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March 11th, 2009
Poetry - Sylvia Plath and Robert Gold - Cold War Poetry
WWII is the hot war, nuke and holocost
it was the allinace of the USA, Britain, USSR, etc. USA dropped a bomb on Huroshima and
Nagasaki. Literature and art is the unconscious of the social collective. Art tell us of a different
story of teh cold war that i tis not over at all, and everything has changed and there is no way
back/out. YOu cannot uninvent the nuclear bomb. It has changed attitidues towards humanity,
what does it mean to be human changed forgeign policy, war, geopolics, it changed national
policy, it challenges the science as used for advancement which was the promary myth that
arouse frmo WWONE. (that science was of our better nature).
Technology was evidence of out better nature. As the bomb blew up, the realiszation of human
failings, as much as any other venture, litterally exploded at the same time.
In the USA (as seen in the Bell Jar), the reaction is coming down to conformity and a kind of
dream of safety. What really started teh Cold war, USA and Russia eyed each other comepatively
and warily. Ecomonics was one face of comepetition, where Russia was based on socialism and
communism, while the USA was based on capitalism; its a war of economis systems. which sysem
is better/previal. What adds a lots of agnst is that russia sends the first satellite into orbit called
Spudnik. Spudnik in a way in America's air spay. But how could you say this when its in orbit.
There was a chronic idea that the other was watching and surveying although the satellites could
not do that back then. Americans thought they were being watched, which was a form of "Cold
War Paranoia" which was one of the hallmakr of this era, a chronic sense that the otehr wsa going
to take over, was advancing faster, etc. The 1950s era was called teh Macarthey Era, where in
1952-1953, Senetor was trying to oust communist from the government. it was then very easy to
oust anyone accused of being communist from teh government. So the problem with paranoia is
that it doesnt require evidence, but only suspicion. The witch hunt: 'Are you a communist" answer
"no" was used as proof like witches used to deny they were which. but one of the ways to get out
of the inditement was to blame otehrs. so if you wre named as a communist, and you named 6
others, then they'd let you go cuz they would be willing to give up one for 6. this fuels paranoia.
1950 TV was just starting in ppls homes. Paranoia sent to ppls homes: How do you know
somoene is communist, etc. Nobody knew what a communist was, but they saw it as only being
able to bring down capitalism. Paranoia becomes very diffuse, the reason it becomes paranoia is
because it loses its objective correlative. it loses anythng that is the same to its own fute.
difference between fear adn paranoid, paranoia is afriad of everything, and doesnt know what its
afraid of, while fear knows what its afriad of.
Pop culture urges conformity, gender is formed along more rigid lines. What it means to be a
boy/girl, what it means to get married, etc. In the '50s there was a boom in
applicance/technology. Applicance was the personal computer of teh '50s. Dish washers, and can
openrs were big inventions, or things you need in your kitchen. In order to sell applicance,
someone needed to be home. so most women in WWII were not home, but working in factories
fueling the war effort. with the end of war, these factories were closing in droves. And
unemployment shot up. What also happened was that in addition to these women losing jobs,
millions of men came back looking for jobs. So you have this massive social shifts. its being
played otu by gender. begin a female is to be domesticated. a real women is one who stays home
and keeps a clean home. All these thigs with Slyvia Plath would've seen in Madmosellle magazine.
one of the defining features of teh Bell jar was taht esther kept on shattering into different
women. one minutes she is esther, then doreen, tehn betsy, then she is Joan, then in teh asylum,
all women seems to be esteher,...she cant hang on to one role or another. she has this recurrent
dream on being ina fig tree knowing that if she reaches for one fig, the rest will shrivell and drop
off the tree; a women cant eb a poet and a mother, and she has to choose. she looks at Buddy
Willards Mother and ask 'do I want to become that" while on the other hand she is terrified not to.
Sylvia Plath catch the terror of not conforming, and the rage of having to conform. her peotry is
terrrified and enraged. She can figure who she is on her own terms and not on the terms of what
teh culture needs of her.
the explosure of huroshima, becomes sometng ppl dont talk about, yet it hangs there..its the
elephant in the living room. where it tends to creep out is in pop. culture.
<Film Noir/Kiss me deadly> ...it ws popular in the 40s and 50s. Its today called NeoNoir. in Noir
somoene is trapped by circumstance regardless of what you do. Everything is in shadows cuz
nothing is what it seems. the trecherous women is a reflection of masculine insecurity of the post
war yeasr. where you gonna get a job or was a women gonna get that jjob. In film noir, there is a
breif case that ppl want, and n capitalism, there is a creation of unending list of objects that they
will make us desire; capitalism is run by desire. in capitalism, its not what you want is not what
you want but wat makes you want. its not the end point of your desire, its teh catalyst. in a telling
psychological equivalent of this is that the thing that everyone wants in the movie ends up not in
the form. In the famous ending of 'The Maltese Falcon' is that the 6 or 7 ppl tht end up dying for,
is not the right bird, its not the right diamond encrusted bird. Maybe that bird was just a story.
the bird ends up thrown into the trashs, and boggart asks "whats that" and the character replies,
'its the stuff dreams are made out of'...So this suitcase in the movie "kiss Me deadly" seems to be
the thing that everyone wants. and the detective doesnt know what it is, but since everyone
wants it he figures that he wants it too. although, he doesnt know what it is, and he doesnt knwo
that it is a suitcase full of uranium thats gone missing from the manhattan project.
"Rosenberg is going to die today" is an opening line in the Bell Jar. Julius Rosenberg was a victim
of paranoia, and even though he had children he was executed. What was sick was that one of