Close up shots are also used in this sequence to depict the soldiers that are flying in the helicopters during the attack. By using close up shots, the camera implies that the soldiers are being seen from the point-of-view of someone that would be flying alongside the men. Additionally, when the beach is being bombed by jets -- during which Lt. Col. Kilgore gives his infamous napalm speech -- the camera tracks the jets, following them as they approach the beach and drop their bombs.
There is also great use of skewed shots during this sequence however, their use may be incidental. Because the cameras that are being used to showcase the soldiers in the helicopters, and to follow the helicopters in motion, are not stationary, the skewed aspects of the shots help to emphasize the action and movements of a helicopter. The skewed shots also help to make the viewer feel as though they were in the helicopters. The dizzying turns and angles in the scenes are captured realistically and help to highlight the chaos of war.
In addition to the various angles and types of shots that are used during this initial invasion, the color scheme of the film helps to establish a sense of realism. The cinematography does not set out to capture the events that occur through documentary style camera work, but rather intends to portray the events as though they were being seen in person. The colors in the film are intended to remain natural and neutral and be reflective of the environment in which the action takes place. There is an abundance of dark, jungle green in the film which only gets darker as Willard makes his way deeper into the jungle. The brightness of the day in this initial sequence also establishes it as an event that takes place towards the beginning of the film. As the film progressively gets darker in symbolism, action, imagery, and plot as Willard makes his way towards Kurtz, so does the cinematography and editing of the film.
In Apocalypse Now…… [Read More]
Willard's internal trauma is representative of the shock many Americans must have felt at seeing the violence inflicted in their name, and thus his killing of Kurtz represents a kind of superficial destruction of the "bad seed" that supposedly tainted the otherwise respectable and honorable American military. By focusing on the "primitive" evil embodied by Kurtz, the film allows the more "subtle and civilized manifestations of evil" in the form of American foreign policy to go unquestioned (Maier-Katkin 584-585). One can see the irony of American imperialism supposedly being "defeated" in Apocalypse Now simply by noting that just a few months after its release in August of 1979, the Iranian Revolution and subsequent hostage crisis once again brought to the fore the widespread and ongoing effects of American imperialism.
In addition acting as a salve for those audiences repellant at the horror of imperialism while reluctant to admit any complicity in it, Apocalypse Now, in contrast to Heart of Darkness, serves to perpetuate further imperial endeavors by essentially glamorizing war and horror in the form of spectacle. While Marlow's narration reveals a strong aversion to the violence and horror committed in the name of empire, Apocalypse Now (partially due to its filmic nature) seems to revel in this violence, with its lovingly crafted shots of napalm exploding or the scene of Kurtz's death interspersed with images of a ritual sacrifice. As Keith Solomon notes, with its "emphasis on technology and the spectacle of war," Apocalypse Now serves to erase the distinction between "the real" and "the virtual" because visually they become the same; as such, Apocalypse Now essentially predicted the kind of "embedded reporting" now common in American imperial endeavors, but it did so uncritically, and thus actually helps contribute to this tendency (Solomon 25).
This actually helps explain why it is so…… [Read More]
And why not?"
This novella is, above all, an exploration of hypocrisy, ambiguity, and moral confusion. It explodes the idea of the proverbial choice between the lesser of two evils. As the idealistic Marlow is forced to align himself with either the hypocritical and malicious colonial bureaucracy or the openly malevolent, rule-defying Kurtz, it becomes increasingly clear that to try to judge either alternative is an act of folly: how can moral standards or social values be relevant in judging evil? Is there such thing as insanity in a world that has already gone insane? On his boat journey to his mission's starting point, Willard remembers the other times he had killed: "There were those six that I knew about for sure, close enough to blow their last breath in my face. But this time, it was an American and an officer. It wasn't supposed to make any difference to me, but it did." Willard wonders at the hypocrisy of the trumped-up murder charges received from military intelligence: "*****! Charging a man with murder in this place was like handing out speeding tickets at the Indy 500. I took the mission. What the hell else was I gonna do? But I really didn't know what I'd do when I found him."
