Warm Bodies – Novel Vs. Film

Warm Bodies the movie does not follow the exact path as within the novel. This is something we see regularly with novels being made into movies. The most important piece of reasoning is time restraint. With limitations on time usage with making a movie leads for many gapped areas of lost information that was present in the novel. This not only takes away from the plot line, but in many cases makes readers angry and they find the movie way less expressive and interesting. Warm bodies faced this problem, but at the same time the pieces taken from the novel made a new plot line that still grabbed viewers interests. The plus side of limitations opens up a new view to the readers who fell in love with the book, there was still a surprise aspect to the movie because the scenes were not all integrated into the movie giving it a new twist; for example many movies with end in a different way.

One important piece of the novel that was left out was the aspect that R gains comfort and understanding towards Julie from the brains of her boyfriend Perry. Perry was killed by R, and we do see that he is able to gain memories of his past which helps R’s living interactions—and later on we realize that Perry and R grow a connect and he helps him to transform back into his human state and become a non zombie. However, the novel emphasizes many important parts of Julie that R recovers in the memories that he uses to gain a connect. The lack of memories involving Julie makes the brain less interesting, just a way to gain memories but no reasoning behind their connection.

One other important aspect of R that is left out of the movie is his actual appearance. At the beginning of the book he explains to the readers that being a zombie means having no recollection of your past life. R doesn’t even remember his name, nonetheless information from his past. However, the only connection he has to his past in the novel is his attire, which consists of a red tie, black work pants, and a gray shirt—however in the movie he is wearing jeans, a t-shirt, and a red hoodie. Overall the color palette stays semi consistent but his past occupation is nowhere near similar. One a supposed clerk and now dressing like a kid—possible student and or laid back younger man. Swaying the one and only remembrance of a past life separated the story right from the start, which to me as to have read the book makes me a little angry that they changed the one and only thing R had to look back on his unknown past.

Overall my first difference was extremely important because through the text the explanations of each bite of the brain gave R this unimaginable feel, insight on others relationships, and a way to connect with Julie. This was such an important part to me that I enjoyed reading in the book and it did not give me the same satisfaction during the movie. My second different only involved R’s clothing, to some it might not be as much as a distraction but to me its what defined R straight out of the first chapter—the only piece of information he carried from his past life. In all, novels made into films will never be able to include all the same information which can either be a plus or a minus. In this case I saw the plus side because even though it followed the novels story it still had its own twist, which gave me excitement because I didn’t expect everything.

Work Cited

  • Marion, Isaac. Warm Bodies: A Novel. New York: Atria, 2011. Print.
  • Warm Bodies. Dir. Jonathan Levine. Perf. Nicholas Hoult, Teresa Palmer, Dave Franco. Key Films ; Cecchi Gori Home Video, 2013. DVD.
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Mental Illness Unit ( Marbles & American Splendor)

Metal Illness was the topic of the unit for this section of the semester. This topic played a huge influence within the characters lives in the pieces we read and or watched. Ellen Forney, narrator of Marbles, expressed her daily hardships of dealing with her own mental illness—Bi-Polar/Depression. Forney’s graphic novel includes her desire of being accepted (sexual relationships), her meetings with her doctor/therapist, mood swings, journey through different medications, and her depressed states. She travels between mania, depression, and multi personalities. However, this mental illness is one of thousands—Harvey Pekar, another narrator of his own story in American Splendor also faced a Mental illness. Throughout the movie Harvey never verbally accepted or obtain the knowledge of his illness—but rather left it to the audience to pick up on. Harvey dealt with depression throughout his whole life—opening scene of the movie he was only a child during Halloween and when it came time to trick-or-treat he neglected the holiday and refused to play dress up. This opening scene marked his careless attitude towards life. Harvey’s construction of comics, dealing with his everyday life drew attention and eventually a huge audience—he highlighted his everyday struggles of a boring clerk job, messy house, at one time being left by his wife, struggle to contain a new found lover, developing of a small family, etc. His points could be related to a large number of people, which is why his comics being inserted into the movie American Splendor was a hit.

