Reflection #5 : John Donne poetry
John Donne is considered the representative of metaphysical poetry. He has written love poetry, religious poetry, and songs. Donne’s writing style turns even the least likely images into elaborate symbols of love and romance. He was persecuted for being a Catholic in a country that was predominately Protestant and so his religious poetry mirrors his experience. In many of his poems there are prevalent themes of spheres, discovering, and nature. The following poems explained are one’s that I believe demonstrate the effects of love, nature, beauty on the world and how they all intertwine.
In Donne’s poem, The Flea, there is sensuality as there are in many of his love poetry. This specific poem describes a man’s attempt in explaining to his lover that she should sleep with him as it is not a sin. The poem speaks of a couple who see a fly.This flea has sucked first his blood, then her blood. The speaker then discusses how now, within the flea, they are together. He goes on to explain that being together can’t be a sin because the flea has joined them together in a way more than they would do or be. The speaker then tells his lover not to kill the flee because it has three lives within it. However, she kills the flea anyway and the speaker says that she is “cruel and sudden” killing the “blood of innocence”.The speaker asks her what the flea’s sin was, other than having sucked from each of them a drop of blood. The lover says that neither of them is less honorable for having killed the flea. He says that if that’s true then If she were to sleep with him she wouldn’t lose anymore honor than by killing the flea.
In the poem, The Sun Rising, the speaker is asking the sun why it bothers him and his lover- he tells it to go bother schoolboys or call ants to their harvest. The speaker says he can ellipse the sun by closing his eyes except he wants to keep looking at his lover. This man that is deeply in love describes how the entire world is contained within the bedroom, and that this love affair is so grand that the kings copy it. By the end of the poem, the speaker almost takes pity on the sun and tells it to shine on him and his lover. Such a simple poem shows the great power of love and its effect on man in perceiving the world surrounding him.
In the poem, Air and Angels, love seems to be represented as something greater than human comprehension. The narrator explains how love is not just about the outside beauty of a person but about affection on a spiritual level. He then goes on to describe air as being the purest of all elements, and explains that’s how the angels reveal themselves to humans. Donne is saying that love needs a way to transcend itself as well, and so he tries to think of different possibilities- one such way might be the physical women body he thinks. However, this doesn’t work as he uses an analogy to a ship to compare a women’s body and describe how the women’s body is so overloaded that it sinks .The right medium Donne believes is through the woman's love itself. In a great comparison, he illustrates that just as air is not as pure as the angel it goes through, neither is the woman's love as pure as the mans’ (supposedly). However, as sexist as this may seem, I believe that Donne is trying to explain how both people need to be mutually fully in love to be able to have love in its purest form.
The Bait,is an extended metaphor which compares a pretty woman to fish bait and men to fish, who are desperately hoping to be caught by the woman (fish bait). The woman has the qualities of the sun- a “paradise” land is described at the beginning. The poem describes how the men betray one another and themselves in their pursuit for the “winning” the love of the women. They don’t actually care about receiving the love of the women. In the 5th stanza, the quote “freeze with angling reeds, /and cut their legs with shells and weeds”, describes the fish that are struggling and are getting hurt in their pursuit for love. There is imagery of loss of ability to move and escape. This talks about how the women may not be as wonderful as was shown in previous stanzas. The women is her own bait and she has caught herself in her own trap and that the wiser of the fish are those who have stood clear of all allurement ( referring to the speaker himself). The poem explains how people ( like fish) can lose all sense of direction and swim desperately and how people are easily manipulated and thus find themselves enchanted/trapped .
Reflection on the Film Double Indemnity
The film, Double Indemnity is truly attention grabbing with deception, love, and betrayal. Each of the characters, including the static, has dynamic roles that captivate the audience. The first seen starts off with a shadow of a man in crutches slowly coming closer and closer to the camera, until there is complete darkness on the screen. There is neither music nor action at the very beginning which definitely increases the curiosity of the audience as they wonder who is and what the past of this shadow is. It turns out that this shadow is the body of Mr. Neff who works as a salesman at an insurance company. There are two main stories that eventually merge into one by the end; there is the scene of Mr. Neff admitting to killing Mr. Dietrichson and a flashback of the actual events that led to Mr. Neff confessing. The question arises of whether or not we should bother watching the rest of the movie since Mr. Neff has already told us that the murderer was actually himself. The reason we as viewers continue to watch is because we want to figure out why this person was murdered, how it happened, and how Mr. Neff was involved.
