Orientalism and Kids’ Movies

In today’s society film entertainment is prevalent in many age groups. Speaking from experience, when I was younger, I was obsessed with Disney movies. Now as I am older, the presence of Orientalism in Disney classics is quite surprising. As defined, “the representation of Asia, especially the Middle East, in a stereotyped way that is regarded as embodying a colonialist attitude”. Personally, major companies such as Disney should not be adding stereotypical fiction characters and shaping how children view other races. For example, beloved films such as “Pocahontas”, “The Hunchback of Notre Dame”, and “Aladdin” all portray Orientalism.

These films have aspects of ideal western beauty, sexualized Romanian “gypsy”, and portrays of the middle east. For children, these aspects of the films probably don’t come to mind. Though they are highly present, they are working and twisting the minds of innocent children. Although movies can be seen as cultural products, there should be an extend in which certain themes are presented.

Overall movies will continue to depict Orientalism, though companies like Disney do not have negative intentions, the way characters are represented can help fix the problem. As people who understand how certain characters are portrayed, do discuss it with someone who doesn’t would also be a great thing to do.


God of Small Things and Trauma

In my opinion, the novel as a whole is striking to read in a long list of ways. While there are many themes that one could make, the trauma that characters are involved in truly act as a basis for how the story plays out. In the book God of Small Things, by Arundhati Roy, adults are concerned about the “big things” in life, while the children only experience the “small things” in life. But within all the events that transpire, the small events of cruelty are just as important as the small ones. For example, Estha’s molestation, Rahels questioning her mother’s love, and the incest at the end. The cruel act of Esthas molestation happened quickly and quietly and doesn’t initially take up much time in the book. After The Orangedrink Lemondrink Man molests Estha, the family leaves the theatre. As the thought process begins to transpire the event is ingrained within him, “Back inside the hairoil darkness, Estha held his other hand care-fully (upwards, as though he was holding an imagined orange) (pg. 100). But this small cruelty stays with Estha for a long time. It helps Estha decide to run away from home, which leads to Sophie Mol’s drowning and Velutha’s death.

Additionally, Rahel is another character who’s life was dramatically impacted by a small cruelty. When Rahel spoke carelessly to Ammu, Ammu said it was those comments that made Ammu love Rahel a little less. This little cruelty, an offhand remark, made Rahel continuously question her mother’s love. Rahel came to think that her mother’s love was not unconditional, which led to some major disastrous decisions. Rahel questioning her mother’s love was a factor in the decision to run away with Estha and Sophie Mol. Just like Estha being molested, the victim was dramatically affected while the perpetrator was not affected.

Overall, While these small cruelties don’t seem disastrous, they can pile up and have a big impact on the victims. Estha and Rahel have sex near the end of the book. They have endured lots of small cruelties like Sophie Mol’s funeral, their family shunning them, and Baby Kochama’s jealousy. The mainframes of trauma run deep with characters for lifetimes and utterly show little events will always be relived.

Anchorman 2 Is More Than a Raunchy Comedy

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The beloved story of Ron Burgundy delivers a deeper meaning than one would perceive. The sequel carries the story plot of Ron’s initial fame to a spiral of depression and then an ultimate rise in the end. Ron deals with a variety of moral dilemmas, the pressure of revenge, reigniting his life, and choosing work or family. Although some would view this movie as raunchy and dumb, the underlying issues that occur in life are taken head-on by one fascinating man.

As the movie begins, Ron recently lost his head position in anchoring a prestigious new network in New York City to his wife and ultimately leaves his family because of it. Following this tragedy, Ron is at his lowest point of life and finds himself in a state of depression. As the story continues, Ron gets his old news crew back together, battles with goofy issues, get back to the top of the news world and ultimately realizes that his family is worth more than his job. Through all the stupidity and comedic nature of the movie, the general story-line is utterly meaningful. This movie is meaningful in a way that shows how people are easily distracted by the luxuries of life and how they distract us from what matters. Ron is so caught up in fame and the itch success that it initially drives him away from his family. By the end of the movie, the audience is filled with enlightenment and a lesson.

