C.R.A.Z.Y-March 20 th
3. Coming of age story
• The first world war was called the war to end all wars, following the first world war was
caused by chaos, uncertainty, constant rapid change
• The first world war was important
• This is what yeast means when he says when things fall apart the centre cannot hold.
These feeling of chaos and constant change only accelerated over the course of the 20th
century. So when we talk about post modernism>>>
• 06:25 we now live in a postmodern world where a few things remain solid and stable for
→ Definition: The rejection of the notion that one set of ideas can explain everything, and
the assertion that there are no longer any central religious or philosophical structures that
serve to organize society.
→ What this means is that the National Centre no longer holds, in other words there is no
longer a national centre or at least a core. What we are arguing is rather than being
defined by a few simple common characteristics we in this country are increasingly
defined by diversity, plurality, and complexity.
• Paradoxically it’s our differences that bring us together this is MichaelAdams was
suggesting in “Fire and Ice” some of the things he argued was that Canada is the first
modern nation and what is said is that “Canadians embrace multiple, flexible roles and
identities. He said that Canadians are open to experimentation and difference.
• Similar idea in last week’s lecture of Immigration and multiculturalism, is that one of our
central tradition is that we have no tradition.Again it is a paradox. The film Crazy
explores the difficult and often painful means by which tradition and uncertainty wither
away and are replaced by ideas that are new and unknown and confusing. In other words,
master narratives are replaced by multiple competing errors. The film explores this
process with reference to sexuality in particular but it also brings up other themes.
C.R.A.Z.Y is as a coming of age story
• Zac’s development as a character
• Religious imagery
• Crazy ‘s image of Quebec
The Coming of age story( bildungsroman)
• Follows a young protagonist from childhood to early adulthood
• Seeks answers and experience
• Overcomes personal obstacles
• Goes through rites of passage
• Attains self-understanding and maturity • Rites of passage- loosing your virginity, getting drivers license, marriage etc. They are
seen as milestones in this path of life that you pass. Going through these rights of passage
as the main character you learn about who he/she is, about the world, and gain some of
those answers as well as being in a position of gaining self understanding and maturity.
Ex.Anne of Green Gables…. It is a Bildungsroman
• Crazy is set in a neighborhood in Montreal during the 1960s-1970s the
• Protagonist of the story is Zac, the fourth of 5 brothers, in terms of the answers he’s
looking for the plot is build around the question revolves around whether or not Zac is
gay. This is question others have frequently confronted him with through the course of
the film but it is also a question he repeatedly ask himself as well.
• At the start of the film we learn that Zac’s different so for example he has dark hair,
except for a small patch on the back of his head which stays white so in other words he’s
physically marked as being different or as a marginal character. We saw this is Margret’s
museum for example. Margret is a marginal character not simply because of her
perspective of not wanting to marry a miner but also because she’s very tiny. Her husband
is a giant of a man so he’s physically marked in being different not just in terms of his use
but in terms of his physical difference which parallels his differences of opinion which
also makes him a marginal character. This is similar to Zac we often see this is novels or
films with the author marks a character physically in order to help highlight the way they
are different or marginal in terms their subject positions or their viewpoint. So that is one
way Zac is different, zac also has a special gift and that is that he can heal sick and
injured people simply by thinking about them and saying a little prayer and
• Finally Zac has a range of behavior and inclination that suggests that he’s not “normal” in
terms of his sexual orientation.
⇒ As the film unfolds we see the various different ways in which Zac is different, sort of
reinforce and parallels one another as the story unfolds
⇒ In many ways Zac’s story is another version of the Public/ private Identity war.Astory of
an individuals who’s personal interest and desire come into conflict with societies’
messages of who and what you should be, these conflict start at a very early age. Ex Zac
wants to play with dolls he doesn’t want to play table hockey and instead of imitating his
dad and wearing a hard hat he puts on his mothers pearls and housecoat.
⇒ The consequence of these actions are of disapproval, where he experiences a growing
sense of alienation. This is demonstrated in the gulf that grows between Zac and his
father in particular.
⇒ Zac also feels a disconnect with his brothers, can’t really relate to them, he feels
persecuted at school, he’s ridiculed and mocked by members of his extended family. The
only person that genuinely sympathizes and understands him is his mother. From
everyone else he only feels the pressure to conform, to be normal. ⇒ The backdrop for Zac’s story is a culture of heteronormativity that is pervasive in all
Canadian history which in many respects continues to the present day.>>>
→ Definition: Beliefs, actions, and policies that are based upon the assumptions that
heterosexuality is the only normal sexual orientation, and that the only legitimate marital
and sexual relations are those b/w a man and a woman.
→ is at the centre of our society and the consequence of that is that people of other
sexualities is at the margins. Many of the power differential that we have accepted as
natural and innate are in fact anything but. When we look at heteronormativity we see
that it’s another social contrcuct.
• Social construct- categories that seam to be based upon biological differences but are
actually based upon social perceptions, generalizations and stereotype.
• Demographically, hetrosexual are in the majority, so being straight is the norm in a
statistical sense but the fact that homosexuals are a statistical minority does not mean
they are inferior or that they are less entitled to basic rights and freedom as everyone else.
• Historically homosexuals have been disempowered and discriminated against solely
because of their sexual orientation and heteronormativity is the mindset that provides the
foundation for this being qualtren
• Hetronormativity has found expression over many different ways over the years and has
evolved overtime, so it’s not something that’s static, not the same, there is different
• In some cases heteronormativity has been expressed through the outright hatered of gays
and lesbians also known as what we call homophobia but it has also taken more suddle
forms such as well meaning people who simply think homosexuals need help in order to
• Historically in Canada the idea that homosexuality is wrong has provided the basis for a
range of laws and polices that have served to restrict and regulate homosexuals so as
early as the colonial period for example laws against buggary which is old word for anal
• In the mid 20th century the royal mounted Canadian history orchestrated an ongoing
campaign to identify and fire all homosexuals who are working for the federal
• The assumption was that ppl who were homosexual were of weak moral fibre, they
morally suspect, they had weak characters, the idea was that since homosexuals were
weak by definition they were susceptible to being black mailed by the communist so
therefore they were a threat to the national cntre that was the the rcmp rounded them up,
there was also an high wave of suicides as ppl were arrested, lost their jobs or outted.
• Police in this country also have a long history raiding back houses that cater to
homosexuals while turning a blind eye to similar establishment for heterosexuals.
• The remarkable thing about hertonormativity is the effort to enforce something that is
supposedly is natural. Logically if a certain type of behavior was simply natural and
innate them presumably everyone just do it we wouldn’t have to go through all this
trouble of pass