Class Notes (860,739)
CA (521,240)
Western (50,994)
English (1,178)
2017 (147)

Lecture 34 - 39

15 Pages

Course Code
English 2017
Nigel Joseph

This preview shows pages 1-3. Sign up to view the full 15 pages of the document.
Lecture 34 - February 10 • Dr Hyde is the unconscious hyde – he’s demonic, ugly and hairy but he’s smaller than Jekyll • When he transforms back into Jekyll there’s a clothes difference • This significance • Hulk is the modern day Jekyll and hyde • Jekyll transforms into hyde and can’t turn back so he kills himself • The hulk is the modern day Hyde • Famous double • Dorian Gray – young looking man, very beautiful man, very refined only associates with upper class in England o Someone paints him and he looks at it and says he wishes the picture would age and he would retain all his physical beauty, popularity o Deal with the devil, comes true o He finds that as he does more and more things that are pleasurable to him, he remains the same – beautiful and young but the picture is aging o There are marks of corruption on the picture, the mouth is becoming more ruthless o He becomes terrified and decides to hide the picture o He meets a young women and falls in love and says surely he can repent o He thinks why shouldn’t I be able to repent o He goes and looks at the picture and there’s a slight change but not enough, he says why cant I just destroy the picture, it’s the only evidence of his evil o He takes a knife and stabs the picture and he dies o When they come in they see a picture of a beautiful man on the wall and an old corrupt man on the floor dead o In order to destroy the devil he has to destroy himself • If you think of that double and how it has been transformed in our time, the most distinctive feature is that the modern double is not particularly menacing • If you look at all the super hero films you have the same basic patter – mediocre almost loser person who is completely indistinct able from everyone else and that person transforms into the glamorous superhero o Eg. Harry potter – average and then turns out to be a wizard when he goes to school o Relates to the idea that we may appear ordinary but deep within us there are powers that can be tapped  Why superhero films can be so powerful • With Jekyll and Hyde you see process of domestication o Instead of double being terrifying and demonic the devil has become a force for good  Batman works for good of gotham  Peter parker works for the good of his city o The idea of a double s menacing virtually disappears from pop culture o There are some remnants  Hulk – one of the few superhero figures who retains that link with Jekyll and Hyde • His transformation is painful, terrifying and he remains a threat, he is somewhat unpredictable • Retains old victorian fear of the devil • One of the important questions – why did the victorians fear the devil so much? o Most obviously has to do with religion  These are people who are still ferment believers in Christianity so the idea of a double is deeply worrying, how can there be an evil version of yourself, why would god do that?  The devil starts to emerge very slowly but is clearly condemned as demonic, has to be destroyed o Also a time where psychoanalysis is finding its roots  Freud isn’t around but people aren’t believing in god and thinking of the evil self  Religion is losing its power  And secular understanding of self is coming to existence o The idea that we have qualities that haven’t been tapped  Hwy people are attracted to certain psychic things or yoga that allow us to tap into these and make us more powerful or relaxed etc • Dorian Gray o Freudian theory of oppression o Freud believed that one part of the self pursues pleasure, the Id especially desires a life of complete and unending pleasure o The idea of pleasure principle governing our desires o He suggests that civilization does not permit us to pursue this pleasure o You have to learn to discipline or restrain yourself o He says so repression happens o The baby wants everything o The role of the mother is to stop the child so we learn to repress our desires o This process of repression is very painful and causes a psychic illness  Part of psychoanalysis  All of us are somewhat ill because of this suppression  As a consequence of it, we display neurotic or psychotic behavior o Peter parker is repressed o The losers are the ones that are unsuccessful the portion of themselves that they repress is also very powerful, if they can get that repressed self out and functioning then they will be very powerful o This leads to another interesting pattern in these films where first there’s the average person and then the anarchic self that emerges from repression and then they reconcile with each other  Eg. The mask – Jim Carry is the classic character, no girlfriend bullied by his boss and women take advantage of him, his friends laugh at him, the mechanic rips him off • Then he puts on this mask and as soon as he does he becomes flamboyant, he’s a good dancer, witty, he can beat others up, he’s smart but he’s also mischievous and dangerous • The mask follows psychoanalytic theories of repression • Eventually the figure of the mask becomes worrying to the audience, he’s too pushy with women he does vicious things • At the end of the film, Jim although he stops using the mask has become more respected and powerful character o He has tapped into his repressed self and now he’s a balanced character • Clearly making reference to the id and the power of the id • He comes to the club where hes been humiliated but now hes in a nice car and he’s a fantastic dancer • When he kisses the girl her shoes fly off • The girl is very attracted to him but ultimately she returns to the average man whose become much better and more assertive • There’s still a slight hint of old victorian – this double is glamorous and interesting but a little too anarchic  Eg. Fight Club • Average figure – Edward Norton – working dead end corporate job • Then he encounters his alter ego, Brad Pitt • Edward is soberly dressed, careful about