Friday, May 15, 2009

Final Paper: Why Was That Streetcar Named Desire?

The concept of desire is one that grants us individuality, yet at the same time makes us uniquely similar to everyone else.  The most profound conclusion that we have come to in this class is that desire is socially constructed, that it is created by our society, not by each individual.  And if that is the case, what makes desire so special?  Our desires drive our wants and fuel our attraction towards others.  Yet, if our desires are so similar then that must mean that the majority our society wants and is attracted to the exact same things.  But what is possibly the most interesting idea is that these socially constructed desires seem to yield constructed feelings as well.  Our feelings and emotions are not unique to ourselves and our experiences but tend to be uniform among our society.  It seems to follow a linear formula of “if this happens,  then I am supposed to feel/experience this”.  In addition, in today’s media, there is an unrealistic standard of how couples are supposed to act and what is considered ‘good’ and ‘bad’ within a relationship.  Also, the over-glorification of  concept of “the one” seems not to translate well between fiction and real life.  Therefore, in romantic relationships today, it is clear that through imitation couples seek happiness, romance, and desire.  


Saussure’s theory of language can be applied to desire.  Which comes first, desire itself, or the emotions associated with them?  Individuals do not want things or people; they want the feeling that is associated with them.  Saurrure says that “ready-made idea exist before words” (Saussure 78), where the idea is the emotion or feeling and the word is the the thing or person that is going to lead them there.  If we consider the streetcar in “A Streetcar Named Desire” to be a character in the play, the role it plays is the force that brings Blanche to New Orleans, to her sister, to Stanley, to Mitch, and to where she can recreate her past.  It may not that she actually wants any of these things or people, but she wants the feelings that they will bring.  This requires that Blanche lack these feelings before she arrives so she has something to aspire to and will be able to measure its value by comparison (Saussure 86).  



Why do we want the things or people we do?  One reason is because other people already have it.  One person’s desire becomes another.  And it is not just that they want that thing, they want to feel what the other person feels.  Imitation is one popular way to achieve this.  Butler presents the idea that through her differences she was defined as  “a copy, an imitation, a derivative example, a shadow of the real” (Butler 722).  But I find that what we consider normal or ordinary is really the imitation of real.  Society accepts normal because it is a concept exercised by the majority.  There is nothing unique or real about normal.  In this clip from “Dirty Dancing Havana Nights”, these two young people are struggling to be able to dance together.  It is not their bodies that are the problem, but there is an emotional feeling that they feel they are lacking.  They want to dance together so they can feel this emotion.  They decide that the solution to their problem is to imitate another couple. 

video



Disney films have played a significant role in the ways children understand the world and  how to feel in it.  They learn when to be sad and when to be happy based on imitation.  In addition, children cultivate their desires based on the characters desires.  In “The Little Mermaid”, Ariel is an excellent example of someone who lusts after a feeling and will do anything to fulfill it.  In the song “Part of Your World”, Ariel reveals that her material possessions do not give her the feeling she lusts after.  She now desires to live among humans because she thinks that is what will give her what she is looking for.  This also suggests that if the materials possessions had satisfied her, then she would not have wanted or needed to live among humans, reiterating the theory that she really desires the feeling, not the thing or person. 






In the final episode of “Will and Grace”, writers appeased to their audience’s wishes by giving them a metaphoric ending in which Will and Grace are finally united, through their children.  In this show, Will’s homosexuality keeps him and Grace from fulfilling the role of each other’s “the one”, the love that is supposed to last a lifetime.  Audiences cannot accept “the one” as a non romantic partner.  More importantly, audiences cannot accept that “the one” may not exist.  McDonald offers the idea that “the love story is so familiar in our culture that we rarely give it a second thought… “boy meets girl, boy loses girl, boy gets girl back’ is exhibit A of standard plots in all fictional media” (2).  The most important part to note is that this is the structure for fiction, not real life.  But so often are the two confused, examined, and treated as the same.  Will and Grace are given a love story ending, but should they have?  