The number of ridiculous situations Marlow witnesses act as reflections of the larger issue: at one station, for instance, he sees a man trying to carry water in a bucket with a large hole in it. At the Outer Station, he watches native laborers blast away at a hillside with no particular goal in mind. The absurd involves both insignificant silliness and life-or-death issues, often simultaneously. That the serious and the mundane are treated similarly suggests a profound moral confusion and a tremendous hypocrisy: it is terrifying that Kurtz's homicidal megalomania and a leaky bucket provoke essentially the same reaction from Marlow.
The embodiment of this madness is Kurtz, and it is explored more thoroughly, in fact, in Coppola. One might argue that no credit is to be given to Coppola for this, that so many men went mad in Viet Nam, that the war was madness itself. But the way in which Kurtz's madness is portrayed must be examined: the way Brando is filmed in perpetual half-shadow, as if darkness is pouring over him in some…… [Read More]
MOVIE APOCALYPSE NOW Abstract: This is an analysis of the use of the Vietnam War as a cultural backdrop in the movie Apocalypse Now. It outlines how Francis Coppola uses Vietnam War as the basis for cultural differentiation, how director uses the narrator / voice over of Willard and it accounts for two combats during the journey up river. It uses only the movie as a source in MLA format.
Francis Coppola's Apocalypse Now is one in a series of Vietnam War story. With Vietnam as the cultural backdrop, Coppola presents the bizarre war environment through the behavior of the various characters of the movie especially Kurtz and Kilgore. To make the Vietnam War experience more personal Coppola uses voice over of the protagonist Willard (played by Martin Sheen), transitioning his uncultured, all-American thoughts to gradually one of a soldier in Vietnam. In essence Willard is an assassin sent to terminate the command" of Colonel Kurtz (played by Marlon Brando). But as the plot of the movie develops, one sees Willard unfolding a humanistic side of himself. The opening scene shows he is in a Saigon hotel, awaiting his mission. He thinks how strange it is to kill one's fellow countrymen in a foreign land. "There were those six that I knew about for sure, close enough to blow their last breath in my face. But this time, it was an American and an officer. It wasn't supposed to make any difference to me, but it did." [Apocalypse Now]. The other characters on the other hand become more chaotic. Their irrational behavior, the result of war pressure and a strange environment, contributed to the violent trip up river.
Although their mission is to eliminate Kurtz, during their trip they faced many incidents of combat as well. These combats only depict the change in behavior of rational men in a war. Coppola captures the essence of Vietnamese jungles and contrasts the American existence on foreign lands by placing…… [Read More]
Colonialism and Imperialism in Heart of Darkness, Things Fall Apart, And Apocalypse Now
The shadow of colonization: Projecting European anxieties onto nonwhite peoples
The Jungian concept of 'the shadow' is not that 'the shadow' is inherently dark or evil: rather, it is a hidden part of an individual or collective subconscious that is a repository of all of the aspects of society wishes to hide. The shadow' may contain elements of forbidden sexuality, violence, or other desires that people wish to forget. As seen in Heart of Darkness and Things Fall Apart, colonial expansion allowed the dominant European powers to make 'shadows' of nonwhite peoples. Rather than viewing the people they conquered on their own terms, the Europeans projected their own fears and anxieties upon the colonized [THESIS].
For example, at the time of 19th century imperialism, sexuality was of great concern to the Europeans, namely its containment and regulation. Thus they viewed nonwhite people as hyper-sexualized, focusing on elements of African culture (like not wearing European-style clothes) as base and evil. Although they engaged in brutality themselves, Europeans focused upon the non-Christian customs of nonwhites and demonized those customs as inherently evil and bloody. They refused to see the parallels between their own expansionist culture and those of warlike tribal customs.