Overall, many people are caught up in the temptations of life. The legend of Ron Burgundy lives as a story for people to think about. Ron once valued materialistic items and fame ahead of family. He changed his ways and was there for his family at in the end.


Satire in Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby

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Ricky Bobby was a man who was born to go fast. Born in the backseat of a race car, Ricky lives by his dad’s saying, “If you ain’t first, your last”. Talladega Nights delivers more than dark comedy, this movie highlights problems that circle marriage, revenge, social standards, and peace within one’s self.

Check out the trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-zPcMma_C7A

From the start and to the finish, there are many moments within this movie that implement a variety of satirical methods. One example is dramatic irony. Within Ricky Bobby’s journey to success, he is very concerned with his image and how to deals with others. Especially with his wife and the media, these two things grow and complicate his life as the story progresses and causes dramatic irony to reach the audience. In light of the bigger picture, this movie mocks the idea of marriage and its burdens that come with success. Overall showing that marriage is not as pleasant as it is socially seen.

In addition to dramatic irony, there are many accounts of parody within the movie. On the whole, there is a taste of both tragedy and peace. Specifically, the use of deliberate exaggeration adds the comedic effect to stress the peace of Ricky’s life. As well as peace, Ricky also faces getting revenge on his former partner who stole his wife. Although seen as funny, this moment demonstrates social norms with a twist of comedy. All in all, it is important to view these things as the movie progresses, the bigger than comedy subjects are dealt with.

Overall, this movie points out the stresses of life, taking a comedic turn, and summarizing them through traditional forms of tragedy and comedy all in one movie. From rising to falling, to rising again, Ricky Bobby fights through social constructs and finally achieves happiness.

Brown Eyed Women

Ever since 1965, the Grateful Dead has been producing revolutionary music and shaping the way rock is perceived. Out of the 317 cover songs created and the story’s they tell, the song “Brown Eyed Women“, from the album Europe ’72 is poetic in every sense. This song is a little special for a variety of reasons, “Brown-Eyed Women was never recorded on a studio album, but it was included on the live album Europe ‘72 and was played at 340 concerts. The song was first performed on August 23, 1971 at the Auditorium Theater in Chicago”(genius.com). Additionally, “Brown Eyed Women” displays a story, and through a variety of literary techniques, it draws the listener in. As the song begins, the listener is presented with a story about a man named Jack Jones. The lyrics follow:

Gone are the days when the ox fall down

Take up the yoke and plow the fields around

Gone are the days when the ladies said “Please

Gentle Jack Jones, won’t you come to me”

Overall, the song tells a story in era of the Great depression. As the song begins to flow, the listener is brought to a time were the focus character, Jack Jones is now old. As the songs states, “when the ox fall down”, this is a representation of the fall of the mischief in his early life. As the song progresses so does time and Jacks life. As life continues, rough times of the Great Depression kick in and Jack is in a financial crisis, the lyrics write:

The bottle was dusty, but the liquor was clean

Sound of the thunder with the rain pourin’ down

And it looks like the old man’s gettin’ on

While in the midst of the prohibition and the Great depression, Jack goes to the streets to make a buck off of liquor. As the lines include “Sound of the thunder” the thunder shows of Jacks situation and how bad things keep falling. Following this, poor Jack is hit with another crisis. The song writes:

Delilah Jones was the mother of twins

Two times over, and the rest were sins

All in all, Jack Jones loses his wife Delilah. Following her death, Jack becomes depressed and the relationship with his twin sons becomes poor. As the lyrics state, “the rest were sins” the “sins” in the line represents the falling relationship with the rest of his family. Overall, many of the Grateful Dead’s songs tell stories. Through these stories, the diction and syntax deliver powerful messages and add meaning to each story.


