BotSW Long Form Essay

Eric Xin
Sarah Boyd
7 May 2018

Beasts of the Southern Wild essay DRAFT 2

Beasts of the Southern Wild is a film set in a bayou community called Bathtub segregated from the rest of society. Closely speaking, it is about Hushpuppy’s personal struggle with the world and eventually coming to terms with it despite being a young child. It is a story of emotion and human connection. There are lots of conflicts being portrayed such as the one between Hushpuppy and her father as well as the one between Bathtub and the city. There are also conflicts “outside” of the film such as her mother leaving them and climate change. These conflicts allow her to forge her own understanding of the world and determination to understand her own place in the universe.

The movie begins with shots of worn trailers and heaps of junk and debris. Our first impression of Bathtub is one of poverty. Very quickly, our narrator introduces us to the Bathtub community. Truthfully, Bathtub is a humble community that is just cut off from the rest of the world by a levee. They are very connected to the earth and enjoy life their own way different from those in the city. They view their life as quite free and self-sufficient since they raise their own animals and catch their own seafood. Another noticeable aspect of the community is their strong conviction against the city (although this could be alternatively interpreted instead as a strong attachment to their home). Wink himself seems to look down upon city life (which is ironic because the city folk can literally look down on them from their tall buildings). Even when their homes are destroyed, they still look forward to rebuilding their community. Consequently, the spirit of the Bathtubbians also manifests itself in Hushpuppy.

The conflict between Bathtub and the city can be demarcated by the levee, with the two sides representing different things. In Bathtub there is the self-reliance and closeness to nature. On the other hand, the city folk is viewed as cowardly hiding behind a levee keeping out the water (biased since the film never takes the perspective of city dwellers). When Bathtub is flooded, the city doesn’t provide any support. Only when the levee is bombed does the city take action but it is only a forced evacuation. This makes the city seem selfish as if motivated by wanting to stay dry. When Hushpuppy was in the inadequate hospital, she remarks that “it looked more like a fish tank with no water”. Some people might view the conflict as a portrayal of poverty verses wealth, but this seems not the focus since from that perspective the film would be glorifying poverty. In the end, by being more than just a home, Bathtub is the background of our protagonist from where the film begins her characterization.

In Bathtub, the children are taught to be able to live for themselves. All throughout the film we see this concept being repeated. Near the beginning during Miss Bathsheba’s lesson, the children are taught about nature. The aurochs themselves are introduced and given the impression of savage predators. Icecaps will melt, some species will go extinct. Times will change and they should learn how to survive with it. This is also relevant to Bathtub way of life. Rather than going to a convenience store for all their needs, they need to be able to take care of themselves with only what little they have. When Wink goes missing for a while, we see that Hushpuppy has the ability to live independently despite being very young. She even has her own trailer. From a depressing perspective, parents teach their kids how to live for the eventuality that one day they will no longer be there to take care of them. Later when Hushpuppy goes searching for her mother, she meets a cook who says “I can’t take care of nobody but myself.” These reoccurring messages are things that we will all eventually have to relate to.

Life is not just about finding food to eat though. It is also about cultivating a mindset. Hushpuppy narrates the film and this allows us to see how her upbringing tempered her worldview. Low shots emphasize the focus on her. Hushpuppy finds her situation similar to the aurochs of the past and grows closer to them as a result, despite the enormous time gap. The aurochs are a species that became extinct due to a combination of climate change and over-hunting. She too lives in a period of climate change, the immediate matter being the storm that is coming to Bathtub. In the face of these crises, Hushpuppy interacts and connects with those around her in an exploration of her identity. The turning point of her emotions happens when she knows her dad is dying and goes in search of her mother. The lessons she learns is never directly explained but becomes our own through our own interpretation. Finally, she confronts and leaves the aurochs whom she considers as companions for walking alongside with her. Thanks to everyone, Hushpuppy has grown up to recognize life as in harmony with nature.

Weather has always been used as an important element in movies and it is no different in this film. A notable example is when Wink first collapses and it is juxtaposed with iceberg collapsing. When Hushpuppy says “I think I broke something,” we sense that she feels a personal link with what is happening in the world. When she affects the people around her negatively, she also negatively affects the world. This is a crucial point that allows us to see the upcoming storm, a critical driving force for the plot, as something more than just a storm. From her point of view, the storm may as well be the end of the world and that she did something really wrong. Bathtub gets flooded by the storm because the levee holds the water back. The flood kills all life and it only justifies her primitive understanding of nature as being violent, like near the beginning when the aurochs have been portrayed by her imagination as fierce and brutal. In an attempt to fix the world and undo the damage that she feels responsibly for, she directly participates in the bombing of the levee. With this, it can be seen how important the weather is to Hushpuppy’s growth of perspective on the nature of things.

The largest influence on Hushpuppy is ultimately her own father. Hushpuppy’s own distinct tenacity originates from Wink’s toughness, and the film does a remarkable job making those qualities stand out in them. Our initial impression of Hushpuppy’s father can be described as drunk or abusive. However, we know that in his heart that he truly cares for Hushpuppy deeply. When the storm hits he says “it’s my job to keep you from dying.” Sometimes his actions may seem like minor neglect. On the other hand, it can be interpreted, in the context of Wink’s portended death, as him preparing Hushpuppy for independence while also reducing the pain that his passing will bring her. e seems the toughest in Bathtub. He stays behind during the storm. Throughout the movie we routinely see scenes where he peps Hushpuppy up.