In Joseph Conrad's Heart of Darkness, the projected notion of the 'shadow' upon nonwhite peoples is clearly seen in the manner in which the narrator Marlow views the sexuality of tribal women vs. white women. Marlow, a European, presents the point-of-view that the formerly impeccable representation of civilization Mr. Kurtz has been 'corrupted' by the evils of the so-called Dark Continent of Africa. He views African women as representing open, naked sexuality, versus the contained and pure image of Kurtz's beloved. Africa becomes the 'shadow' repository for fears about unchecked female sexuality and male carnality. Jung referred to the shadow as the "often dangerous…primitive, uncivilized, pre-evolutionary past of the species. The shadow is represented as jealousy and repressed desires like avarice, aspects which most people would prefer not to recognize as part of their being" (Schmuhl & Guches 2003). Marlow's view…… [Read More]
Real Hearts Going After Apocalypses
Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad was one of the first works of fiction to explore modernist notions of reality, and specifically, what makes an experience "real." "Apocalypse Now" can, in many ways, be thought of as the transposition of Conrad's ideas onto a modern war. Tim O'Brien's Going After Cacciato investigates similar themes concerning mental and physical interpretations of reality and is also placed in the Vietnam War. Together, these three works provide insights into the minds of Francis Ford Coppola, Tim O'Brien, and Joseph Conrad; in particular, they reveal how these three artists structure their interpretations of reality through direct experience, memories, and dreams.
Conrad was, of course, a pre-modernist author. He did not go as far as many that followed him, like Wolfe or Hemmingway, who jumped from moment to moment, and perspective to perspective in an effort to represent reality as a combination of people, ideas and emotions. However, Conrad did intentionally try to deviate from the traditional, chronological approach to storytelling. We, as the readers, are distanced three times from the actual people and events in his story: Africa is seen through Marlow's perspective, Marlow is seen through the narrator's perspective, and finally, the reader is left to interpret the tale.
The narrator tells us that "to him [Marlow] the meaning of an episode was not inside like a kernel but outside, enveloping the tale which brought it out only as a glow brings out a haze, in the likeness of one of these misty halos that sometimes are made visible by the spectral illumination of moonshine." (Conrad 7). Importantly, it is the narrator that details the purpose of Marlow's story: the meaning is engulfed in haze and uncertainty -- this haze cannot be waved away -- but the uncertainty is what makes any meaning we do see possible. Truly, this is a cryptic theme for a novel. Additionally, the narrator, not Marlow, claims that this is the purpose of the story. Clearly, Conrad was very concerned that his audience should derive their own meanings from Heart…… [Read More]
Apocalypse of Art in the Tech Era
Modern Apocalypse Art and Technological Aspects
The purpose of this paper is to examine modern art, in particular that which is referred to as "apocalypse art" and further to examine the interactions between art and technology. Specifically this paper will look at the new dimensions that technology has contributed to the rendering of art as well as what contribution or impact that art has rendered to technology.
The methodology for this study is through examination of several of the artists as well as scholars who are in some way interconnected in this process of producing apocalypse art.
The question that seems to weigh on the minds of those who view the modern "apocalypse" art exhibits asks:
Has this artist attempted to achieve the effect of shock or is the artist attempting to convey some deeper truth?"
London's Art Gallery featured an exhibit entitled "Apocalypse" in the year of 2000. Reports were many but the theme of the reports were pretty much the same which was that of shock, ridicule and disbelief that the artist could take themselves as "real." Reuters News, London, description of the exhibit was:
giant sculpture in the shape of a swastika, a model of the pope being crushed by a meteorite, and a large pile of rubbish." (Reuters News 2000)
The report coming from CNN stated that:
An art exhibition featuring a model of the Pope struck dead by a meteorite, tortured miniature figures and a video depicting domestic violence is set to bring fresh controversy to London's Royal Academy of Art. (CNN News 2000)
I. Joe-Peter Witkin: Exploitive, Sensitive and Intuitive
Art can be said to be the demonstration of a set of ideas, beliefs or even ideals, as well as a conscious moments when realization of that which is sublime is awakened. When these moments, after having risen to the sublime, sweep low to the materialistic in hopes of finding definition the result can be somewhat alarming or shocking. For example, The work of Witkin has been labeled as "exploitive." However, Witkin is described as "intuitive" and "sensitive."