The neo-traditional romantic comedy, which is popular today, exemplifies the ideals that society has now embraced as their own.  According to McDonald in his book “Romantic Comedy”, he defines the neo-traditional romantic comedy as one that “reasserts the old ‘boy meets, loses, regains girl’ structure, emphasizing the couple will be heterosexual, will form a lasting relationship, and that their story will end as soon as they do” (86).  This seems to be the case for Will and Grace.  Their story can only end, not with them as lovers, but their children.  It suggests that the show could not have ended until they were united, that their friendship was inevitably leading up to the point in which their relationship would be everlasting and expressed through a romantic outlet.  It also hints at the idea that friendship is not a legitimate lasting relationship and cannot embody the ideals expressed by “the one”.  


In the film “Love Actually”, the idea of the couple ending as soon as the story does is clearly evident.  The youngest character in the film, Sam, struggles with the dilemma of being in love with a girl who is not in love with him, as well as not even knowing  he exists.  He spends the majority of the film working furiously to catch her attention, while struggling with the feelings of impending failure.  A conversation between Sam and his stepdad Daniel briefly highlights the actualization of relationships and depicts the thought process that gives life to the idea of “the one”:




Daniel: You know, Sammy, I'm sure she's unique and extraordinary, 

but... the general wisdom is that, in the end, there isn't just one person 

for each of us.
Sam: There was for Kate and Leo. There was for you. There is for me. 

She’s “the one”. 

Daniel: Fair enough.


video



If movies always end at the climax of a relationship, audiences never have the opportunity to see a relationship end, or discover that “the one” actually does not exist.  Hence, allowing them believe that real relationships are this way.  Here, Sam actually uses movie characters, Kate Winslet and Leonardo DiCaprio’s characters in “Titanic”, to justify the existence of “the one”.  Since Sam is only eleven years old, the probability of him and Joanna actually spending the rest of their lives together is extremely unlikely.  The film ends with the suggestion that they will have a lasting relationship.  As heartwarming and romantic as that may appear, audiences may strive to achieve such outcomes in their lives while neglecting to consider what could have happened after the film actually ended.  


If “identity is best understood not as a fixed entity but as an emotionally charged discursive description of ourselves that is subject to change” (216) as Barker suggests, why should we think that love should stay the same and last forever with the same person?  How can “the one” constantly change and adapt to the ever-changing self to ensure compatibility for eternity?  Instead of “the one” changing, perhaps the self changes to adapt to fit the cultural circumstances that reinforce the existence of “the one”.  “Identity is cultural ‘all the way down’, being specific to times and places… forms of identity are changeable and related to definite and cultural conjunctures” (217) according to Barker.  This again hints at the idea that “the one” is a product of our current culture and in the future the role may no longer exist.  


The concept of “the one” is not only implicitly suggested in “Will and Grace”, it is also explicitly expressed in one conversation between Grace and Karen: 


Grace: I want to marry... “the one.”

Karen: And well you should, honey. How else are you going to get to

“the two” and “the three”?


Although Karen’s suggestion is comical, it seems to have embodied some truth, as well.  If the “self” is constantly changing, the concept of “the one” holds so many restrictions and rules, and eternity is such a long time, perhaps the idea of “the one” is really more like a process and there actually is not just one “the one” for each person.  In addition, perhaps “the one” does not or should not simply embody the romantic relationship but extend its boundaries to other relationships.  If such constraints were not placed upon this idealized concept, perhaps the outcome would have been different for Will and Grace.  Perhaps they would have been each others “the one”.  And perhaps their ending would have simply ended as friends, just as they had always been.  And perhaps they, the characters, and the audience would have been completely satisfied with allowing Will and Grace to maintain the relationship they have always had and legitimized it to fall under the circumstances of “the one”.  


