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Lecture

Bambi

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Department
English
Course
ENGLISH 3Y03
Professor
Douglas Bruce
Semester
Fall

Description
Bambi (1922/1923) Written by Felix Salten (1869 – 1945) Early “Zionist” Children’s Literature - Zionism: Jewish nationalism that supported a Jewish homeland/nation state, movement beginning in the late 19 century, state was founded only after WWII in 1948 - Theodor Herzl (1860 – 1904) o Very important figure, founder (though there were forerunners) of the Zionist movement/ of political Zionism, Viennese journalist, Hungarian originally, very assimiliated, not very Jewish until he reported on the Dreyfus affair (turn of the century anti-Semitic trial) in France Feliz Salten (1869 – 1945) - Austrian, Jewish, Zionist, Viennese journalist, knew Theodor Herzl in person, great admirer of the Zionist leader who died quite young in 1904 - In real life mingled with the aristocracy and was a hunter in the Viennese forest - Works: Salten wrote many works featuring animals o Bambi, as well as Bambi’s Children (1940), which takes us into the holocaust Disney’s Bambi - Sentimental, romantic film vs. realistic, nostalgic, political novel o The novel does not show the mother’s death, the forest fire is not there o The entire Gobo episode is missing in the film o Who is the King of the Forest? o Is there someone in real life who was a role model? o Disney is a historical, typical of modern mass media and how they use texts or reduce texts to one ahistorical message General Themes - Nature - Hunting: Life and Death - Man and Animal - Animal Rights? o Disney’s animal right’s engagement, back to nature movement, the protest of the American rifle association - Disney’s anti-semitism - Assimilation and self-assertion 1. Discrimination - Tales about persecution - They listen to the many stories that were always horrible, full of blood and suffering. They listened tirelessly to everything that was said about Him, takes that were certainly invented, all the stories and saying that had come down from their fathers and great-grandfathers. In each one of them they were unconsciously seeking for some way to propitiate this dark power, or some way to escape it (83) “Will He never stop hunting us?” young Karus sighed (84) Wandering Flowers – Wandering Jew - Beautiful butterflies who look like wandering flowers - ..., funny flowers that would not stay on their stems but had unfastened themselves in order to dance a little. They looked, too, like flowers thast come to rest at sundown but have no fixed places and have to hunt for them, dropping down and vanishing as if they really had settled somewhere, yet always flying up again, a little way at first, then higher and higher, and always searching farther and farther because all the food places have already been taken. (23) o Frustrating search for a permanent home o This frustration that comes with this search is mitigated by the dance of the colourful butterflies 2. Tolerance - The stag finds Bambi very attractive: “He’s handsome, he’s really charming, so delicate, so poised, so elegant in his whole bearing (120) - The stag/elk is, in fact, the one who is embarrassed and does not know how to react. When Bambi misinterprets the stag’s helpless glance as: “What a haughty look!” ironically the stag was thinking to himself “I’d liek to talk to him, he looks so sympathetic. How stupid never to speak to people we don’t know!” (120) o Preconceived notions o Prejudice in the text based on this misunderstanding 3. Zionist Context: 1. Idealism and Realism - Respons
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