The strangeness or "twists" that is revealed in the work of Witkin can most likely be traced to a two-year stint in army combat photography, having been a witness to a decapitation as a child, and finally the unusual sexual experience with a hermaphrodite. It…… [Read More]
Horror, the Horror:
Joseph Conrad's Heart of Darkness vs. Francis Ford Coppola's Apocalypse Now
I stood on this hillside, I foresaw that in the blinding sunshine of that land I would become acquainted with a flabby, pretending, weak-eyed devil of a rapacious and pitiless folly. How insidious he could be, too, I was only to find out several months later and a thousand miles farther -- Joseph Conrad, Heart of Darkness
The director Francis Ford Coppola's 1979 Vietnam epic entitled Apocalypse Now makes a direct analogy in its symbolism as well as its plot structure with Joseph Conrad's famous 1899 novella about colonialism in the Belgian Congo entitled Heart of Darkness. This is most notable in the character played by Marlon Brando: Colonel Kurtz, who is named after Conrad's Kurtz, an important figure in a fictional ivory trading company in the Congo. Both works present white men that have, for various reasons, gone into the jungle and 'gone native' in the sense that they have lost their belief in civilized morality. Brando's Kurtz has given up his loyalty to U.S. military forces and instead praises the Viet Cong in the small kingdom of fear he has created deep in Cambodia. Mr. Kurtz in the Conrad narrative has taken on a native concubine and keeps the people in thrall with his persona and his ability to use their superstitions against them.
Both works suggest that the jungle is corrupting, but also that whites corrupt the lands they invade. Of course, Apocalypse Now is about the Vietnam War, rather than the type of direct, economic exploitation that occurred in the Belgian Congo when Conrad wrote. In contrast to the novel, where the narrator Marlow is given the task of saving Kurtz, Captain Willard is given the task of assassinating the rogue special agent Kurtz. Marlow becomes fascinated with the corrupt figure of Kurtz while Willard's view of the man is more one of horror, as he watches Kurtz kill one of his men before his eyes. In the film, the U.S. government…… [Read More]
Nature of Tragic Hero
The nature of the Tragic Hero in Gilgamesh
We can see all through the literature that the characters that have showed fortitude, audacity and strength have always been idolized. Epic of Gilgamesh is an ancient story that had initially been based on twelve large tablets which are said to date back to approximately 650 B.C however, they aren't believed to be the original tablets as; the parts about the flood in the story mentioned in the tablets seem to date back to approximately 2,000 B.C.
The character of (Lorey) Gilgamesh who is the King of Uruk is known as a man with great strength and pure nature and a legendary hero. Gilgamesh contains the almighty power which enabled him to be "one-third mortal and two-third divine," (33) There are multiple aspects that are associated with a hero that have been shown in the character of Gilgamesh. Enkidu has been shown opposite Gilgamesh who has been made by the Gods themselves from clay and is shown as a villain at first. Everyone gets surprised when Gilgamesh and Enkidu becomes friends after he is loses to Gilgamesh. They both perform very heroically as they fight multiple obstacles in their journey.
As, with any epic story there can only be one true tragic hero in The Epic of Gilgamesh as well. Gilgamesh proves himself to be the true hero by not only trying to keep the people and his city safe from the unjust creatures and also continuing to maintain his relation with the humanity and god but by also realizing his weakness and trying to not let it affect him and his personality. In the beginning we see Gilgamesh as someone who fears nothing and no one, but later on we see him having one weakness when he witnesses the…… [Read More]
While it does not in any way excuse illegal hostile actions against non-combatants, it does illustrate that one of the purposes of having rules for war is, precisely, to avoid some of the consequences that are readily foreseeable when either side violates them.
In many cases, North Vietnamese civilians were directly involved in supporting the war effort. Frequently, combatants disguised themselves by day as civilians and then attacked U.S. forces at night. In other cases, civilians helped lure U.S. soldiers into ambushes and booby traps. While even that does not excuse retaliating against (other) civilians or attacking the entire village in retaliation, it does illustrate that violating the rules of war by one side is likely to provoke hostile responses in kind. That is simply human nature and it is one of the many reasons that both sides in any conflict should always respect the rules of warfare.
Historical Examples of Violations of the Rules of War in Larger Perspective
World War two also featured numerous examples of fundamental violations of the most basic rules of warfare. The Nazis, in particular, had absolutely no respect for civilian populations and frequently murdered entire villages, such as in retaliation for partisan attacks against their forces. Of course, their systematic murder of millions of civilians in occupied territories were the most horrific and extensive crimes against humanity ever committed in human warfare. The Nazis also sometimes executed captured prisoners and also donned captured uniforms to infiltrate Allied front lines. The Japanese were also notorious for brutalizing and murdering captured prisoners of war and for brutalizing and murdering civilian populations, such as in China and the in the Philippines. The infamous Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor in December 1941 was also a fundamental violation of the rules of war because it preceded any formal declaration of war.