Not only is there a translation issue between “the one” we see on the big screen and “the one” in real life, but there is also a translation issue between that guy or girl on the television screen and the one sitting next to you on the couch.  Today it seems that many desires are formulated around fictional characters and then those desires are expected to be fulfilled in real life.  Similar to “the one”, lusting after a fictional character holds unrealistic expectations and can certainly lead to failure.  A new trend in media forms has taken place recently, however, and that is where the leading man or woman exhibits “normal” and even negative characteristics.  It is an illustration of who the “everyday man or woman” is and goes through the story of how they find romance, love, and fulfilled desire.  Judd Apatow’s “Knocked Up” is an excellent example of how a film can turn what society would consider a “loser” into a desirable leading man.  This further illustrates what role media, especially film, plays on our desires.   


video




This paper has illustrated the social issues that accompany this seemingly natural unique sensation called desire.  What it has not addressed is its necessity to the individual despite its social flaws.  Desire is essential in our lives.  Without it, we lack passion and a drive to move forward in our lives. Although socially constructed, desire feels unique to each individual, when is quite a phenomenon.  



Works Cited

Barker, Chris. Cultual Studies: Theory and Practice. 3rd. London: Sage Publications, 2008.


Dirty Dancing Havana Nights. Dir Guy Ferland. Miramax, 2004.


Foucault, Michel. “The History of Sexuality”.  Gender Studies, Gay/Lesbain Studies, Queer Theory. 683-692.


Knocked Up. Dir. Judd Apatow. Universal Studios, 2007.


The Little Mermaid. Dir. Ron Clements, John Musker. Disney, 1989 


Love Actually. Dir. Richard Curtis. Universal Studios, 2003.


 McDonald, Tamar Jeffers. Romantic Comedy: Boy Meets Girl Meets Genre. London: 


Wallflower Press, 2007.


Saussure, Ferdinand de. “Course in General Linguistics. 76-89.


Williams, Tennessee. A Streetcar Named Desire. London: Penguin Books, 1951.


Will And Grace. By David Kohan, Max Mutchnick Perf. Eric McCormack, Debra Messing, 


Megan Mullally, Sean Hays. NBC. 1998-2006.




Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Prior to this class, I was a pessimistic realist with an overbearing sense of sarcasm and cynicism.  Thanks to this class, things have not changed.  In fact, my condition may have gotten a little worse.  The idea has been explored in which romance may just be a social construct.  It has been created by one and imitated by others.  But what I find to be most mind blowing about this is that these social constructs are not only acts of romance that people imitate but they are associated with feelings that people apparently feel when participating in the act.  Instead of a feeling being personal and unique to one, it becomes universal.  And if that is the case, how can romantic love between two people be real or special?  Isn't it like everyone else's?  

One example that I absolutely love and could watch over and over again, despite my... "condition" illustrates how one situation for two people can be imitated by two other people and result in the same emotions.  


Tuesday, May 5, 2009

This is an Interesting Way to Sell Toothpaste



Wow. I didn't realize a toothpaste can bring you this much passion and romance. I'm definitely jumping on the Rembrandt train if that's where it is going to take me!

Friday, April 10, 2009

"The Kiss" with "The One"

Perhaps it is because of movies like "The Notebook" that give pop culture consumers the idea that there is that one special person out there for them. Or maybe it is the other 40 clips in this video that would give somebody that idea. The point is that media is saturated with "the one" and here is just a piece of what is out there. Enjoy!

video

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

"The One"


Who decided that romantic love was supposed to be endless? Why do little girls imagine having the perfect wedding only once? Who exactly is “the one”? Although divorce rates are high in the United States, it is still the norm to think that there is one true love for everybody and that love will last forever once it is found. A statement like that is certain to draw disappointment and allow people to fight for an ideal that may not even exist. In the NBC comedic TV show “Will and Grace” there is a constant battle between sexual orientation and viewers expectations of fate and the concept of “the one”. Richard Curtis, the writer and director of the 2003 film “Love Actually”, also plays with the idea of “the one” and implants it into the mind of the youngest character in the film. In today’s society, the romantic lives of its inhabitants have been trained to lust after the concept of “the one” and reshape their love lives to fit that model whether it is or is not appropriate to do so and whether it does or does not actually exist.