his language, doesn’t want to rock the bot • Brad pitt is wearing a red leather jacket and he makes bombs – he’s an anarchists • But they both have identical brief cases – clues of them being the same • Edward goes and lives with brad • He finds that brad pitt is living an extraordinary life • They start fight club where people who are repressed get together and beat each other and somehow connect with the inner men • Towards the end of the film Norton discovers that pitt is his alter ego and doesn’t exist • Little hints – presumably he has the other guys suitcase o He sees brad pitt driving off and another man running behind the car o His alter ego does what ever he wants (steals cars etc.) • This double is glamorous funny but he’s dangerous o He says we have to kill her because she suspects too much o Once the double becomes a threat he has to get rid of it  In both these films you have a formal explanation, in the mask someone says we all wear masks, it’s when we take off the masks that our true self emerges. In fight club pitt says to Norton that you should know by now that I am in fact you I am all the things you ever wanted to be but were afraid of. Norton tries to shoot himself to destroy the alter ego • One of the explanations for why we don’t have doubles much earlier than later 19 th century is perhaps because religious belief is hostile to the idea o God in his omnipotence wouldn’t repeat himself o This is perhaps one of the reason that in many cultures they will kill twins o Twins are seen as uncanny, disturbing because sometimes they look like each other or may be joined  Many cultures see them as bad luck or bad omen o The idea that doubles are not the work of god but the work of the devil – why they only emerged when secularism was on the rise o The victorian uncanny double becomes domesticated an familiar and a resource for men and women to tap into their unconscious self • William Blake o He says when he was angry and when he spoke out his anger it disappeared – basic idea we get from psychoanalysis  If we have a feeling of hostility and we express it then it disappears or is diminished o For blake it actually kills his enemy o Blake was fascinated by the idea that we posses powers that remain untapped • In both Jekyll and Hyde and Dorian Gray these men are taken over by the evil self • Hyde is smaller than Jekyll o This is a physical representation of changing attitudes o For Stevenson who was a good Christian the evil other was diminished  Less moral so he is a smaller figure o Where as in superhero films the hero is often bigger and he is often more moral o Sharp distinction from average men they emerge from and the superhero  Superhero almost always represents superpowers of the id o Most superheros continue to want to hide their non superhero identities • The core of the argument: the victorians feared the emergence of the double o Even dorian gray to some level seems to be celebrating the double o Oscar wilde brings it back to Christianity he’s repenting for what he’s done o He’s sending out the moral that this is bad o We seem to have normalized and domesticated the idea of the demonic devil  Use it to improve our lives • A lot of these films encourage you to think badly of the average guy • The first Spiderman film your face is being rubbed in that he’s bullied, doesn’t have a girlfriend but as soon as he gets his power everything changes o Side effect of these films is reinforcing the idea to be quiet and submissive is bad, and powerful and aggressive is good Lecture 35 – February 12 • Since hulk is of our time he also shares a certain amount with other superheros • Essentially hulk is not evil, he’s represented as dangerous and menacing but when things get really dangerous he protects the women he loves. The father emerges as the evil one • Hulk also goes back to frankenstein, there’s an image that’s a clear reference – he’s coming out of the smoke carrying a woman in his arms • Also explicitly references psychoanalytic ideas – the idea that there’s something within him that’s anarachic and chaotic and powerful but which he can learn to control • A lot of these films the utopian fantasy there is that if you can control this monster or beast inside of you, you will be very powerful • At the start of the film you are introduced to hulk as a normal human practicing yoga, learning to keep his heart beat and pulse down because he knows when he reaches a certain point he will transform into this monstrous figure o idea that you can control this energy within you to be well balanced human • Hulk transformation theme – close to Jekyll and hyde, when’s trapped at bay he turns into this monster, but he’s also heroic he turns into a monster because his woman is being threatened • All of his transformations are triggered by threat to the female figure • Hulk is meant to be sympathetic – in the start of the scene very obviously domestic family they love each other • Hulk is being assimilated to American family values • The general represents the idea to control science • Also in Fight Club – interesting that the audience has already come to see him as this kind of character – recognition effect • The scene where he’s coming out of the flames carrying the body – reference to Frankenstein • Frankenstein – monstrous figure that is misunderstood • Also references to Tarzan or King kong, he’s screaming etc • King Kong has been steadily becoming more and more sympathetic initially he was a monstrous comic figure but in the latest one there’s a scene where he’s skating in central park o Sign of how consistently we’ve been domesticating these monstrous figures o The only figure left is the zombie  Difficult because they are dead and decaying  But almost every other figure can be rendered domesticated • Different actors playing hulk – no continuity whereas for other superheroes they try and stay with he same, maybe because he’s not a sympathetic figure so they’re not interested in playing him • Heimlish is something not associated with the home but is associated with the home at the