While the U.S. never committed wide-scale or systematic violations of the rules of war in Vietnam such as by sanctioning intentional attacks on civilians, it did violate other rules such as by crossing into Laos and by assigning U.S. pilots to fly (illegally) in Laos in aircraft…… [Read More]
Heart of Darkness and Apocalypse Now We do not generally link the dark vision of Joseph Conrad's "Heart of Darkness" to the fripperies of Jane Austen, but we should do so because these writers can be seen as important bookmarks to the era of the modern novel and we cannot understand Conrad's work without understanding its connections to his time. By looking back to a writer like Austen we can seen how much had changed in the world at large and in the world of the novel during the Victorian era and the ways in which authors had begun to lose faith in the power of language to represent, to contain and to describe language.
We cannot understand Conrad's relationship to language without understanding the larger context within which literature was created and consumed. From the coronation of Queen Victoria in 1837 until her death in 1901, was an era of a number of key social changes that would force writers to take clear positions on issues of immediate importance to rest of society. Thus we see very little social criticism in Austen - whose Pride and Prejudice was written 20 years before Victoria ascended the throne - and almost exclusively social comment in Conrad's long short story, published in 1902, the year after Victoria died, as Levine (1991) argues. But even as writers begin to become engaged more and more in the world at large, they become increasingly aware of the fact that language is of limited use in effecting change. For a writer like Austen, the power of language had only to carry a plot (taken more or less from life) and characters (taken more or less from life); for Conrad language had to have to be able to transform the world. It is thus hardly surprising that Austen should find language adequate to her desires and her needs and that Conrad should find it inadequate.
Among the key political and historical developments during Victoria's reign that Conrad addresses in his novella is the consequences of British (and more broadly Western) imperialism and colonialization, both of which were the direct outcomes of the fundamental philosophy of the Age of Exploration, which told Western governments and explorers that the world was theirs for the taking, and especially if it was held by dark-skinned "savages" (Hegeman 480). Language became politicized by the…… [Read More]
For Conrad and Coppola, colonialism and imperialism destroys the psyches of both the oppressor and the oppressed. In Heart of Darkness and in Apocalypse Now, the protagonists struggle between their sense of duty, loyalty, and obligation with their sense of compassion and sheer disgust. Marlow and Willard both signify the probable state of mind of many American soldiers during the war in Vietnam, and of many European traders during the colonial era. Their illusions shattered by what they encounter in the jungle, Marlow and Willard can nevertheless not completely wrest themselves from their origin and cultural identity. One of the reasons Kurtz is such a legendary figure in both stories is that the man attempted to traverse the worlds. Both Kurtzes suffer immensely as a result, and both come across as being egomaniacal and completely deluded. The Kurtzes simultaneously despise the native peoples and love them, but their love is not borne of respect. Rather, the Kurtzes perpetuate the colonial mentality by establishing themselves as godlike leaders of their communities and by trying to actually forge their own civilizations in the middle of the jungle. Marlow and Willard retain their admiration for their respective Kurtzes out of the knowledge that the men were merely products of their time.
Coppola named his film Apocalypse Now to suggest that the American involvement in Vietnam signified the end of the world. In Part One of Heart of Darkness, Marlow imagines what the Romans must have thought of Britain when they first conquered it: "Imagine him here -- the very end of the world, a sea the color of lead, a sky the color of smoke, a kind of ship about as rigid as a concertina." The "end of the world" is thus a double-entendre. In Conrad's passage, the "end of the world" implies that which was heretofore unknown. The "end of the world" is only a beginning of a new one. In Heart of Darkness, the end of the European world is the beginning of…… [Read More]
Technology in Musicals
Musical theatre has existed in some form for centuries. Theatre is an art form that allows many emotions to be expressed through acting and music. While talented performers are most responsible for being characters to life and performing the music contained in the production, musical theatre also relies on other factors to guarantee the success of a musical. These factors are inclusive of ambience (i.e. The way that theatre is designed), production quality and technology. The latter of these factors has become increasingly vital to theatre production since the opening of The Savoy theatre in 1881. Indeed, technology has forever changed every facet of life. Whilst, musical theatre productions are still steeped in many types of traditions, there are many changes that have occurred in theatre productions as a result of technology. The purpose of this discussion is to examine the historic use of technology in theatres and the modern uses of technology in theatre. The research will focus on several facets of technology in musical theatre production beginning with Richard D'Oyly Carte's use of electricity to power the Savoy and the impact of radio and television on Carte's. The research will also examine the utilization of theatre spectacle and how it influenced the use of technology in musical theatre. The investigation will also examine Florenz Ziegfeld's production of Show Boat and why this particular musical was so groundbreaking. The research will also seek to expose the manner in which advertisement and the sale of tickets is influenced by technology. The discussion will also focus on the use of technology in more recent productions and how these uses have evolved over time. The final aspect of the discussion will focus on the manner in which technology has influenced the overall success of musical theatre.