In the final episode of “Will and Grace”, writers appeased to their audience’s wishes by giving them a metaphoric ending in which Will and Grace are finally united, through their children. In this show, Will’s homosexuality keeps him and Grace from fulfilling the role of each other’s “the one”, the love that is supposed to last a lifetime. Audiences cannot accept “the one” as a non romantic partner. More importantly, audiences cannot accept that “the one” may not exist. McDonald offers the idea that “the love story is so familiar in our culture that we rarely give it a second thought… “boy meets girl, boy loses girl, boy gets girl back’ is exhibit A of standard plots in all fictional media” (2). The most important part to note is that this is the structure for fiction, not real life. But so often are the two confused, examined, and treated as the same. Will and Grace are given a love story ending, but should they have?


The neo-traditional romantic comedy, which is popular today, exemplifies the ideals that society has now embraced as their own. According to McDonald in his book “Romantic Comedy”, he defines the neo-traditional romantic comedy as one that “reasserts the old ‘boy meets, loses, regains girl’ structure, emphasizing the couple will be heterosexual, will form a lasting relationship, and that their story will end as soon as they do” (86). This seems to be the case for Will and Grace. Their story can only end, not with them as lovers, but their children. It suggests that the show could not have ended until they were united, that their friendship was inevitably leading up to the point in which their relationship would be everlasting and expressed through a romantic outlet. It also hints at the idea that friendship is not a legitimate lasting relationship and cannot embody the ideals expressed by “the one”.


In the film “Love Actually”, the idea of the couple ending as soon as the story does is clearly evident. The youngest character in the film, Sam, struggles with the dilemma of being in love with a girl who is not in love with him, as well as not even knowing he exists. He spends the majority of the film working furiously to catch her attention, while struggling with the feelings of impending failure. A conversation between Sam and his stepdad Daniel briefly highlights the actualization of relationships and depicts the thought process that gives life to the idea of “the one”:


Daniel: You know, Sammy, I'm sure she's unique and extraordinary,

but... the general wisdom is that, in the end, there isn't just one person

for each of us.
Sam: There was for Kate and Leo. There was for you. There is for me.

She’s “the one”.

Daniel: Fair enough.


video

If movies always end at the climax of a relationship, audiences never have the opportunity to see a relationship end, or discover that “the one” actually does not exist. Hence, allowing them believe that real relationships are this way. Here, Sam actually uses movie characters, Kate Winslet and Leonardo DiCaprio’s characters in “Titanic”, to justify the existence of “the one”. Since Sam is only eleven years old, the probability of him and Joanna actually spending the rest of their lives together is extremely unlikely. The film ends with the suggestion that they will have a lasting relationship. As heartwarming and romantic as that may appear, audiences may strive to achieve such outcomes in their lives while neglecting to consider what could have happened after the film actually ended.


If “identity is best understood not as a fixed entity but as an emotionally charged discursive description of ourselves that is subject to change” (216) as Barker suggests, why should we think that love should stay the same and last forever with the same person? How can “the one” constantly change and adapt to the ever-changing self to ensure compatibility for eternity? Instead of “the one” changing, perhaps the self changes to adapt to fit the cultural circumstances that reinforce the existence of “the one”. “Identity is cultural ‘all the way down’, being specific to times and places… forms of identity are changeable and related to definite and cultural conjunctures” (217) according to Barker. This again hints at the idea that “the one” is a product of our current culture and in the future the role may no longer exist.


The concept of “the one” is not only implicitly suggested in “Will and Grace”, it is also explicitly expressed in one conversation between Grace and Karen:


Grace: I want to marry... “the one.”

Karen: And well you should, honey. How else are you going to get to

“the two” and “the three”?


Although Karen’s suggestion is comical, it seems to have embodied some truth, as well. If the “self” is constantly changing, the concept of “the one” holds so many restrictions and rules, and eternity is such a long time, perhaps the idea of “the one” is really more like a process and there actually is not just one “the one” for each person. In addition, perhaps “the one” does not or should not simply embody the romantic relationship but extend its boundaries to other relationships. If such constraints were not placed upon this idealized concept, perhaps the outcome would have been different for Will and Grace. Perhaps they would have been each others “the one”. And perhaps their ending would have simply ended as friends, just as they had always been. And perhaps they, the characters, and the audience would have been completely satisfied with allowing Will and Grace to maintain the relationship they have always had and legitimized it to fall under the circumstances of “the one”.