The director plays with light and dark as a main theme throughout the film, both literally and figuratively, creating the essence of a film noir. Instead of having a hero, who is usually the main character, like in most films, there is an anti- hero. Walter Neff, who begins as simply a shadow at the beginning of the film is led astray by the human desires of greed and lust. One of his greatest downfalls was becoming very lustful towards the seductive yet deadly Phyllis Dietrichson. He goes tumbling down into the “darkness” as he becomes involved in the murder of Phyllis’s husband, and eventually in the death of Phyllis herself. The physical darkness of the movie foreshadows the metaphorical darkness that occurs in the film. Also, the fact that Mr. Neff seems to always be in the shadows foretells his fate. The darkness alludes to the evil and “dark” deeds that occur in interactions between varieties of characters.
Phyllis is probably one of the darkest characters in the whole film. She is the femme fatale who is the beautiful woman who “lures” the hero with promises of money, sex and love, only to ultimately betray him. Phyllis Dietrichson begins as a helplessness innocent creature but is gradually revealed to be manipulative and deadly. She first appears undressed at the top of the staircase showing her alluringness. Even in the beginning, the director shows that Phyllis is not someone to be messed around with. Even though she is killed at the end, she has an everlasting impact on Walter Neff which he can never forget.
A static but extremely important character is Keyes. He moves the story forward and unravels the seams of the story. He is someone who always is right and although he doesn’t seem like an important character, he is too smart for even the hero. Although he is neither bad nor good, he adds tension to the story as the viewers constantly keep wondering whether he will be able to figure out this “perfectly” schemed murder. A big irony is at the beginning of the film, Mr. Neff was always lighting Keyes’s cigars, but the ending scene showed Keyes himself for the first time lighting a cigarette for someone else, Walter Neff. This embodies the anti-hero’s weaknesses and failures, and also shows the importance of secondary characters such as Keyes in films.
**key terms taken from Cinema Automsy:http://blog.cinemaautopsy.com/2008/10/09/notes-on-film-double-indemnity/**
Casablanca REFLECTION (#3)
Casablanca, a very internationally known film, is truly one of a kind telling two different stories at once; the story of love and war. In the film, Ricks Café American was a place to escape, literally and figuratively. People are trying to escape the country by getting false passes. It is also a place where people can relax and mentally escape from the reminder of the war, and remember the good times. The French are at the hands of the Casablanca, as it was a place to hide from the war. Casablanca is the neutral state, a place to be protected from the war. However, there isn’t much interaction between the Moroccans and the French. In the start of the film, We don’t see ricks face @ first because he’s a big authority ( to make him bigger than he actually is). Also, The black man playing the piano seems very out of place, as he is the only dark skinned person seen in the movie. Rick enjoys him as a friend though because someone asked to buy him, but Rick respects him as a human being so says he’s “ not for sale”.
Rick seems very human and smart, although he definitely tries to hide these feelings, so that people don’t read him. Rick is ”neutral” about everything ( he is very smart about not saying his opinions out loud bc rumors spread)“ As time goes by” was Rick and Ilsa’s song, which is a song that is both sad and happy. Rick never drinks with his customers because he has worked hard to build this mysterious character for himself). However, Rick crumbles when he sees a lady ( Ilsa), something that he would never usually do, unless of course he had fallen in love as with Ilsa.
