she hits the Wicked Witch as well and the witch dramatically deflates and gives her finals words while she wails and melts away. This scene is very different in the novel. The witch plans a trick to have Dorothy stumble on an invisible iron brick while simply walking in the hall. She successfully stole on of the silver slippers and denied giving it back to Dorothy. In Dorothy's anger, she dashed water at the witch on purpose, but not knowing it would anialate her, and the witch began to melt. Dorothy apologizes for her causing the witch death and the witch gives a detailed explanation of how she was in disbelief that Dorothy was the one to cause her demise. This scene is very anti-climactic with the apology, the extended conversation between Dorothy and the witch WHILE she's melting, and the reason behind the throwing of the water.

After the witch is killed in the movie, Dorothy and her friends immediatly appear before the Great Oz (but we know that time has passed by use of film techniques). He is revealed as a fraud, but still gives each character a placebo of their desire and offers to take Dorothy home with him on his hot air balloon. When she does not succeed in leaving with him, Glenda immediatley appears traveling in her pink bubble (like a bubble blown up from pink gum) and tells her how to get home. In the novel, all of this is lengthened completely and there are many more villains to pass before they reach Glenda such as the fighting trees, the spider in the forest, and the Hammer Heads. Throughout the film, the Wicked Witch of the West is identified as the main villian from beginning to end. She stalks them on their entire journey to Oz and once she is defeated, no more villains approach them. The book is different in that is does not identify one clear cut villian and I feel it was a good thing to cut it from the movie and have one complete antagonist.

Getting more specific, Dorothy uses a famous phrase in the film, "there's no place like home," while this is non-existent in the novel. In the works original form, the book, she requests, "take me home to Aunt Em!" This is a minor detail, but in the film it makes a huge impact upon audiences and the entire story. This gives the story a moral and wraps it up nicely for the viewers to understand exactly what the moral is. In the novel she phrases it differently which lacks the dramatic effect given by the film.

She also becomes very fond of the scarecrow compared to everyone else; he is her favorite and she expresses this in her farewell to them in the film. Though, in the book she shows empathy towards him equalivalent to the other three. She kissed the lion and the tinwood man, but hugged the scarecrow because his face is painted and in the end the narrator says, "she found she was crying herself at this sorrowful parting from her loving comrades." Contrastly, in the film she states that she will miss the scarecrow the most, singling him out while in the book she cries about all of them. I feel the movie creates a bond between the two to show not only friendship but best friends and like in most hollywood movies, a wing man/right hand man.

Lastly, a major change from the book to the movie is the dream plot provided by MGM's version. When Dorothy arrives clicks her heels she is, what I would call teleported (witht he cirlces and music), back to her bed where Auntie Em is trying to nurse her back to health with Uncle Henry. All the men who live in Kansas by the farm also appear, including the magician, and she tells them how she went to Oz and they were all there with her! Basically, it is concluded that it was a dream. Though, in the Baum's book, Dorothy appears back in Kansas standing in front of their newly built house. Aunt Em rushes out to her asking where she has been! This shows that she has not been present and asleep while in Oz. How long does it take to build a house? She must have been gone for a very long time as well. I believe MGM made it a dream to make the story more believable and to keep her in the house during the entire Oz adventure since it might be an eerie thought for young children watching if she really was gone for months. Also it shows that one doesn't have to go on a long adventure or runaway to learn that "there's no place like home." They can have a disturbing dream or thought of losing the ones they love and should be able to recognize where they belong.

All in all, I prefer the film version of this tale. Baum provided a great source, but MGM adapted it to be a classic.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

To Sequel or not to Sequel?

After our discussion on the film Return to Oz, which is the sequel to The Wizard of Oz, I started thinking about sequels in general: Why are they made? Is it a positive or negative effect on the series as a whole? Is the original better than the sequel? My definite statement on sequels is they commonly destroy the essense of the original film and disturb the memory associated with that particular story.

Obviously, most people would agree that Return to Oz was an awful addition to an amazing film. My personal opinion on this adaptation would have to be that it was unecessary and made me angry to have to call that place oz and that girl Dorothy. My experience with the original MGM version was amazing. I watched the film back to back everyday for about a month when I was four years old and it was a big part of my childhood. I had the slippers, the dress, the warn out VHS cover, and the songs that were anthems in my younger days. My parents would use these tunes and apply them to certain routines of life that made me laugh and obey, for example taking a bath and washing my hair. When I was four I hated getting my hair washed since the soap would sometimes drip in my eyes, so my dad made up a song for it and I couldn't wait to sing along with him. I really admired Dorothy and wished to be in Oz like her with my own little Toto.

After viewing Return to Oz, it had a sort of Schaunkmier effect (not as drastic) in which everything bright and wonderful about the original turned dull, dismal, and dark in this film. It was more sinister and had tacky additions that seemed out of place and tested my ability to relate. Overall this sequel tarnished some memory of Dorothy's journey to Oz.