Chapter I Historical Context
For the purposes of this discussion it is important to explore the historical context of…… [Read More]
God created the dispensations and guides humanity differently during each period. C.I Scofield outlines the dispensations including Innocence, Conscience, Human Government, Promise, Law, Church, and Kingdom ("End Times" 4). Dispensationalism is based on a literal and unequivocal interpretation of the Bible ("End Times" 4). Efird, for instance, describes dispenstionalism a historically accurate and nearly scientific method of discerning Biblical prophecy based on a close reading of the sacred text. Efird claims that dispensationalism prevents the "disappointment and embarrassment" that has plagued believers in the apocalypse (7). Dispensationalism is a relatively new type of Christian eschatology and has the unique hallmarks of American Protestantism. The Catholic Church does not embrace a strict interpretation of millennialism. On the contrary, Catholics prefer a more symbolic interpretation of the Book of Revelations ("End Times" 4).
Regardless of the denomination of Christianity, the end times is central to the religion's teachings, its cosmology, its theology, and its worldview. What all the Christian points-of-view share in common is that the Rapture, the Antichrist, and the Millennium are part of the End of Days. The Rapture refers to the resilience of believers during the end times, the "rising up" to heaven while the non-believers are left behind. Christians disagree strongly over what the Rapture actually entails, and when it will take place. For some, the Rapture is a physical "rising up" to heaven, an event reserved for believers in Christ. For others, the Rapture is only symbolic.
The Antichrist is also a central concept in Christian eschatology. Jesus needs a nemesis, and that nemesis is Satan incarnate as an archetypal enemy. The most literal interpretations of the Book of Revelations focus almost exclusively on the battle between Jesus Christ and the Antichrist, to the point where worldly events do not matter. "When the world begins to wind down, we will not be looking for something to happen; we will be looking for someone to come," (Rogers 3). The final battle between Christ and the Antichrist is sometimes called Great Tribulation, especially by dispensationalists ("End Times" 5).
Worldly events do matter to most believers in the end times. Various historical events have triggered interest in the end times, the most recent…… [Read More]
classic films, and what makes them classic. Specifically, it will contain a discussion of what makes a film "classic" and use a specific film that I believe is classic, with good quality reasons for the answer.
The term "classic film" often evokes thoughts of an old film, often shown and enjoyed by audiences throughout many decades. The film could be a musical, such as "The Wizard of Oz," or a drama, such as "Apocalypse Now." Both films (and scores of others) have been called classics, and are often shown on network and cable channels. What makes these films classic?
Some might say it is the acting that makes a film a classic. In "The Wizard of Oz," for example, each actor, from Judy Garland as Dorothy, to Margaret Hamilton as the Wicked Witch is perfectly cast, and creates their role with great talent and charm. They set the stage for all actors who tried to recreate the roles, and made them classic and enduring characters. "Enduring" is a word that seems to go hand-in-hand with classic films, for they endure through time, just as "The Wizard of Oz" has done. It is as enjoyable and magical today as when it was first shown in theatres in 1939.
