The Darkest Ends for the Slightest Beginnings

Of all the aspects of this novel that stood out, I think that the McCarthy’s most striking feature was his unique characterization of all the characters. I appreciate this on a number of levels, for he is able to provide an extensive analysis of both the characters and the setting.
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After a slow start, I have become captivated by The Road. Though I didn’t like McCarthy’s writing style at first, it has grown on me, and I think it is especially powerful given the simple but heartbreaking conversations the father and son have, and is also effective in conveying the bleak landscape and the frightening encounters the two experience. Continue reading

Gender Roles: Ambiguous and Traditional

While watching Children of Men, Apocalypto, and 28 Days Later, I was drawn to the role that women played in each of the post-apocalyptic scenarios. I first questioned in Children of Men why the women were made infertile and the men were not. In Apocalypto, I compared Seven to Kee from Children of Men, both of whom offered hope from their pregnancies. In 28 Days Later, Selena is an independent survivor who, at first, seems like more of the traditional hero-type than anyone else. As Professor Quinby points out her essay, these empowered female characters completely contrast the roles of women in traditional apocalyptic myth and create a certain ambiguity in the distinction between masculine and feminine in terms of the traditional romance (2). However, though these gender roles are blurred during ensuing apocalyptic chaos, the hope of salvation does not seem to fully arise until traditional gender roles are reassigned. Continue reading

Doomsday Romance

Apocalyptic themes prevail heavily in the films Apocalypto, Children of Men, and 28 Days Later. While these movies use different plot schemes and settings, they converge at the portrayal of a largely apocalyptic event in which doom has disrupted the world “as we know it” and created a post-millennialist scenario. Through graphic and technological means, these films offer visual representations of the awaited and questionably irrevocable doomsday experience.
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What Tomorrow Brings

Of the movies we had to watch for class, the only one I had never seen before was Apocalypto. I found it to be the least entertaining, due to, I think, a combination of subtitles (whose tone sometimes seemed mismatched with the dialogue) and a fairly traditional, predictable plot with unexplained and unaddressed supernatural elements made the film seem slightly ridiculous at times. Indeed, while the scene of the young girl prophesizing is well done, evoking feelings of fear and foreboding, scenes such as Jaguar Paw impossibly surviving a jump off a waterfall or Seven’s child shooting out of her womb discouraged my suspension of disbelief and removed me from the world of the movie. Continue reading

Skepticism and Shadows

It took quite some time to get used to the tone of Glorious Appearing. As a liberal New Yorker without strong religious affiliations, I kept waiting for the other shoe to drop (so to speak). This can’t be serious, I kept thinking, even though I knew the premise of the series. Continue reading