Lec 4 Primitive / Modern
- Moving through 5 stages:
1. Start here: What is Nature?
2. Definitions: 9 different uses
3. Nature Scripts/ Roles: Nature = Wilderness vs. Nature = resource
4. Dominant Nature Scripts/Roles: Nature/Cultural Dualism + Modern human subject
(Great Chain of being, Age of Reason, Enlightenment)
5. Dominant Nature Scripts/Roles: e.g. Primitive/Civilized - - > with links to nature/cultural dualism (Victorian Evolutionism 19thc)
- Gone Primitive:
○ Voyeurism at work: The Us/Them dynamic
○ "we" usually refers to the populations that are considered normative and empowered - European or of European ancestry. And the
superior we imagines a "primitive" them
- Marianna Torgovnick wants us to feel uncomfortable about this us/them dynamic and to critically evaluate how notions of a primitive
"them" contribute to production of a civilized "us"
- She aruges that it is much of a dualism, that puts some people in superior category while some people are in inferior category
○ Inferior is connected to race, gender, sexuality, and culture
- With nature, people of color (the darker the skin = close to nature), strong racialised overtones
- Stanley meets Livingstone 1872
○ Primitive/civilized text
○ Under 19thc Victorian Evolutionism there is an evolutionary spectrum
○ Nature on one end and culture on the other
○ Dark skinned at the bottom of the scale (nature), and the Europeans on the cultural end of the evolution spectrum
○ Scriptings are highly problematic - -associated with sexism, racism and issues of gender
King Kong 1933
- Start off in NYC, journey headed by Carl Denon on boat
- "The Beast was a tough guy too. He could lick the world, but when he saw Beauty, she got him. He went soft. He forgot his wisdom and
the little fellas licked him."
○ Female beauty - as a natural quality is a dangerous one...why? Because there is something in the nature of males that will
respond to this beauty,
○ Suggests that the reaction of the male can be irrational, suggests that there is something primeveal in the irrationality of male
thinking when he sees a natural beauty
○ Nature is heterosexual (male attraction to female)
Thus… Other sexes are not part of nature
- The woman "beautiful by nature"
○ White, blonde, represents something of beauty
○ Women are "trouble" "dangerous"
- Directors: Merian C. Cooper and Ernest B. Schoedsack
○ Met at WW1
○ Made their career by filming tribal people lives (such as films Grass and Chang)
○ Primoridal human struggles against in harsh environments…
- Schoedsack's wife Ruth Rose (whom he met on a boat), she wrote the script for King Kong***