Works Cited

Barker, Chris. Cultual Studies: Theory and Practice. 3rd. London: Sage Publications, 2008.

Love Actually. Dir. Richard Curtis. Universal Studios, 2003.

McDonald, Tamar Jeffers. Romantic Comedy: Boy Meets Girl Meets Genre. London:

Wallflower Press, 2007.

Will And Grace. By David Kohan, Max Mutchnick Perf. Eric McCormack, Debra Messing,

Megan Mullally, Sean Hays. NBC. 1998-2006.


Thursday, March 5, 2009

Girls Gone Wild!

This week we delve into our second primary text of the course which was Doris Lessing’s The Grass Is Singing. Here are my short responses to the “things to think about” question sheet:

1. Dick’s farm is the embodiment of Africa’s alienation to Mary. Mary thrives in a city environment with lots of people, lots of interaction. Dick’s farm is the complete opposite and really drives Mary crazy. Dick, on the other hand, loves the solitude of living on his own farm. From the eyes of Charlie Slatter, he sees Africa as land to capture, to make his own. He has no real connection to Africa except for his ability to own it.

2. I think the novel suggests that black sexuality can become overpowering to the white woman. In Mary’s case, since she gave Moses power, he can use that power over her, even sexually, and she will succumb to it without choice.

3. Marriage, in general, is scary. It only seems less scary because most people partake in it. Mary fears marriage because what she saw her parents go through. They both could have been very happy people if they hadn’t been married to one another, just as Mary would have led a much happier and different life if she hadn’t have married Dick. In terms of the fear of marriage connection to the fear of the black man, I feel like it deals with the inability of turning back or changing things. Once you are married, you are stuck with that person until one of you dies. And once you let the black man have power over you, you can never get it back.

4. Mary is not like anyone else before she married Dick. She may have suffered from different mental ailments, much less alarming and harmful than the ones she developed after being married. She never wanted to get married or be in a romantic relationship or have sex. Mary “was not like that”. She never really grew up.

5. As the author, Lessing does not make Moses and Mary have sex but she does fill pages with sexual undertones. I do not think that perpetuates the myth of sexually potent black males, I think it enhances Mary’s struggle to keep power and adds another element that makes it even harder for Mary to deal with. Is it possible that Mary was actually attracted to Moses even though she was a flaming racist? Perhaps he was the outlet for her sexuality that she never discovered.

6. The Turner’s house symbolizes the idea of being stuck. It is deeper than isolation; it is not only being secluded but being uncomfortable and lacking the inability to change or fix things. Mary tries to make that house better, more comfortable, a place she could live, but it symbolizes the fact that Mary is never at home there, in the house or with Dick on the farm. It emphasizes how just how bad things are.

7. The novel could have been much more exciting or disappointing if Moses’ point of view was mentioned. If Lessing was to fill his mind with developing, deep thoughts, things could have been much different to the reader. If Lessing had chosen to portray him as white people in the novel saw him, it may have seemed a little redundant and would have perpetuated the stereotype of the dumb black man, which few readers today are interested in reading.

8. Mary’s parents’ marriage really screws everything up for Mary. She does everything in her power to avoid being in the position her parent’s were in but ends up in an even worse position. Mary seems to side a little bit more with her mother than with her father. She resents her dad for putting her mom in a situation she could not get out of. Moses put Mary in a situation she could not get out of. She handed her power over to him and she could not get it back. He controlled her, every part of her.

9. Although Mary does not actively take a stand in her and Dick’s finances, she is forced to play a role when he gets sick. I think this quote does apply to Mary because she essentially does lack identity. At the beginning of the novel she was constantly aloof, a true individual. But when people start talking about her, she leaves herself behind and becomes someone she wishes she never was. She takes no responsibility for herself but relies on people around her to decide who she must be. To Dick, she is the idle wife, to Moses, she is his slave.