In the spirit of this month (October), I will use the Disney movie Halloween Town as another example. This movie was one I looked forward to every October in Disney's "31 Days of Halloween" tv program. That and Hocus Pocus!

Halloween Town was not a well made movie in terms of graphics, but the plot was simple and magical. It was about a girl, Marnie, who learns from her grandmother that she is a witch and needs to go to Halloween Town (where her grandma lives) to complete her training. Marnie follows her grandmother on to a bus that transports her to Halloween Town. This would be her portal to the other world in terms

of our class discussions. There was also a conflict in the movie that had to be solved and Marnie was the one to save Halloween Town along with her little brother and sister. So, this movie not only transported you into a different realm, but also had a point to the story.

This movie has two sequels. The first sequel has the same cast/actors but features them as older. They are presented with a similar problem and solve it once again. Though I felt it was a bit more quirky and did not have the magical feeling the first one gave me when Marnie first arrived in Halloween Town and saw all the foreign arrangments of this world. The third addition to this movie was the worst one! They didn't even use the same characters or actors and it was called Halloween Town High so the setting was a highschool rather than the magical town that was given to me as a child. I found this dissapointing and stupid. I get upset when I watch that movie.

I feel that sequels are usually unecessary and lacking in the initial feeling that sparks ones id (Freud) and makes a child dream of places and wish to be there! Sequels just don't have the same effect as the original film, in a negative way.

Friday, October 15, 2010

"The Dorothy's" Group Presentation!

My group including myself, Owen, Alex, Gina, and Gabe, did our presentation on the children’s novel The Wonderful Wizard of Oz by L. Frank Baum and MGM’s film adaption, The Wizard of Oz. I felt our group worked great together and we all enjoyed the company as well as having funny/ thought provoking discussions when we got together(which was 3 times outside of class). I think Owen was the organizer of the group meetings and even sent out emails with the notes of our meetings which were very helpful. During the actual meetings, I felt it was a process of summarizing the book so everyone was on the same page, throwing lots and lots of ideas out there, organizing what topics to include and eliminate, and then figuring out how to present it in a manner that would engage the class. We all had something to bring to the presentation and in our preparatory discussions, though Gabe did not attend the first two he definitely made up for it when he came the day of and had a lot to talk about. We decided to split our conversation up into six thought provoking questions for groups to answer: If you were Dorothy would you go back home to Kansas? Why did they make Dorothy older in the movie? Why for the movie was Oz made into a dream? In the movie why are the witches roles expanded? Do the scarecrow, tin man, and lion really lack in what they want? And compare Dorothy to Wendy and Alice. Gina came up with this idea and during our presentation I felt it went really well and our classmates gave a lot of input which I was very happy about. We each were assigned to a question but during the discussion and especially during the presentation we really all collaborated in answering the questions. Alex also came to every meeting and contributed a lot of ideas and knowledge to our discussions. I really enjoyed all the people in my group and had a great experience with each of them. As for my part, I think I really got over my nerves and was able to be a key presenter in class and during the discussions outside of class I participated and shared my ideas and knowledge with my group members. I can’t say I was a leader during the preparation, just an equal member, but I think I did a really good job for the presentation which is rare for me! My question was about the tin man, lion, and scarecrow really lacking what they seek, but I participated in pretty much all the other questions as well. The only part of the presentation that didn’t go so smoothly was the beginning when we were trying to organize the groups. I think this was due to nerves and not communicating to our classmates how it was going to work. Though after about a minute we got the hang of it and I really didn’t think it was anything to take note of because everyone was just settling in. I was really proud of all the members in my group! They stepped up during the presentation and gave a lot of their time during the week to prepare for it. Overall it was a nice experience with good people, lots of laughs, and a great story from my childhood =)

Wednesday, September 29, 2010


Tinker Bell is an odd character. She is a fairy and fairies, as is quoted in the book by Barrie and the film Peter Pan by Hogan, "have to be one thing or the other, because being so small they unfortunately have room for one feeling only at a time." So Tinkerbell can only be bad when she is bad and only good when she is good. She cannot find a balance and therefore is somewhat bipolar. She is always so jealous and does evil things to try and kill Wendy, yet as a child I always wanted to be like Tinkerbell and never realized the jealousy behind her. I even was Tinkerbell for halloween one year. I find that Barrie plays with the role of females and males in this novel because even though he portrays Tinkerbell as the jealous and uncontrollably emotional girl, he also shows Wendy as the maternal figure. Though, I cannot make a feminist arguement here due to the male characters in the novel. Peter is always so full of himself and believes he is the best at everything and should be the captain wherever he is. Wendy's father also has issues for dominance when he throws out Nana to prove who is "master" of the house. He illustrates the typical roles of males and females.