Graphic Novels in connected with Mental illnesses to me work terrifically. This is because people on the outside of the illness or even people who don’t understand their own illness can find closure and understanding in something other than text. The graphic novel that Ellen Forney constructed about her own life shows people with or without a mental illness that it is most certainly an everyday struggle/occurrence and even though it doesn’t seem as big as something like Cancer—it physically and mentally is draining and should not be signed off as being “sad”. Visually, graphic novels can seem confusing but in many ways they are easier to help communicate issue without words. In Marbles there are many pages that have doodles, squiggly word boxes, stars in Forney’s eyes, and very cartoon like drawling’s—these pieces are part of her mania stages which can be distinguished as a reader because of their imagination influences which are heavily separated from the parts where she is meeting with her therapist and the boxes of the events are very organized and clean cut. Overall having the ability to see how she views her own life on paper in a graphic form helps one understand how her mind is working on and off of the medication—and also depending on which medication she is taking at that time.

Some moments in either Marbles or American Splendor, benefit hugely with the ability to narrate with multiple images and texts. For instance with a large amount of the population not having this illness it can be hard for them to relate, so having a few pictures teamed with texts makes it more visually informative. Also if someone who is undiagnosed or has been diagnosed it helps them find assurance that they are not the only ones. In Marbles, Forney goes through a large assortment of medication throughout her journey—nearing the end of the book Forney explains, “Bipolar disorder is difficult to treat. Finding the right medication can take a long time, so bipolars may list our med histories proudly-like merit badges” (Forney, 181). In addition to this text she illustrated an image of her holding a large piece of paper with her so called “merit badges” aka images of the different pills and their names that she has been prescribed throughout her illness. This image underlines that the different medication she was prescribe to was not a joke—visually it helps highlight her long and CONTINUING journey. This illustration to me helps me understand the actual dilemma and why her mood swings and day-to-day personality continue differently throughout the pages. American Splendor used the illustrations of Harvey throughout the movie. Seeing a living person and hearing them doesn’t necessarily mean you can see what they are feeling on the inside. Having the comics overlap the actor who is playing Harvey illustrates his actual emotions. For instance within his comics he is portrayed as an old man, sometimes very angry, a man that has many squiggles and seems to smell, etc. These illustrations of Harvey in comic form link his emotional side to his illness. On film Harvey is a sluggish man, not very nicely dress, slobbish, dirty, etc.—however his character never changes on film because that is how he constantly is in living form—but with the overlap of comic illustrations of his feelings on the inside, you can then relate as a audience to his actual emotions.

In conclusion graphic novels connected with mental illnesses is a great idea and helps shed light on how those affected actually feel internally. Not all illnesses and or diseases are represented on the outside of the body, so it is hard for one to relate with. With the addition of illustration it helps open up the realm of emotions on the inside so people on the outside can physically understand others hardships.

Work Cited

  • American Splendor. Dir. Shari Springer Berman and Robert Pulcini. Perf. Paul Giamatti, Hope Davis, Harvey Pekar, Joyce Brabner. New Line Cinema, 2003. DVD.
  • Forney, Ellen. Marbles: Mania, Depression, Michelangelo, and Me: A Graphic Memoir. New York: Gotham, 2012. Print.
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Research Proposal

For my research proposal I would like to combine the performances of W;t, Angels in America, and The Cancer Journals. Through these three pieces I would like to connect on their similarities of Loneliness, Rejection, and their differences in Society (book worm, gay, black lesbian). I would like to dig deeper within the concepts of how disease sets people apart—for example in community based situations or even close relationships, how the lack of communication can slim chances of living, and why society connects groups of people to specific diseases—Aids=Gay Community and or Breast Cancer=Women. Throughout all of my research and topics I would like find the underlining reason as to why healthy people start to neglect and separate from the sick, because as we all know when you are sick you need the most help. Does labeling a disease with a certain group of people bring comfort and relief to the “So Called” healthy? Justifying that they never should receive the illness? If so, why does this mental state of labeling give them justice, because as we all know we are all prone to obtaining disease—these sick people did not choose to carry the cell or let in an immune killer.

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Warm Bodies

Zombie– a human body in decay, a body that thirst for its own kinds blood. In retrospect can we honestly label them human? They hunt our kind and take our lives to fulfill their needs of brains and pulsing blood. In the book, Warm Bodies, Julie questioned, “You’ve never done this before, have you? Take a human home alive” (Marion, 42). She is referring this question to R, a zombie, who is exceedingly different then your normal zombie. She stresses the word human, only because she sees no similarities between the two kinds. However, R finds her question exceedingly rude, he looks at the difference as “Living” and “Dead”. I suppose in times like war you see the same idea, hunting the other pray. But in this light it’s between for example the Americans Vs. French not Living Vs. Dead.