10. The institution of marriage plays a huge role in this novel. Had Mary’s friends not relied so heavily on the institution of marriage, Mary most likely would have never gotten married and remained content. It is clear that she did not believe in the idea but for a short period forgot why. Marriage made things so difficult for Mary because she felt there was a role she had to play. She could not adapt to it as she pleased. It is almost surprising that she and Dick never had children since it was a common practice among married couples.

11. The causes of Mary’s psychological breakdown include getting married, giving up her life in the city, poverty, losing her identity, her superiority complex with the natives, and her succumbing to Moses.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Ethnography





For this ethnography assignment I chose an In N’ Out restaurant for my observation field.  For over an hour I sat on the outside patio at a table next to the window looking into the restaurant.  I have chosen to focus my analysis on four groups of people that I gained the most observational material on.  Coincidently, these four groups each consist of a male and female subject. 

Observation Group I: There is a male and female walking with coffees.  She is wearing long sleeves and he is wearing short sleeves.  She woman is walking a few steps behind the man while they 

talk and watch their dog.  The woman is making plans for a trip they should go on.  He responds with “uh huh’s.”  **TIME PASSES**  They walk to the same car together, stand on the driver’s side of the car, passionately make out for about one minute, then the woman goes to the passenger side of the car, they both get it.  They appear to talk for a minute or two and then they drive away.


Observation Group II:  Around the same time, another pair of a man and a woman wait for their food to be ready by the condiment stand.  The man pulls out his Blackberry and uses it for a few minutes, but not for a phone call, while the woman just sips from her drink.  After he puts his away, she pulls out her iPhone,

 which has a yellow cover, and she plays with hers.  They have minimal eye contact.  After they move outside to the patio, where I am sitting, and sit at a four person table.  They choose to sit next to one another.  The man crosses his legs with them more spread apart while the woman crosses her legs closer together.  Man seems to finish his food first and pulls out his Blackberry again.


Observation Group III:  The next subjects are younger than the first two sets.  They seem to be in their early to mid twenties.  They bring their food over to a two person table in the corner of the restaurant.  The woman sits against the wall an

d he faces her towards the window.  In the middle of their meal he pulls out his cell phone and does something on it.  The woman continues to eat in silence.  After he puts the phone away again and they eat and talk.  They kiss each other from across the table.  And then return to eating.  He gets up and throws the trash away.  While he is gone, she picks up her phone and does something.  She puts it away before he returns.  After they are done, they leave the restaurant with interlocked fingers.  As they approach the car they kiss each other for only a moment and then part to opposite sides of the car.  She gets into the driver side of the car. 


Observation Group IV:  The final subjects that I observed for only a moment were waiting in line to or

der their food.  They were teenagers.  They embraced each other very closely, arms wrapped each other.  The girl rested her hands on the boys butt and giggles.  The boy shook her hands off his butt but as she continued to giggle she put her hands inside of his pants and actually touched his butt.  He repeated the motion to have her remove her hands. 


Analysis:


It seems that I focused my observation on couples opposed to platonic groups of individuals.  It cannot be confirmed that group II was actually a couple but one could argue either way.  It has been my assessment that romance is typically illustrated in terms of physical action opposed to words.  As an observer, my ability to hear the conversations of my subjects was limited.  I was fully open to their physical actions, however.  It was clear to me that groups I, III, and IV were couples because of their physical contact and it was unclear that group II was in a romantic relationship because there was a lack of physical contact.  It seems that romance is more of an act than a feeling.  And if that is the case, is it more for the people involved or for people who can see them?  I am most certain that the girl who stuck her hands down her boyfriend’s pants was not doing it for my benefit but it certainly it was an illustration of her affection for him.  Who was she trying to tell, him or everyone at In N Out?

