Another dissertation based on a dissertation…

29 08 2008

Started to google “sickle-shaped scar” and found this:


From the Abstract:

Northrop Frye, in his Anatomy of Criticism, identified four main myths: Comedy, Romance, Tragedy, and Irony/Satire. These were essentially genres, each of which move through six phases. Frye believed a critic could simply organize literature into these phases to show that literature formed “an ideal order”  For each of these phases, Frye identified typical narrative structures and characteristics–primal myths with which humanity was and is consistently concerned. Comedy is the reconciliation of the protagonist with his community at the end, Romance chronicles what seems like a knight’s quest, Tragedy shows us a hero’s separation from his society, and Irony/Satire gives us the everyday difficulties and dissembling of life. (…) This dissertation has shown that the Anatomy of Criticism could categorize not only written literature but also 20th century film. Specifically, these Western films were matched to Frye’s Romance phases, War films to Frye’s Tragedy phases, Film Noir films to Frye’s Irony/Satire phases, as well as Comedy films to Frye’s Comedy phases.

From the Chapter Three:

Platoon is a “world of shock and horror” and a “demonic epiphany”. The most shocking thing about this world is simply the realization, as in Apocalypse Now, of how evil human beings can be, without checks and balances in civilization to restrain them.  Barnes is the one with the “demonic epiphany.”  Like Kurtz in Apocalypse Now, Barnes has realized that it is easier not to think about his actions than to endure the emotional pain of trying to confront moral problems.  Barnes simply does what he feels like he should do, even if that means killing many innocent people.  Elias has resisted the demonic epiphany of Barnes and Kurtz and remains willing to struggle with the moral ambiguities of Vietnam, although even Elias admits that he loves the moments where he can relax from his moral tension.  He tells Taylor, in a scene Avent Beck describes as “a quiet scene suggestive of Jesus and Peter in the garden of Gethsemane“:  “I love this place at night.  The stars … there’s no right or wrong in them.  They’re just there.” 

See? See? hardly I say something that I think is an original thought, it appears elsewhere written by someone else… Even if I don’t agree that Kurz stopped to think (reference).

Still have to read – maybe not the whole text, but at least more about the concept. As well as about the Northrop Frye’s Theory of Archetypes


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