Knowing that the body is mainly consistent of water, why hunt us. We don’t have as much meat as animals, and killing ones own is quite brutal. Being a zombie and have no sense of direction, no sense of compassion can surely answer that question. But why do they thrive for the memories from the brain? Reliving someone else’s life. Does it fulfill the lost memories of their own life? Simply they can’t even remember their names. R killed Julie’s boyfriend and throughout the book you realize that he kept the brain in his pocket for later. He prizes the brain as almost a sort of drug. Not necessarily to get high but to feel sensations that he cannot ensure on his own. Overall, in a sense he is addicted to reliving situations that Julie and her boyfriend had, and goes so far as to denying a piece to his friend M. “I turn my head and kiss Julie. We make love their on the blanket on the stadium floor…”(Marion, 26). This is a piece of memory that R obtains from a chunk of the brain tissue, his addiction.

Why Julie? Bringing her back, but covered in black blood will hide her scent from the other zombies, but why not leave her. R is nonetheless bringing her back to an even more dangerous place where all the zombies reside. She is living within a jet, with a lack of food, lack of social life, and seemingly held captive. R is exceedingly nice to Julie and finds old food that is her favorite, tried to speak and converse, but at the same time is munching on her boyfriends brain to feel a closer connection with her. Julie seems like a good asset to have around, she makes R seem more and more less of a zombie. Less groaning—more talking, less pointless bumping into things and zoning out—more adventures—etc.

With the amazing textual evidence that R can speak fluently with educated vocab, why can’t he hold an actual verbal conversation? Her groans and skips words and talks semi like a cave man. R narrates the book, and he does highlight his hardship of conversing, but why is it so tricky. Maybe because he is a zombie and has no salvia, or possibly no tongue, and no teeth? These can all be indications of why he struggles. But my confusion also leads into—He confesses that zombie’s cant read, so can they write? Because he is narrating the book, and because he is narrating we can all come to the fact that he is somewhat educated, so with the lack of knowledge of past life how does he know ultimately how to be? …

“Infected by zombie is just an arbitrary, inescapable, and devastating as infection by plaque”(Boluk and Lenz, 135). This quote was taken from an article by Boluk and Lenz, and connects Zombies to Plaques. Plaques are extremely devastating and can take over groups of people and end up with numerous deaths. The movement of the plaque or illness can be related to zombies in a sense of physically your body is decaying but also in the sense that the zombies go out to attack groups of living people and untimely devourer them. In both sense a population can be infected and destroyed.

 

Work Cited

  •  Boluk, Stephanie and Wylie Lenz. “Infection, Media, and Capitalism” 10.2 The Journal for Early Modern Cultural Studies (Fall/Winter 2010): 126-64.
  •  Marion, Isaac. Warm Bodies. New York: Atria, 2011. Print.
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American Splendor

The film, American Splendor, took on a twist with introverting graphic images within the narrative. The film dealt with more than just the involvement of characters playing roles that were made from a comic book, which was the doing of Harvey Pekar. His story was a combination of his graphic images, the real like characters replaying his story, and himself and other actual people who were part of his stories and close friends. A very three-dimensional viewing of storytelling.

In Meyer’s article she explained that “this documentation-meets-narrative-meets-comic-book”. Overall this involvement of graphic images and comic book writing brought life to the dull life of Harvey who was no more than a lonely depressed man who eventually found love and then was hit with cancer. Some doodles of himself pop of regularly and seem as a sense of conscious and created a parallel of communication from doodle to an actual living person. This unusual presence is what grabs the attention of the audience and keeps them entertained, which is what Forney does with her different types of comics—mania influenced and structured.

“ The resulting film—about the life and work of a file clerk who finds love, family, and a creative life by documenting his everyday existence in a series of comic books—moves seamlessly between biopic, documentary, and animated comic book to create a new form — [phantasmagorical]” (Meyers, 41). These three different levels of communication and interpretation can all be found within the film, which significantly separates it from a graphic novel like Forney’s. Forney uses the comic book doodles to signify her own physical states, which are represented through the organization, spacing on pages, and the mania. Involving not only graphic images makes the piece easier to relate to, because you then have three outlets to connect with instead of one.

The film takes time to adapt with, because overall it is a new way to conduct film. Opening up with comic book boxes, moving into acted out scenes of Harvey’s daily life, and then adding in the actual Harvey who is on a white set with which seems to be the filming crew behind the scenes. Being able to hear from the actual Harvey as the film goes on lets the audience draw a bigger picture.