Beloved and Song of Solomon

Toni Morrison is hands down an amazing author and a person who shaped how stories should be told. Within her many novels, Morrison has wrote stories that highlighted themes of discrimination, family, beauty, and included twists of the supernatural. Within her renown novel Beloved, there is beauty in the way she presents the supernatural and things that cannot be explained. As Beloved progresses, there is a ghost that gives a deeper meaning to slavery and how a person relives trauma. Similar to Beloved, she has another novel that depicts these similar attributes.

From reading Song of Solomon in last years English class and reading Beloved this year I was surprised to find a connection in the peculiar parts of the novels. Obviously there will be connections because Morrison incorporates similar themes and is the author of both books. But besides those factors, if one takes a look into the deeper supernatural aspects of each book, the connections are clear. Within Song of Solomon, there is reference to folktale of slaves flying back to Africa. Within this supernatural aspect, this also connects to the ghost in beloved because both embody issues that arise from slavery.

Overall, Toni Morrison delivers stories that captivate how one perceives slavery and truly gives deeper meaning. Although her stories range in character, the deepest meanings are quite clear.

Exit West and My Personal Connection

Mohsin Hamid’s novel “Exit West” portrays a variety of themes, but one that stuck out most to me was migration. Although there are themes of love, family, and religion, I found that the novels themes revolving immigrants and migration connected best to me because of my grandparents.

In my life I tend to be surrounded by two different worlds, my grandparents on my mothers side and my grandparents on my fathers side. My grandmother from my fathers side migrated from Panama and my grandfather on my fathers side migrated from England. Although these places are on opposite sides of the world, both these people share a life changing experience. Like my grandparents, Nadia and Saeed had migrated to a totally different world and had to adapt to many life changes. In today’s world, and especially in the US, there is a lot of commotion with fleeing immigrants and negative opinions towards them. Exit West is so captivating because it gives a perspective of how some people are searching for a better life and seeking asylum.

Overall with my personal connections and the current news, Exit West was a great representation of people in search of hope. In the end I find it important that more people read these types of Novels so they can escape their perfect worlds and dive into the realization of how many people live.

Existentialism Within The Joker

Within Todd Phillips newest film, Joker, Joaquin Phoenix plays the infamous Joker and displays a different take to the Character. Overtime, the fictional super villain’s image has been twisted and shaped by many people. Traditionally, the joker has been viewed as a funny yet evil character. Phillips portrays his version of the Joker, through darker, intense depictions, and representative values of a existentialist.

Throughout the movie, there are themes of moral living, flouting aesthetic, and radical movements. As Joker develops, his mind becomes more free and mirrors Meursault. Although the Joker is narcissist and violent, the views of murder also relate to Meursaults. In the end of both Joker and The Stranger, their final feelings of liberation are the same, accepting.

Overall there are many ways Joker can be tied to ideas of existentialism. In conclusion, Meursault and the Joker view life on a similar level, people, and death.

“The Cariboo Cafe” and Current Events

In Helena Maria Viramonte’s, “The Cariboo Cafe”, she constructs a powerful story that brings the reader to face hard reality’s, deal with current issues, an illustrates how many people live today. Throughout the past several weeks, “The Cariboo Cafe” has stuck out of the stories we have read to me, because of the intense reality that is shown. Hopelessness, Family, Immigration, Horror.

In many ways Viramonte’s story is not pleasant, but it strikes with a certain power. A Power to provide a fictional story but also display images in the readers head that truly stick. As of 2018, ICE held more than “42,000 people in custody each day” (CNN). All of these people that are detained in these horrible conditions are in search of a better life. Sadly, the characters within “The Cariboo Cafe” do the same, stuck in horrible conditions and try to persevere.

In the closing of Helena Maria Viramonte’s story, the third perspective shows a desperate mother who has grown so sick of pain, that she still is in search of her dead child. Many people like the woman of the third perspective face these very real problems and in the world that we live in, we do not always see that. Overall Helena’s story is most powerful to me because it shows a very real situation.