Monday, May 4, 2009

When I'm 64 (minus 28)

Fifteen years from now I'll either be working as a speech therapist somewhere in the US, most likely wherever I end up going to graduate school, or I will have escaped to some other country, either barely scraping by teaching English as a foreign language or maybe fixing people's talking problems in a different language. My father assumes the former. Whatever the case may be, I think the one idea that I will definitely keep with me is one that has been present in most, if not all, of our material this semester. It is the idea that everyone really is always playing his or her own game. It's something we've all probably heard a thousand times: "Don't judge others, you don't know what they are having to deal with in their lives." But all the LITERATURE  we have discussed in this class made that point somewhat less cliché by outlining the presence of both good and evil in everyone. All people have their own agendas, and if you ever want to really understand someone you have to be able to see things from every perspective. 

In Lolita, we read the beautiful prose of a serial child rapist. Humbert's actions are unforgivable, yet we were given the opportunity to hear his side of the story and at least gain a little bit of understanding of his motives. Humbert was a player in the game of love, it was just unfortunate that his particular brand of love is deemed sinful by most societal standards. Can we really blame him for this? 

In Blue Velvet, Dorothy is viewed as a mysterious, dark woman by the whole neighborhood. It isn't until Jeffrey delves into her personal world that we find out about her very real and very serious problems. We see that she isn't just a weird, scary woman, and Jeffrey sees it also. This also leads us to see that Jeffrey isn't just an innocent suburban boy. Things are never what they seem on the surface.

Jimmy McNulty in The Wire is supposed to be the "good cop", and in most cop shows we would probably only see that side of him. However, The Wire does a great job of showing us that McNulty is indeed playing his own games. He is in the middle of a divorce because he cheated on his wife, and he is all about getting some personal recognition. The Wire also shows us that not all of the "bad guys" are completely bad. Omar may be a murderer, but he always obeys his own rules, and we even see a softer side of Wee Bey, who seems to be, in my opinion, the most unfeeling character on the show.

Overall, it is important to remember that every story always has more than one side. Everyone always has his or her own battles to fight and games to play. If anything could ever be "fair", you'd have to look at all situations from every possible angle. This can never be, but perhaps I'll always have that idea in the back of my head.

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