same time o Freud picks up this word and suggests that when you find things that are uncanny you are putting something together, something strange and something familiar o Leads to sense of being upset when you discover something uncanny o In horror films, if you’re watching and see a little girl with the doll, the camera has to dwell on the doll and most of us feel a slight sense of fear  doll eyes might open or they will move  Usually a doll is something that represents something cute  Person you least suspect like the mother is the killer, something surprising so it’s deeply unsettling and uncanny o Cross dressing is always uncanny – silence of the lambs when you see the killer cross dressing for many of us that is deeply unsettling and terrifying o Every language has words that sometimes mean the same thing no matter how you use it  Eg. We use to say something is inflammable – catches fire easily, people were confused so now we just flammable o Music boxes are uncanny o Pleasant music accompanying violence also comes from this uncanny  Visual elements disturbing and soundtrack is pleasant and people are put off because they expect the two to correspond o Twins are uncanny – especially double • Horror films featuring children usually have friends that no one can see – uncanny • Fairy tales provide framework of safety where anything can happen – but can be made terrifying by being made into adult versions o Eg. Hansel and Gretel Lecture 36 – February 24, 2014 • Blurring boundaries between gender o Michael Jackson o Madonna – crotch grab • Butler – didn’t want to identify as lesbian, not because she’s ashamed but because she doesn’t like categories • Butler: o For the west gender is what you are born with and is defined by anatomy  Freud – Anatomy is destiny  What goes with this assumption is all the mannerisms that we associate with possession of genitals  If you are born a little boy no one needs to teach you to be a man  That is what we would call a form of essentialism – you are essentially male or female  Many continue to believe this  In the world outside academia the majority still do  Within academics you will find something like between 90 and 95% do not accept this • They belong to the group of people called constructionists – believe that gender is not something you are born with but something constructed o Means that if you are born a boy from the second you are born or even before you are engineered or manipulated into being masculine, given certain toys or encouraged to wear certain clothes • Extends to conduct – little girls are taught to be polite and clean (keep your hair brushed) boys on the other hand are encourage to be dirtier (okay to be muddy) o Boys are encouraged to be violent or adventurists o Even with how you sit, little girls told cant sit with legs open boys can • We are constructed or shaped to occupy certain genders and this becomes permanent and when we become adults we carry these conditioning events in our subconscious • This suggests that it’s passive – shaped by mothers etc.  Butler inherits this discourse of gender constructed but she adds a twist to it, she says we are constructed but not only that, we actively involve ourselves in this by performativity – we perform or enact gender • This adds an element of agency – if you want you can stop performing a certain kind of gender, you can question the fact that you are a heterosexual male, and you can start looking at the way you present yourself o Why do I want to be sporty and athletic? o Isn’t all of that performance and may I not change it o Can I occupy another space? – not gay men, she doesn’t want you to move from one slot to another she wants you to challenge the idea of gender as something you can’t do anything about • Takes away the passive-ness o Freud suggests that women are filled with inferiority due to absence of male genitals  Freud was very influential  He emphasizes penis envy  He’s very dogmatic  Basically the young girl suffers from castration complex  Perceptive but seems to be misogynistic attitude • Freud as a human being this is how sees women  All of these observations  women see themselves as lacking and incomplete o One way of looking at Butler – she takes Freud seriously but also makes a sharp break  Butler takes us away from freud – she suggests all gender rules are performed,  Her theories have little to do with anatomy and says that gender is formed and influx thus reshaped o One platform of her theory – we cannot have the idea of an original without imitations  If we say something is an original we are implying that there are or could be copies  In order to think of original we have to think of copies – she says this is true for all originals  She says for everything we think of as original it implies a copy and that copy is prior to the original  If I can only think of a parent, if I also think of children, children are equivalent or prior to the idea of parents  She says heterosexuality is the norm in our world it is considered appropriate, normal and good to be heterosexual • If you deviate from that norm you are punished, it is seen as disgusting and inferior  She says that when she was growing up she was always told she is heterosexual – that is a real women, have sex with men, have children. If you are lesbian you are a copy and not
More Less
Unlock Document
Subscribers Only

Only pages 1-3 are available for preview. Some parts have been intentionally blurred.

Unlock Document
Subscribers Only
You're Reading a Preview

Unlock to view full version

Unlock Document
Subscribers Only

Log In


Don't have an account?

Join OneClass

Access over 10 million pages of study
documents for 1.3 million courses.

Sign up

Join to view


By registering, I agree to the Terms and Privacy Policies
Already have an account?
Just a few more details

So we can recommend you notes for your school.

Reset Password

Please enter below the email address you registered with and we will send you a link to reset your password.

Add your courses

Get notes from the top students in your class.