Beasts of the Southern Wild is a complex narrative told through the perspective of Hushpuppy, a young child. It is a story of change and human interaction, while cleverly bringing in larger reflective thoughts to tell a lesson. Such lessons can be applied to different circumstances, allowing the movie to connect on a personal level to a wider audience. Each well-placed scene and conflict guides us to form our own interpretation of the film. Catalyzed with Hushpuppy’s unforgettable spirit, Beasts of the Southern Wild forms a unique impression on each of those who watch it.

Sources of ideas:

Film Analysis of Beasts of the Southern Wild: Beats in the Cinematic Wild

Disability short reflection

Raymond Carver’s Cathedral is told through the first-person-perspective of our narrator. In the beginning, he has misconceptions about the blind, but as the story progresses he slowly “opens his eyes”.

The narrator starts off with describing his apprehension towards the blind man who would be visiting. He is antagonistic towards the idea of a stranger living in his house. The stranger being blind only makes the unknown seem even more unknown. However, our narrator warms up to Robert as he feels pity for him and tries to make him feel more comfortable.

In the story, the narrator’s pity for Robert comes from two main sources: his blindness and his recent wife’s death. These two factors together seems to intensify his pity for Robert. Perhaps influenced by his wife’s actions (in that she wants Robert to be as comfortable as possible), our narrator also tries his best to accommodate the blind man.

[insert paragraph]

The narrator’s lack of understanding of the blind is reflected in his relationship with his wife (when he says that he doesn’t understand her poetry). Yet, at the end of the short story, we see that he opens up Robert. Perhaps after this our narrator can also improve his relationship with his wife. If we were to draw conclusions from this, it would be that meeting new people and getting to know them might help our other relationships too.

The narrator admits that his impressions of blindness mainly comes from watching movies. On the other hand, his wife maintains correspondence with a blind person through listening and recording tapes. These are two very different mediums of communication that form distinct understandings of blindness, much like the difference between a black-and-white TV and a color TV.

Later, the narrator attempts to describe a cathedral using words but finds difficulty doing so. He seems much more comfortable drawing it with Robert though, even if he is not a good artist. This is because the best way to communicate is through direct contact. Which is how most blinds get around the world. The narrator begins to feel the connection with Robert when he starts drawing blind. (and then our narrator will divorce his wife for Robert. a true love story.)

All in all, this short story is about a disgruntled man who opens up. I forgot to analyze the disability which was supposed to be the point of this reflection. The blind man is introduced as a love interest to our narrator. I forgot

Reflection %6e1ef3c7

Lone Ranger and Tonto Fistfight in Heaven is a collection of short stories that paints consistent and multifaceted pictures into Native American life with moving prose. In the introduction to the book, he claims that it is a “thinly disguised memoir”, letting the reader know that these stories are close to reality. By taking perspectives from all different walks of reservation life, it makes the short stories seem more representative of a majority of Native Americans.

The most apparent motifs are alcohol and dancing. All of these tie in to reservation life and Native American identity. However, those things are not so simple that they could be described and understood using simple stereotypes.

But the essence of the story doesn’t lie in alcohol. For Alexie, it was the characters, their struggles or dreams. Those are the things that resonate with our lives too. Powerful, because of Alexie’s “lyrical” prose. Powerful, because it was pertinent to your life too.

What are dreams? The most dominant dream is the characters’ Native American identity. It could be seen in the actions of the teenagers, imagining that they warriors in rebellious actions, or their faith in the basketball. It could be seen by how every sticks to tradition, and also in their stereotypical appearances. But it could also be seen in alcoholism, as an escape from their loss of native american identity, evidenced through nightmares and visions.

Dreams create struggles and struggles create dreams, as seen from the message of “trying to survive” that most characters have. I sometimes ask myself, what’s the difference between us and them? Deep racial discrimination. And perhaps… different dreams. But still life nonetheless.

First reflection on the Afric-American Picture Gallery

The “Afric-American Picture Gallery” is a series of papers authored by Ethiop, a pseudoname, and published in the Anglo-African Magazine of 1859. Contrary to its title, Ethiop’s essays do not come with any illustrations whatsoever (perhaps he espouses the need for increased visibility of black art). Instead, it is a collection of descriptions of imaginary pieces of art and a mish-mash of different genres of stories. But it matters little whether or not there are any illustrations, because for Ethiop’s purposes, art is just a medium for putting forth ideas. By following the critic and interpretations from the narrator, we are drawn into an argument and view that Ethiop composes.

Let’s take a look at, for example, “Picture IX. – Mount Vernon”. The narrator begins with a tirade about the popularity and prevalence of “Mount Vernon” in American society then. It is a eminent symbol much like our American flag today. Such a picture of Mount Vernon should no doubt be drawn with much patriotism and glory for it was “once the Home of the Father of his Country”. Yet with the convenience of the picture being imagined, Ethiop is able to distort this glorified symbol and present his own stark and shocking view. He describes upon the decay of the house. The subsequent observation of the depiction slavery, especially with Washington’s very own bones for sale, suggests strongly that slavery is the cause of this decay. With this, Ethiop has called upon the patriotism of Americans to effect a change into their thinking.

Another perplexing aspect of Ethiop’s papers is the writing style. He begins the papers with a series of descriptions of a few pictures. Then, the narrator goes on an adventure before going back to the gallery to take part in a titillating debate.