Close in importance to the characters and casting is the writing. Good writing will not always make a classic film, but most classic films do benefit from great scripts. Many critics call
Apocalypse Now" a modern telling of Joseph Conrad's haunting tale "Heart of Darkness." The movie is based on a classic fiction tale, and so becomes a classic in its own right. The screenwriter uses the same disturbing themes as Conrad, and the writing adds depth to the characters and the film itself. "Apocalypse Now" is a stunning film, both mentally and visually. No matter what the viewer's reaction, the movie makes you stop and think. Coppola and the actors bring this story vividly to life - it is not an easy movie to forget. Thus, another commonality in many classic films is great writing, which also leads to endurance - the viewer cannot forget the visual and verbal images of the film, and it endures in their mind.
Many classic films also make history…… [Read More]
Walk to the End of the World
It is a post-apocalyptic account of a journey of a father and his young son over a time of several months, across a landscape blasted by an unspecified cataclysm that has destroyed most of civilization and, in the interceding years, all life on Earth. George and his child Tim proceed with a trip together where they know they won't survive. The area is loaded with fiery remains and without living creatures and vegetation. A significant number of remaining human survivors have depended on savagery, searching the debris of city and nation alike for substance. The boy's mom, pregnant with him at the season of the catastrophe, surrendered trust and conferred suicide some time before the story started, in spite of the father's requests. Acknowledging they can't survive the approaching winter where they are, the father takes the boy south, along unfilled streets towards the ocean, conveying their small belonging in their rucksacks and a general store truck.
When he woke up in the woods, it was dark. He reached out to touch the boy resting close to him. Evenings dull past dimness. Furthermore, the days dimmer than what had gone some time recently. With the first dim light, he climbed and left the boy resting and exited to the street and studied the country to the south. He thought the month was October yet he wasn't certain. He hadn't kept a calendar for a considerable length of time. They were moving south. There'd be no surviving another winter here. When he returned, Tim was still snoozing. He pulled the blue plastic tarp off him and did it to the grocery truck and stuffed it. About an hour later, they were on the road. Fiery debris moving over the street and the drooping hands of visually impaired wire hung from the darkened light poles crying daintily in the wind. A burned house in a clearing and past that a scope of…… [Read More]
Cesaire portrays France's less intrusive but still stridently nationalistic colonization of Africa is as a creating void of national identity, rather than as an imposition and a source of cultural clash and conflict, as chronicled in India by Smith.
It is important to remember of the earlier document of Cesaire that the author spoke to a populace still attempting to define itself anew, linguistically as well, as a nation after the legacy of French involvement, as embodied in the film "The Battle of Algiers." Cesaire thus gave more emphasis to national and collective psychological healing than healing personal guilt and interfamily conflict, given his own historical vantage point and his own cultural context in a less stridently self-examining world than Smith's Great Britain, and a nation less immediately comfortable with its personal identity. Also, unlike India, Algeria was a more religiously and linguistically unified society and had a more coherent 'identity' to articulate in response to the French imposition upon African language and culture.
And it is still, when reflecting upon the psychological consequences upon a nation and upon persons, important to recall the practical sentiments of Phuc Viet and Vietnam Hon in their "An Appeal to the League of Nations for the Rights of Self-Determination of the Vietnamese People." These Vietnamese people stressed that concepts of societal improvement and national prosperity cannot be realized without the achievement of the former, or vice versa. Cesaire wrote to stress that economics and national separation were not enough, while the Vietnamese nationalists in defense of their own nation's struggle wrote that psychological and national identity were not enough to ensure economic success. They 'wrote' their own national coming of age, not in terms of American angst, as did Francis Ford Coppola's film, but in the language of the desire to advance themselves economically. However, despite the two former French colonist authors' different emphasis, in their writings both Cesaire's Algeria and Vietnamese statement show that a sense of independent identity remains important to the formerly oppressed, as is often the main language understood by the Western powers, with the West's obsession with…… [Read More]
S. Department of Defense (DOD) uses over two million computers and more than ten thousand local area networks, most of which are linked to, and vulnerable to attack from, users of the larger Internet. (2008, p. 276)
These increasing threats correspond to the growing reliance on information systems to manage the entire spectrum of modern commerce and energy resources, making the disruption of a single element in the integrated system a potential threat to the remaining components that can result in a massive disruption to a nation's economy (Jurich, 2008). Certainly, these types of trends were witnessed in a similar fashion when terrorists flew jet airliners into the World Trade Center and Pentagon in 2001, and the national economy of the United States suffered to the extent that it is still recovering. As Jurich points out, "The push towards greater reliance on information technologies in fields including energy, communications, industry, finance, transportation, and human services has produced a situation in which economic collapse could occur even if only the financial components of the information systems were crippled; a more widespread attack could lead to an even greater disaster" (2008, p. 276). With cyber attacks, though, there is no need for an expensive and massive conspiracy that involves taking flying lessons and sleeper cells.