Moving from different scenes of different medium but conducting one single film in a fluent time of Harvey’s lifespan is more than intriguing. With a graphic novel you find excitement with what will be in the next box or on the next page but with a film like this you find excitement in the whole being because its out of your comfort zone of film watching. It combines a graphic novel to film and background thoughts—boom.

Combining all three elements can make for a tricky film to understand but it also makes for an interesting one where your mind feels the need to stay focused. Interesting/unusual is what gave this film the volume of popularity and the want of media and fans to interact with Harvey. We are always looking for something new, to make something different and that’s exactly what the producers did with this film. A very personal life story of Harvey that ended with his loneliness being done away with, he gained love and desired attention from fans, coworkers, family, etc.

 Work Cited

  •  American Splendor. Dir. Berman, Shari and Robert Pulcini. Fine Line Features, 2004. DVD.
  •  Meyer, Andrea. “The Strange and Wonderful World of American Splendor” Independent Film & Video Monthly (Sep 2003):41-43.
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Apocalyptic vs. Millennial

In an apocalyptical viewing society the positive figures are looked at to be wishing for the millennium. A millennium is a span of thousands of years, can be related to a new start, whereas an apocalyptical time can be related to disaster and cut offs. Throughout the HBO movie Angeles In America, and the chapter on “The Millennium and Postmodern Memory” in the book Approaching the Millennium, you see a ton of different altercations with characters and their viewpoints towards the future that branch off from their present situations.

One of the main characters throughout the movie is a man named Roy. He is a very highly known political figure who is close with Joe. Roy has a hard time with coming out of the closet and accepting the person he truly is. During the scene when he is meeting with his doctor, the doctor has some bad news. The news shocks Roy and he immediately says his diagnosis, Aids, was absurdly chosen. He confesses that he is heterosexual, not homosexual, and the disease Aids is only linked to the gay community, which would exclude him.

Roy explains to the doctor that, “ [I am a] heterosexual who fucks with guys” (HBO Film; Angles In America). Overall, this is his initial fighting case to ride himself of the threat of having picked up Aids. He comes back with the fighting idea that his disease is not Aids at all, but a form of liver cancer. Seeing his reaction you can point out his insecurities, hopelessness of being himself, and overall fear of viewpoints that would be directed to him for choosing same sex relations as his sexual choice.

Roy overrules his case, and does not connect his illness to Aids. This is a way of rejection, eliminating the bad out of your life and seeing towards a brighter future. Roy, on one hand is dabbling into the millennial point of view of better days to come instead of counting the days you have left. Neglect and cutting of a disease that he says he would never contract is his way of saying my body is healthy and I will not be labeled to lower my social standing in the public eye. On the other hand neglecting who he actual is, a homosexual with a serious case of Aids is a way to shut off positivity. Deep down, without accepting ones being, you constantly fear for what is going to happen next. Non-acceptance in oneself and non-acceptance in a disease you most definitely carry is overall a way of oneself shying away for what is coming next—apocalypse. Destruction as you know it, death.

“Gays, of course, have formed a particular and recurrent target of apocalyptic discourse: sex between men has long been associated with end times” (Kruger, 179). End times are the cut off of continuation, death. Aids, being an immune system killer and rapidly spreading disease that has formed first within the gay community, they have been known to face apocalyptic experiences. Not only with being an outcast in society, a person known to carry a dreadful disease, but also a humiliation which makes them feel non confident. All these sectors in the gay community limit them to deep down feel acceptance, which is why apocalyptical occurrences are numerous in their lives. Dreading, fear, and being unsure are all key to describing an apocalypse, there terms can also be used towards homosexuals who are not fully confident with their life choice because in many eyes it’s a sin.

Overall the movie and the book connect with the viewpoints and life choice of many of the characters. Facing hard times such as figuring one self out, Aids, and or separation in a relationship are present throughout the movie. These situations are highlighted with ideas that the future looks dreadful and lonely which leads to an apocalyptic view, end times. On the positive side Harper sees it as “When the Millennium comes…the fountain of Bethesda will flow again…we will bathe ourselves clean” (Kruger, 182). This positivity in a brighter future leaves Harper to move on, to want a new star at a new life. Ultimately eliminating the end times, because in her mind those are not considered a part of new life, but a wall in the wall of discovering happiness on the other side.

