Friday, October 3, 2014

The Village group 2

Esguerra-Mehta

Please share your best insights, observations, and questions here.  Between Friday evening (10/3) and Sunday evening (10/5), please post at least twice.  Think of this as an online dialogue--respond to others, make connections, support thinking, and link to big picture/argument.

20 comments:

  1. I think that the movie parallels to the story of Adam and Eve. Adam and Eve live in this garden utopia called the Garden of Eden. One day they decided to eat the fruit from the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil, and God kicked them out of the garden. The people of the village live in their own utopia as well. They are secluded from the money, greed, and hatred that they experienced in the outside world. Unlike the story of Adam and Eve, the townspeople decide that they are going to keep the secret of the outside world hidden from everyone else that is living in the town. So, none of the kids or people that were born before they moved to the woods even have any recolection of the outside world. The problems start when the things that we don't speak of invade the town. People are scared and this leads to problems like the stabbing of Lucius Hunt. The wounds that were inflicted on Lucius cause the town to want to go and get medicine from the outside villages to save Lucius. When Ivy gets back from the woods, the town's elders unanimously vote to keep the outside world a secret. Why do you think that they want to keep it a secret, and why don't they want to return to the real world?

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    1. I think they wanted to keep the outside world a secret because they have seen all the bad things that can happen, and saw that there is an opportunity to go to place and live a life that was better. I don't necessary agree with how they went about it, I think that when people reach a certain age they should be given and opportunity to chose how they want to live their life, but I understand that the elders have experienced both the good and the bad of both lives and believe that this is a better decision for everyone.

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  2. One of the most interesting things that I noticed about The Village was the different ways it related to The Crucible. The biggest thing I took away from the movie, was how when you try to avoid something, and end up sacrificing many important things just to avoid something, you end up being led directly to it. In The Crucible, they try to avoid being anything but a perfect society, the sacrifices that they make to achieve this include pushing down feelings, and conforming to one another, not allowing individuality, and also not justifying any curiosity(any thoughts that would stray from the religion). The same way they sacrifice things for perfection in The Crucible, they do in The Village. The people of the village sacrificed all of the good things in the world to try and avoid all of the bad things. In both examples, it is shown that when they take the road to avoid something, they end u becoming exactly what they attempted to avoid. In The Crucible, they wanted everyone to be perfect people that never committed sin, but yet they ended up committing a very large sin as a community by killing innocent people and destroying the morals of their town. The same thing ends up happening in The Village, in an attempt to protect innocence and keep fear from harvesting in the town, they actually end up isolating those that are different and discouraging curiosity. From their sacrifices to protect innocence, people also end up dying. In an attempt to abandon fear and crime, they ended up fueling fear and crime. I also find it so interesting what each of these movies reveal about the relationship between fear, ignorance, and power, and how one almost cant exist without the other.

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    1. Interesting thoughts! I think what you're saying can relate to many modern day events. How do you propose, as a society, to avoid the avoidance that is the root of these problems?

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  3. I thought The Village and The Crucible were both similar and different. Both societies had an element of fear set by the church or the elders. I found it funny that in both The Crucible and The Village the church and the elders were not truthful with the rest of society and yet they were the most well respected people in the town. Their societies have put their trust in the leaders, and these leaders realize the power that they have. I feel the society in The Village was much freer in the way that people could be themselves and their lifestyle was one that was free of greed, money, and things like that, where in The Crucible, no one was safe and everyone was ready to sell out the person next to them, the keep themselves safe. Another connection I made was that the Elders in the Village and Abigail and the girls in The Crucible both were able to act and express true emotions and actions to convince others of what they were saying. The Elders went through so much trouble to stage every "attack" from the things we don't speak of, just to scare the village. One line I thought was important was when Ivy says " I see the world, just not the way you see it". This is the whole reason her father and the elders let her go, she was the only one who could go to the towns and get medicine and not see the truth. She wouldn't see what the elders were hiding from. Heartache is a part of life, and even starting a new life in a new society could not hide that fact.

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    1. Beth, I completely agree with you as that heartache is a part of life and can never be escaped. You talked about how even though the elders and the church lie to the society, they are still the most respected and most trusted, how do you think this reflects on our society today? What are the producers/authors trying to tell us about our own world?

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  4. I feel like Ivy and Lucius are the equivalent of John and Elizabeth. Lucius was smart and saw past some of the secrecy of the town. He was also willing to risk himself in order to save the others. John and Elizabeth, after working through the things that had originally come between them, had a strong love for each other, similarly to Lucius and Ivy. Noah would have almost been the Abigail of the story, creating the chaos and insanity, because of his jealousy and love.
    However, I also feel that while there are many similarities between The Village and the Crucible, the two are difficult to compare because of the differences in the conclusion. The Village leaves hope for Lucius and Ivy’s love and for the future of the experiment altogether, while The Crucible ends so harshly, with the deaths and desolation.

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    1. I think you make a great point. I think that both of the couples work together. One part of the couple is more there to be viewed by the public eye. The other side is more the person who actually does the "big" sacrifice. Both of them are equally important because one needs to be shown to the public. I don't think that they would work as well if they did not do this as a couple.