The Germans and the French have a very tense conflict in the film, but most of the time it’s not direct. For example, when they were both singing their national anthems, the French “won”. This shows propaganda that maybe the French will win the war. It also shows peoples prides in their countries. Ricky is always fighting for only himself, although he does care about others secretly. The last line of the movie was “Lois (Captain Renault), here’s to the beginning of a beautiful friendship. The same person that the movie showed as lying and deceiving, looking for his self, finally becomes humane and saves Ricky from arrest. The parallel occurs to Ricky, because instead of looking after himself, and his own interests, he decides to show his kinder heart to Victor Laszlo and Ilsa.
Oedipus Rex 958-1685 ( Reflection #2)
The Chorus like always is foreshadowing, and always praying, they leave the readers with questions that leave the audience thinking. They worry that if all oracles are wrong, and if men were better than that, then god may not exist. However, false hope arises as Oedipus is told his father has died of natural causes. It is false because the messenger begins to tell Oedipus that his parents are not is real parents, as they did not birth him. In Oedipus Rex, there are not always emotions that the characters just have, but the audience feels these emotions as well, and they fear for what will happen next. Even amidst danger and intensity, the author still seems to enjoy adding a amusing sense to the situation such as the fact that Oedipus is simply worrying about whether his parents are poor, when the audience knows that this is the least of his problems.
As the story progresses, the Chorus is able to have some relief, although Oedipus certainly doesn’t have any. This is because they now understand that even the highest men can be gotten down by these prophecies. This fate has even forced the Queen to commit suicide, and force Oedipus to hurt himself, thus showing the force and importance of gods at the time. It is almost amusing how the chorus simply wants order, and doesn’t care as much of who takes charge; they even look to Creon for some sort of better life. For them it is athough death has brought peace to some degree.
His Girl Friday ( Reflection 1)
I enjoyed the film His Girl Friday very much. It was a movie that was very witty, with come backs that made the audience chuckle many times throughout the film. The setup of the film was definitely not like Charlie Chaplin’s The Kid, which had no dialogue, and had exaggerated movements that were humorous to the audience. In this film, there is a lot of sarcasm and funny insults, and small yet very funny actions. However, they both had written introductions and hints to the main theme of the film. In His Girl Friday, it began with a slide that mentioned the “dark ages of the newspaper”. Hildy, in the movie seemed very well-known in the office of the Morning Post where her ex-husband owned. Surprisingly, for the time period of the movie, Hildy represents a character who is strong, womenesque, dominant, yet elegant and lady like. She portrays a positive image of women, and how they can be just as good as men, if not stronger, more mature, and smarter. There is a big theme of the cycle of love. Of how, at first, two people fall in love, then problems occur which creates a divorce, where one person still feels in love, then they make up, and fall back into love again. Also, there is a theme of emotion vs. business- doing it for the money; Walter even says to Hildy, “do it for the money, not love”. Also, it seems that Hildy has a bit more emotion and caring tone to her stories, which Walter (a very sly character who puts words in the mouths of others, and tries to mess things up to get what he wants) can’t seem to grasp, because she cares more for the money, and he thinks that his status in society will get him anything he wants.
Earl is going to get hanged in the plot of the film, and it is amazing to see how in the film, the newspaper can affect if he gets killed or not. They are responsible for creating more chaos then there already is by spreading lies that seem to get more complex and crazy as they receive more information. They try to make-up for not knowing the information by creating these great lies that don’t help anyone at all, but themselves. It’s almost like a contest to see who is going to come up with the biggest lie; it also seems that everyone is a double crosser. The newspaper men/women are not the only liars, the government also plays a big part as the mayor hides the reprise; Earl Williams is right when he says to Hildy that you “can’t trust anyone in this crazy world”. Besides the higher powers, like the newsmen and government, ordinary people don’t have many choices or decisions like Earl. The movie shows this with 2 parallel stories at the same time during the film: Bruce and Hildy, and the murder case.
Hilldy also is conflicted between herself (the “normal” person she wants to be), and her job, which has become herself. She left Bruce by the end, 1st of all because she doesn’t want to take care of him as he seems to always get himself into trouble. She likes to be an independent person, and sticks to people who know what they want; what she wants, and her passion is the newspaper business. When Earl escaped and came in front of her with a gun, she called Walter and said that “she was on the job”.