The Importance of Being Earnest in Shanghai

上海滩

(This is a picture of Shanghai people in the early 20th century, showing us the combination between the new western culture (the suit) and old Chinese culture (the girl’s dress and haircut) in Shanghai)

If I were to direct a new production of the Importance of Being Earnest, I would set the story in the early 20th century in Shanghai, China. In my opinion, this setting would help further develop the topic of marriage in this play.

In the early 20th century, China was undergoing a great change from Feudalism to Capitalist democracy. The older generation were still upholding the traditional arranged marriages, while the younger generation, especially in Shanghai, an open port, were influenced by the “free love” trend from western countries, and were eager to choose their own lover. It is exactly the story happened in the play.

What’s more, in the early 20th century, there were many foreign troops in Shanghai. There were also many struggles between Chinese and foreigners. These can help show China’s condition under western country’s suppress and influence, which can tell us how the ambivalent views towards marriage came into existence. The lively social background may give us a better understanding of the different views towards marriage.

The picture is from:

http://www.wanbao.com.sg/entertainment/story20151018-66510

Imaginations show us a true Cecily

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(This is a capture of Cecily’s imagination in the film)

“The Importance of Being Earnest” is a short play, while its film adaption is much longer with many details and proper supplement added to the play. We did not finish watching the film during the lecture, but some differences and appendixes can already be detected.

In the film, Cecily had many imaginations. She imagined herself as a poor girl trapped in the village, and there was a dark prince there trying to rescue her. Unfortunately, she was woken up by her Germany teacher. It was indicating that Cecily loved “bad boy” and was tired of the boring village life with piles of books to read and learn. While the dark prince was exactly the trouble-making brother in Jack’s narration. Then, it became natural when she showed her love to Algernon, the fake Earnest.

Actually, when I read the play, I was surprised when Cecily told “Earnest” that she had written a dairy for him and regarded him as her fiancé from long long ago. The film managed to avoid this embarrassment by showing us Cecily’s inner world at beginning. Audience can also get a better understanding of Cecily from her imaginations.

This picture is from:

http://www.importanceofbeingearnest.co.uk

If love is like the sun

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If love is like the hotly burning sun,
With dazzling light and raging firing zeal,
What we are dreaming of and longing for.

Away so far is somebody from love.
They can only live in the cold and dark.
In dismal they are scared into trembling worms.

So closely somebody has reached to love,
Like flying moths darting into the fierce fire.
Abandoning themselves into their love,
In the brightest love they are sublimed up.

Some keep themselves safely from the love.
They are, however, the most blessed ones in love.
Exposed in warmth and peace of splendid love,
They are as happy as the heaven birds.

The picture is from:

Dig into the Irish land

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(An Irish man digging into his land)

In the poem “Digging”, three generations of Ireland are involved. The first one is the poet’s grandpa’s generation. People of this generation dig into the Irish bog for coals. Coals are essential tools for Irish people to warm themselves in winter, while the bog is a significant symbol for Irish culture, from which Irish people found the relic of their ancestors. The next generation  is the poet’s father’s, they dig into the Irish land for potatoes, one of the main crops that raised Irish people. The poet represents the third generation. People in this generation have no need to follow the previous generation and make a living with a spade. However, they are still digging into the Irish land, for the memories recorded by it, for the culture connotation held inside it, and for the nation’s vitality bred from it.

The poem is rooted in Irish culture. By the reminiscence, the poet shows his affection on his motherland. Moreover, by coming back to the squat pen between his finger and thumb, the author shows his determination to tell the story of Irish land and people by his poems.

The picture is from:

http://irishfireside.com/2011/05/12/man-digging-peat/

Marriages for Society

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People fall in love and get married. We take it for granted that people marry who they love. However, “Brokeback Mountain” gives us another answer. Marriage does not necessarily have something to do with love. Many people, like Jack and Ennis, marry for society, not for love.

Jack and Ennis loved each other, but they did not live together. They married two girls which is acceptable for society. Ennis married to Alma because of his engagement, which is a kind of social custom, while Jack married to Lureen who may bring him money, which is the judging method of one’s social status.

Even though Jack and Ennis were not famous or rich guys, and they had almost nothing to lose, Ennis still refused to buy a farm and live with Jack, because he did not dare to risk his life under the unfair social judgement. He told Jack the story of his neighbor Earl and Rich: “I was what, nine years old and they found Earl dead in a irrigation ditch. They’d took a tire iron to him, spurred him up, drug him around by his dick until it pulled off, just bloody pulp. What the tire iron done looked like pieces a burned tomatoes all over him, nose tore down from skiddin on gravel.”

This is the unfair situation of the society, but this is also what we live and stuck with. We fall in love, but we have to go with the society, instead of our love.

(This essay was published late because I carelessly put it in draft box when finished, I have sent an e-mail to professor to explain)

The picture is from:

Niche travel marketing – suite smell of success or left at the altar