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  5. In The Village, the older generation uses fear of the fake “creatures” to keep the younger generation ignorant of the outside world. They genuinely believe that a 19th century life is better than a modern life, and they impose that belief on their descendants. This brings up an important moral question: To what extent is it acceptable for leaders to deceive their followers in order to promote what the leaders see as the “common good”?
    The Village does not end with the same level of disaster as The Crucible because Mr. Walker is reasonable. He realizes that maintaining the experiment is less important than saving Lucius’ life. He overrules the other elders when they say otherwise. He explains, “We would no longer be able to call ourselves innocent. That is what we have protected here-innocence!”
    This story is similar to the short story The Goldfish by Eleanor Farjeon. In that story, a goldfish is perfectly content in a fishbowl because he has never seen an ocean. Happiness and desire are completely relative. You can’t desire something if you don’t know it exists, and if you don’t have unfulfilled desires, you are content. The concept that “ignorance is bliss” really does work, at least until you realize what you were cheated out of.
    The Village also demonstrates the power that one generation has over the next generation. If parents are very restrictive, their children will be suddenly disillusioned when they leave home. This happens in The Village, except that it happens to the whole society, and not just one family.
    This may be a wild guess, but I think this story may be an allegory for very reclusive countries. For example, North Koreans know very little of the truth about the rest of the world. Therefore, they don’t oppose their government, even though the country is plagued by famine and oppression.

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  6. I don't think there is a substantial difference in who holds the power in The Crucible and The Village. In The Crucible, the young girls hold the power, gained by telling lies. In The Village, it is the Elders, who fed lies to the townspeople. Both groups used fear to keep anyone from questioning their position and credibility. The fear used in The Village manifested in a physical sense - as "those we don't speak of". In The Crucible it appeared as fear of the unknown, as a fear of punishment from God or Satan. These fears made the brave characters - Ivy and John Proctor - push back against the pretenses and falsehoods of their respective towns. Love (Ivy's for Lucius, Proctor for justice [?]) spurred them, as well as the quick approach of death.

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  7. I think Josie's first post is quite interesting. Often, when we try too hard to avoid something, we only make it worse. I think this is a difficult problem to get around, though. How can you avoid something without trying to avoid it? It’s a circular problem. I’m also a little unsure about how Ivy can see people’s “color” when she’s blind. I am quite intrigued by the idea that maybe life in the 19th century was better than it is now. We assume that progress and innovation are always a good thing, but do they really make people happier? We don’t notice that society is changing because it happens one step at a time. I don’t feel that much has changed from 2004 to 2014 because I lived through it, but if someone told me in 2004 about what the world would be like ten years later, I would have been quite surprised. The passage of time is, for the most part, inevitable. It is very difficult to maintain an old-fashioned lifestyle in a modern world, no matter how much you want to. The town elders here managed to find a way, though.

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  8. The VIllage is mostly about ignorance of power with a few other themes mixed in. What did it say about society today vs then when the big plot twist was revealed? Scapegoating and fear of the unknown are both used as devices when the villagers blame livestock deaths on coyotes, even though they managed to skin the livestock and not take any of the meat. They were too afraid of the unknown, so they used their ignorance to protect them. It was peculiar that their turning point for realization was later on when they noticed that coyotes could not reach high enough on the doors to be making the red marks. The other thing that bothers me is: What was Lucius' color to Ivy??? Was the audience supposed to infer it a specific way, or is it up to speculation?

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    1. I didn't really make the connection between the Crucible and The Village with the scapegoats, but I like how you explained that the scapegoats in the Village was blaming the coyotes for the death of the livestock.

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    2. Kate, I know we discussed it today, but I totally forgot about Lucius' color. I was wondering the same thing during the movie. I think we were meant to infer about this (like we did in the seminar). I also like what you observe about the villager's realization about the coyotes.

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  9. I think it is interesting how the bad color is the color red, when the color of blood is red. I think that this suggests that there is some bad in everyone. However I am surprised that this didn't cause more conflict in the town when someone was hurt. Why wouldn't they be suspicious of someone who bleeds red? It does make sense though in this society why they burry their dead. I think this is symbolic to how they burry the bad color, so as not to attract the "things we don't speak of." The burying of the dead is to have closure, this could suggest that the "things they don't speak of" are also grief and suffering.

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  10. Also, there's an idea I've been trying to pin down about Ivy. She's blind, and therefore will not be naturally prejudiced. She cannot see what is red and therefore can not be repelled from those things. My grandmother is blind and recently posted on Facebook about how as a child, her parents questioned her about a black boy she was hanging out with. My grandma stated that she did not know the the boy was black, and she did not care. She saw him as he was, simply another person.

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  11. I think that it is interesting that blood is red. When Ivy and Noah have blood on themselves, I think that symbolizes how there is the "bad" color in all of us that we cannot help. In both of the Crucible and the Village, curiosity killed the cat. Whenever a character gets close to discovering something knew or unknown, they wind up dead or seriously injured.

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  12. Being an allegory, The Village has many motifs, themes and symbols throughout. I'd like to talk about the moment in the woods when Ivy breaks her stick and picks up a rock instead. From the moment we meet her, we know she's intelligent and overall seems to have a better perspective of the community than anyone else. She's a protector and a teacher. Her stick is her eyes. I believe Ivy becomes stronger because of this action. She is almost taking up arms. It's a crucial point in her character development. From here, rather than run, she forms a plan, and takes action. Before she is a representation of blind faith, and in turn, she comes to have faith in herself.

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