 Work Cited

  • Geis, Deborah R., and Steven F. Kruger. “The Millenium and Postmodern Memory.” Approaching the Millenniums: Essays on Angels in America. Ann Arbor: U of Michigan, 1997. 151-69. Print.
  • Mike Nichols. Dir. Perf. Al Pacino, Meryl Streep, Emma Thompson, Mary-Louise Parker, Jeffrey Wright, Justin Kirk, Ben Shenkman, Patrick Wilson. Angels in America. New York, NY: HBO Video, 2003.
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Death Before Dying

“Denial, Silence, Fear, and Fatalism have stemmed from the construction of persons living with Aids as being “Dead Before Dying””(Niehaus, 845). This incurable disease attacks the immune system, and continues to rip your body to threads. Your body continues to weaken until you lose the functions of simple tasks such as remembering. Prior, a victim of Aids understands the deadliness it contains. He begged “you’ll send me there and I won’t come back please, please”(Kushner, 50). Knowing that there is no solution, no cure, Prior knows that if he goes to the hospital the end is near, and he is nothing more than a dead man dying with no control of fate.

Aids has been known to spread like wildfire, which is why having medical knowledge is so important to keep the population award of the harmful disease, and educated on how to prevent. Within the article of South African Studies you can see the ignorance and disconnect they have about the Aids disease. This disconnect lead to many deaths, and extreme cases of it spreading. In their culture, Aids was linked to a “biological death that ends the human organism and a social death that extinguishes the person’s social identity need to coincide” (Niehaus, 848). Persons with this disease were shunned from the community and or their case hidden to protect their own dignity, which contributed to the spreading. People with the virus where not known as terminally ill but the “identification of Aid sufferers as zombies in discourses of witchcraft” (Neihaus, 848). Witchcraft was the source of all evil, and looked as if the person who received this disease was damned by God himself for wrongdoings, punished for eternity.

Heath Groups and Health Systems decided to take action in helping to prevent this incurable disease. However, the information taught was not very vital and helpful with the South African area. The members focused on “global youth culture and a positive sexuality based on romantic love, being faithful, abstinence or the using of condoms” (Neihaus, 850). This information highlighting the idea to protect oneself during intercourse, however it did not focus on the importance of testing, and limiting sex with partners. With the lack of education, information on safety of prevention, and the overall power in the area in the hands of men “the only message they received about treatment was that those who ate fruit and vegetables might prolong their lives” (Neihaus, 850).

In the South African culture “villagers perceived sex as a means for procreation, pleasure and maintaining good health — [they also took] pride in having multiple lovers” (Neihaus, 852). “Sex between spouses or regular lovers, who were immune to each other were generally deemed safe between their bodies regularly exchanged sweat, blood, odours and aura” (Neihaus, 852). Overall sex was extremely important in their society, it was normal to have multiple partners, and the partners you had were thought to be safe because you continued to share this sexual experience with them. They were ignorant to the fact that multiple partners also had multiple partners, which was the link to spreading and creating of this disease called Aids.

Treatment for the disease can in some ways be linked to how Prior was treated by his doctors, nurses, and ultimately Louis. In South Africa, the diseased persons were “[taken] as dead, they will take you as a living corpse” (Neihaus, 854). When someone in the community was infected they became shunned, separated from the community, left with little connection, left to die, and ultimately were a burden to society that nobody wanted to be associated with (including family). This disconnect was seen through Louis and Priors relationship during the course of Priors illness.

“Tell him, if he wakes up and you’re still on, tell him good-bye, tell him I had to go” (Kushner, 55). This quote from Louis highlights how he looked at Prior, as a burden, a shameful disease-carrying individual that he wanted no ties to. Having been in a relationship for years and living together, this one frightful disease tore them apart. Similar in the South African culture, the families and friends shut off connect not only to rid themselves of hardship but to protect themselves of the virus that they thought was even possibly to bread through breathing.

Overall, death before dying is a great way to explain the Aids disease. Carriers of the disease are prone to die, no chance to continue a normal life. They are usually shunned from the community, cut of from friends or family, cared for poorly by heath professionals, and become an embarrassment to themselves. With the lack of social support one hides from testing, which is the ultimate way to continue the spreading. With the fear of isolation ones tries to continue as themselves for as long as possible. However symptoms will eventually evolve and the infected person will be brought to the light. With the incurable disease lingering in your system you would rather be considered dead, because all you are is a body that is decomposing from the inside out with no chance of recovering.