Likewise, in sharp contrast to the conventional warfare of the past, conflicts today can exploit the vulnerabilities of cyberspace to overcome the geographic distances that have provided the United States with a modicum of protection from its enemies overseas. During World War II, with the exception of a few German submariners who were placed ashore in New York (and quickly captured) and some Japanese balloons that carried incendiary devices to America's western shores, the United States has not had to fight a war on its on shores to date. Cyberwarfare, though, changes the situation dramatically by eliminating this traditional buffer from conventional military forces. In this regard, Allen and Demchak (2003) point…… [Read More]
Post Colonial Literature
Historical literature is filled with examples of pre- and post-colonialist paradigms. Within each of these models, however, there is a certain part of a larger story that can only be told in the larger view of the historical process. One of the grand themes that help us wade through that process is that of the dehumanization of the individual. For whatever psychotically reasons, humans seem to have the need to change others into less than human in order to subjugate them economically, intellectually, or culturally. We might even think of the process of imperialism as practiced by the European powers as dehumanization of culture and society; begun at the micro level and then evolving into the macro. This dehumanization was particularly exemplified by the manner in which indigenous cultures were decimated, how families were torn apart and scattered all over the Empire, and the manner in which the Colonials expected their values to be adopted by anyone and everyone.
Chinua Achene is one author who deals directly with this subject. Not only is the title of Achebe's Things Fall Apart appropriate for a study looking at the juxtaposition of historical trends on culture, it is spot on in terms of the issues that fall into place, reminiscent of the "Domino Effect" so feared during the early Cold War, when European culture meets a traditional African culture. In Things Fall Apart, dehumanization occurred as almost a disease -- a virus passed from the White man to the natives. Not only did the English regard the Africans as something other than human (they degrade their culture and religion); after some time, Western ideals changed the way the Africans viewed themselves and their tribal unit. In Things Fall Apart, the central character, Okonkwo, finds that the interference of the missionaries and English "entrepreuers" disrputed the tribes. "The white man is very clever. He came quietly and peaceably with his religion. We were amused at his foolishness and allowed him to stay. Now he has won our brothers, and our clan can no longer act like one. He has put a knife on the things that held us together and…… [Read More]
Yet, we also see that he still does not understand the true origin of the beast -- the human within. The fact that he dies before he is successful, yet the monster obviously goes off to end his own fate, indicates that the evil both originated, and eventually died with him -- the true source from which it sprang.
Victor Hugo's Hunchback: An Illustrative Device
In Victor Hugo's Hunchback of Notre Dame, there exists a strikingly similar theme -- if different in form. Although it is definitely true that Hugo's famous Quasimodo is a bit more innocuous than the Frankenstein monster, he nonetheless evokes a certain horror if only in appearance. Yet, much like in Shelley's work, Hugo brings out the monster that is human nature within the other character's interactions, motivations, and actions in the story.
There is little question that Hugo fully intended Quasimodo to evoke horror in his readers. He creates Quasimodo as a grotesquely deformed, almost non-verbal, and deaf. Interestingly, Hugo assigns the character a friend, if not a creator as in Frankenstein, but as a protector -- one who supposedly has the best interests of the monster at heart. This friend, Dom Claude Frollo, ironically on some levels represents the "best" of humanity as is exemplified by his devotion to the Church and a life of God. However, the reader soon sees the irony, as well as the inherent evil of the human heart not in the monster, but in the supposedly "good" human man. This, the reader sees most clearly in the following passage, perhaps one of the most striking in the novel, when Frollo, a supposed beacon of hope and mercy, passes by Quasimodo being tortured by a terrible mob:
Nevertheless, that cloud cleared away for a moment, at the passage of a mule which traversed the crowd, bearing a priest. As far away as he could see that mule and that priest, the poor…… [Read More]