 

            What made group I so interesting was their dynamic between indifference and passion.  For the majority of my observation, they not only lacked physical contact, but they lacked real communication.  They were together but were not very involved with one another.  The man was indifferent to the woman making vacation plans for them, while the woman did not stand next to him while she spoke.  She practically followed him while they walked.  Therefore, it caught me by surprise when they partook in a very passionate, tongue-y kiss in the parking lot.  McDonald explanation of today's sex comedies versus the ones in the 1960's helps to make sense of this dynamic between passion and disinterest.  One of the main components of the sex comedy in the 1960's was opposition between the main man and woman.  Today, however, this theme can no longer be found in the sex comedy, but is now in the romantic comedy (McDonald 57).  It deals with trying to ignore the undeniable bond and lust and by the end of the film, the desire is so strong that neither character can fight it off any longer.  This couple does not illustrate a romantic comedy.  They are the modern day sex comedy.  There is no struggle, it is just there and available for the taking.  In today's sex comedies, the characters do not have to work very hard to get sex; that is not where the conflict lies.  Typically, the issues and struggles occur after the sex has occurred.  Group I illustrates this lack of struggle to tap into their sexuality with one another, while simultaneously illustrating not knowing what to do next.


            Group II symbolized realism to me.  They exuded this confusion of their relationship.  They could have been friends, co-workers, or boyfriend and girlfriend, or husband and wife.  It suggests that the line between these relationships could actually be blurred into one another.  Sometimes it is difficult to define relationships because society has already defined them for us.  Just because the subjects of group II did not partake in physical contact should not suggest that they are not romantically involved with one another.  It seems the idea of “PDA”, public displays of affection, has completely changed the idea of romanticism.  Instead of it being a personal thing between two people, it now for the people involved and for everyone around them to see, to validate that it happened and provide meaning for the actions. 


            In addition to this changing idea of romance, cell phone usage seems to hold an ever-changing meaning in social situations.  As an on looker, it appears that group II and III’s usage of the cell phone suggests boredom or disinterest.  But really, when I consider how often I use my cell phone while I am with my boyfriend, there must be a mistranslation between the phone user and the person they are actually with, and with the people who surround them, and in my case are watching them.  For group III, the cell phone acted as a means to entertain for the girl when the boy left.  It appeared as if the boy was using the cell phone as a means of communication while he was with the girl.  Nevertheless, cell phones have become an added confusion factor when it comes to the world of dating and interpretation of the signs.


            If I was to define group III in Romantic Comedy terms, they would be the best friends who end up together.  They illustrated comfort with one another while refraining from physical forms of affection.  However, the little kiss in the middle of their meal was just enough to illustrate the depth of their connection without making anyone around them regurgitate their food.  When they left the restaurant, they had intertwining fingers.  They were not actually holding hands, but they were “holding fingers.”  It suggested more of a cute than passionate romance.  They did not look like they were trying at anything, whereas group I really showed passion and work when they kissed.  In A Streetcar Named Desire, Blanche is constantly looking for this highly idealized relationship and partner.  When she says “I don’t want realism, I want magic” it suggests that the real world lacks this form of illustrated love and passion.  It is idea of the ultimate show of affection.  You must do to love.  Group III were much more real than magic, but there was still romance.


            Group IV is your teenaged romantic comedy.  Young love is always interesting because it is in its developmental stage.  Even though the communication between men and women is always complicated, this complicatedness is heightened when you are a teenager.  I assess that the explicit touching in an In N Out by the girl was out of necessity in her mind.  She needed to show the boy how much she liked him and she did so physically.  I am certain that the boy understood this but he also seemed to understand the intensity of the act was a little too intense for public.  It just seemed to me that their intense, embracive hug was an illustration of their affection towards one another.  Perhaps this is because they do not know other ways to express it.  In fact, people they need others to categorize them into a romantic category for it to be so.  It is extremely similar to Bye Bye Birdie.  Had no one talked about Kim getting pinned, would it really have mattered at all?  Would she and Hugo felt the same way about each other?

 

Work Cited

McDonal, Tamars Jeffers. Romantic Comedy: Boy Meets Girl Meets Genre. London: Wallflower Press, 2007