Work Cited

  • Niehaus, Isak. “Journal of South African Studies” 33.4 (2007):845-860. Web.
  • Kushner, Tony. “Millenium Approaches.” Angels in America. New York: Theatre Communication Group, 2013. 1-125. Print.
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Cancer Unit Reflection

Two of the performance pieces discussed in depth throughout this unit were the play W;t by Margaret Edson and the movie The Fault In Our Stars. These two pieces shared a strong disconnect, one being associated with punishment and the other underlined a personal fate. Throughout each, the characters resembled the negative and positive sides of cancer and thus continued to transform with the disease running through their bodies.

Vivian, the main characters in W;t, was faced with the taunting disease of cancer related to a punishment. Vivian went throughout the play with having no feelings, no friendly connections of visits while in this hospital, constantly was wrapped up in her work, flashback of choosing learning over experiencing, no compassion for her students, and overall lead a lonely life with no companionship and nonetheless sex. All these negative influences in her life could have resulted as cancer being a way of punishment on her body and soul.

Jacqueline Vanhoutte, the writer of “Cancer and the Common Women in Margaret Edson’s W;t”, provides a number of examples that can relate to the punishment of cancer that was put on Vivian’s body. For instance, “she believed that being extremely smart would take care of it but she has been found out by cancer” (Vanhoutte, 396). This piece of information underlines how Vivian, being so mart, thinks she can outwit anything and or anyone but she has finally met her match, cancer. Cancer being the one thing between Vivian and success, is now her ending punishment, or in her eyes, her lack of understanding. The love of her work was so important “she reveals she started noticing in her body…a sharp pain four months prior” (Vanhoutte, 399). Vivian’s work was so important that even when her body was not feeling well, and in this case carrying a deadly disease, she continued without being checked. One last example, “Vivian’s procreative organs are taking their revenge for a lifetime of neglect”(Vanhoutte, 400). Vivian being so deeply consumed by her work led to her having no life, no companion, no time of experimenting, which makes it ironic that her cancer is associated with ovarian…something that was never given a chance to make life or see excitement.

Punishment being one thing, but fate seemed to be another cause of cancer. In the movie The Fault In Our Stars, Hazel (the main character) lived on to accomplish a life she never thought possible, her fate. Hazel almost died early on in her life, but for some reason she lived through. Throughout the movie Hazel is faced with many difficult tasks but on the bright side she finds her true love, she was finally able to experience “firsts”, found someone who understood her because he too was a cancer patient, and overall she never gave up. Being able to fight through the inevitable, Hazel seemed to be finally rewarded. Hazel met her true love August and was able to experience the life she never thought possible. Her cancer in this case, leads to many positives in her life.

Julie Deardorff, the writer of “ Optimism can help, hinder patients”, strikes an amazing discovery that can be related to Hazel’s experience and her thrive to live on. Within the article there is a part where a women facing stage four breast cancer is told by 2 out of her three doctors that she has 6 months to live. She takes her third doctors advice and continues fighting, “ I have no doubt we can get you six months, the real goal is can we get you past five years?” ( Deardorff, 4). This piece of conversation highlights the fire within the women to continue on, to face another day. This fire is also built within Hazel and also within her lover Augustus. Having found each other, two individuals with severe life threatening diseases, they finally have a concrete reason to fight…for each other. One other example that can be related to Hazel fate is within the Cancer Journals, which was written by Audre Lorde. In this journal Audre is explaining her fight with breast cancer and her disconnect from the society she thought she was once apart of. However, Audre began to find the people who meant and cared for her, other survivors/fighters. “Living for the women” (Lorde, 8), which is exactly what Audre did. This sense of connection can be found within the movie when Hazel goes to group meetings and finds Augustus and a few other companions. This group makes her feel whole, like a real person who can enjoy regular life experiences. Overall the connection and fire within drives her task to fight, which is why her fate is so sweet and worth it.

Overall these two performances land on opposite sides of the scale. Punishment Vs. Fate, Negative Vs. Positive, Death Vs. Life. Vivian puts her work before herself whereas Hazel puts herself aside and lets others into her life to help shape and brighten the darkness. Cancer is a scary and painful disease but in reality the ending to it is the same, death. But the ending to a normal life is also death. The way to live out the time is to experience and to live in the moment. To travel, find love, connect, etc. By putting yourself second, with or without a disease, you will never be happy. The point of life is to take the punches and keep moving.

Work Cited

  •  Lorde, Audre. The Cancer Journals. Argyle, NY: Spinsters, Ink, 1980. 1-15.Print.
  • Edson, Margaret. W;t. New York: Faber and Faber, Inc., 1999. Print.
  • Deardorff, Julie.”Optimism Can Help, Hinder Patients.” Chicago Tribune. 23 Sept 2010. Chicagotribune.com. Web.
  • Vanhoutte, Jacqueline. “Cancer and the Common Woman in Margaret Edson’s W;t.”  Comparative Drama 36 (Fall 2002/2003): 391-410.
  • The Fault In Our Stars. Dir. Josh Boone. Perf. Shailene Woodley and Ansel Elgort. 20th Century Fox, 2014. DVD.
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Ebola & Aids Share The Same Shame

Ebola, extremely similar to Aids, opened up the first scene in the film, And The Band Played On. Ebola is a disease that many people in my generation can understand first hand considering the outbreak the past year in the United States. The news was painted with cases and the reasoning’s behind the outbreak. Having Ebola as a starting point in the film made it easier to understand the isolation, lack of treatment, fear, and rapidness of spreading that are all key components within Aids.

The opening of And The Band Played On, started with oversized cream-colored SUVs with “World Healthcare Organization” logos entering an abandoned shelter of some sort. These researchers were looking for their doctor friend who was undergoing studies of an unknown disease, now called Ebola. The researchers were engulfed in space suit looking attire with breathing masks. This not only set the mood of the movie but it opened your eyes to the fact that this rapid disease was extremely life threatening and precautions were mandatory. Bodies were lined up and everyone within the community was dying off or dead, including the doctor.

This disease, Ebola, depicted in the film underscores the concerns of lack of treatments, rapidness of spread, fear, and the desire of individuals to isolate the problem so it can no longer continue. Further within the movie another rapidly attacking disease is taking hold of lives within the California area. This disease is extremely hard to detect, research, and find a cure for which can also be related to the lack of funds given to research organizations. The link that can be related to this newfound disease Aids, and Ebola today is ongoing. For instance, in today’s cases the most extreme measures of isolation were put into effect, no connection to the outside world. With the Aids case, individuals may not have been physically isolated but they were shunned off by society. Within the movie where the case of Ebola was new, you could see the lack of treatment and the hard truth that even the doctor couldn’t survive. The lack of treatment within the film for Aids was also present. Thousands of cases went on and victims died–individuals who used contaminated blood transfusions, babies with infected mothers, drugs users, homosexuals, etc.

They key component to fight a disease is to kill it, to find a cure. Within the film it was justified that the lack of funding was a concern. Not just the lack of money given but also the ignorance associated with many organizations, such as the blood banks. The researchers needed new supplies and technology because this rapid disease was almost too fast to detect. The cells were dying to fast, the links to others diseases such as HIV made no sense, and the competition between highly known doctors because selfish. The most concerning lack of involvement were the blood banks. The researchers pleaded that the disease was linked to the blood, but without solid hard proof to deliver to the courts nothing would be done. The blood blanks continued to use the blood they had stored and received without testing it, this not only opened up the door to spreading the disease but it continued the problem to detect and stop it.

Besides the spreading and lack of resources/treatments there is an individual behind each case that is scared for their life. Not only life, but the disconnect that society puts between them. Isolation and shame are huge triggers that lead an individual to not get tested, to not tell others, and ultimately to become an alien within their own body. In the article “Stigma, HIV, and Aids” it was explained that being diagnosed “is a powerful discrediting, and tainting social label that radically changes the way individuals view themselves and are viewed as persons” (Alonzo/Reynolds, 304). Overall, society wants to stay healthy and untainted, but its hard enough when you are that victim and it seems as everyone is pointing their finger at your for being the problem. Many of these cases spiraled from the homosexual community, which in itself is already negatively looked down upon by society. A double negative will surely lead you into denial.

When going through hard times the only possibly thing to do is to find the good in every evil. “Individuals may desire religion as a means to search for meaning in the fate they will come to experience” (Alonzo/Reynolds, 311). Judgmental people, however, can also be part of a religious community and this too will lead to more closed outlets for tarnished individuals with the disease. “The sympathy and forgiveness engendered in religious institutions is not constant and may depend on the particular clergyperson encountered. Just as he or she may have to search for nonjudgmental health care providers” (Alonzo/Reynolds, 311).

In conclusion society is not perfect, however, in a time like this one should not be scrutinized because of a disease he or she ended up with that was not significantly their fault. The blood transfusions were pure luck of not ending up with tainted blood, having sex with someone who was infected may have not known (can take years to see and to DETECT problems) innocent babies did not choose for their mothers to be contaminated, etc. Isolation is unfair, lack of treatment could have been fixed with figuring out different budgeting, and most importantly ignorance of organizations should have been cut out. When there is a possibility behind reasoning of how an extremely serious disease is spreading, you take precautions.

 Work Cited

  •  Alonzo, Angelo and Nancy Reynolds. “Stigma, HIV and AIDS.”  Social Science Medicine 41.3 (1995): 303-315. Web
  • Pillsbury, S., Sanford, M. (Producers), and Roger Spottiswoode (Director). (1993). And The Band Played On [Motion picture]. United States: Home Box Office.
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The Positivity Behind Stage IV Breast Cancer

Lisa Bonchek Adams, a mother first and a cancer patient second. Stage 1, stage 2, stage 3, stage 4…is where the line is drawn. Stage 4 breast cancer is where Lisa is now in her life, another chapter added on. This chapter is not her end, but merely the beginning to a long fighting battle that she has continued to overcome with enormous amounts of positivity. Positivity, love from others, encouragement, and her own will to survive help create her antidote to move on.

In the article “Optimism can help, hinder patients”, written by Julie Deardorf, we learn that negativity is waiting around every corner to break you down. Shelly Hubbs, much like Lisa, was also diagnosed with the most dangerous level of breast cancer. However, Shelly was told by 2 out of her three doctors that she had no chance of surviving. With her life looking at only six more months, the only positivity she could reach for was the third doctor. “I have no doubt we can get six months, the real goal is can we get you past five years?” (Deardorf, 4). This spike of hope was all that was needed to turn Shelly’s life around. Like Lisa, Shelly found her inner fire, and successfully continued with treatment and has made it past the 6 month mark. Having said that, was encouragement, positivity, and care from others all she needed to fight this deadly disease?

“Demilitarizing Disease: Ambivalent Warefare and Audre Lorde’s The Cancer Journals” written by Robina Khalid, shares other similarities with Lisa’s story. For instance Khalid quotes Lorde saying “The novel is finished at last. It has been a lifeline…My work kept me alive this past year, my work and the love of women” (Khalid, 701). Lorde, much like Lisa finds a way to help empower themselves. For Lorde its her book, for Lisa it is her family because being a mother is her first job and one she needs to be present for. Lisa not only find empowerment within her family but also from friends. A fellow fighter, close and dear to Lisa has past, but in time before they were each others rock. Having someone very similar to you who understand the battle raises you level of confidence and adds onto your desire to overcome.

“Battle against cancer is indeed a battle of the will: the disease is “a very bad dream” from which she must “wake [her]self up” while despair is a cancer in and of itself” (Khalid, 702). This part of the text is explaining that the will to survive is the answer to overcoming this hardship of cancer. The cancer is exposed of being the despair and the negativity in ones life, which can be pushed out by the overwhelming “will”… best known as positivity. The positivity can be seen throughout Lisa’s own personal cancer blog that explains her journey. She takes on cancer as a task and shines through with giving her readers encouragement and insight of her day to day tasks. For instance, in one of her post she explains, “I’m not functional for the most part and the days are very tough. But I know this is what needs to happen before I can get my strength back and the cancer under control.” Control is the grasping of despair and diminishing it.

Lisa Adams, Shelly Hubbs, and Lorde herself all are faced with breast cancer. Each finds empowerment from family, friends, survivors/fighters, and most importantly within themselves. Empowerment also known as encouragement, love, and positivity are what push these women to continue. To finish the book, to stay in position of being a mother, to trust the good news. Letting the despair, the negativity, the undermining evil take over is what they did not let happen. By staying positive, Shelly was able to move past the 6 month mark, Lorde was able to be her own hero and have pride for her scars, and Lisa is still fighting but not giving in. With the blaze of support, Lisa, like the others will use this antidote to complete her battle and live free of disease.

Work Cited

  • Khalid, Robina Josephine. “Demilitarizing Disease: Ambivalent Warfare and Audre Lorde’s The Cancer Journals” African American Review (Fall 2008): 697-717. MLA International Bibliography. Web.
  • Deardorf, Julie.”Optimism Can Help, Hinder Patients.” Chicago Tribune. 23 Sept 2010. Chicagotribune.com. Web.
  • http://lisabadams.com (Personal Blog of Lisa Bonchek Adams)
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