Women Are Crazy Apparently

Even in today’s society, women have been marked with a transparent target of craziness and insanity that is created through their interactions with the opposite gender. Men perceive women has “crazy” mainly because they feel if a woman has any say in what happens in their live, they lose a sense of masculinity. The whole idea of “Men put food on the table, women cook it.” scenario is slowly changing, and with thousands of years worth of thinking engraved into the minds of the common person leave no room for exploration into female empowerment.

What makes a woman a woman? Why are they perceived to be crazy? Why do the adjectives we use to describe people change based on the gender of the person we’re referring to? All of these questions have been disregarded, and as the push for female empowerment continues, the rationality of society’s thinking is pressured to change. According to Gary Nunn’s article on “the feminisation of of madness is crazy”, the word “hysterial” was only used to describe a woman. Other theories of hysteria included female genitalia, including the uterus and the menstrual cycle. The word “loony” was created to describe how a woman’s menstrual cycle coincided with the moon’s cycle. Woman have been seen as an almost secondary entity- they are left on the sidelines as the males run the world. They are not allowed to think, to evaluate, and to have opinions. If a woman has those things, they are crazy and should be fixed, so to speak.

When comparing this theory to House of the Spirits, this line of thinking is very apparent. As the males metaphorically (and sometimes literally) blow up everything around them, the women are created as signs of hope within the story. When you think of the powers the women in this story obtain, it’s deemed crazy by the men, but in truth it is the very thing that helps these women thrive in their world. Without the craziness to fuel their desire for things to get better, women would still have no say. It TAKES crazy women, and people in general, to make a change happen. People with power see the “crazy” as weakness, but in reality that is the only thing that can stop them. The crazy manifests itself as a voice.
(Sorry Duffey, still not feeling well, and I tried to get it turned in before midnight, but wasn’t quite successful. I hope you won’t hold that against me too much.) 

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Volver vs House of the Spirits

Both Volver and House of the Spirits share many common imagery, themes, and plotlines during the course of the two journeys.  Both pieces are filled with fantastic elements that mostly go unnoticed in regular society. The movement of female empowerment is widely-seen in both the House of the Spirits and Volver, and many of the same issues arise.

Throughout the movie, Volver, the female characters all radiate a strong conviction to enduring the struggles they all had to face within their individual lives. Raimunda, who was molested by her father, relives her past when her own daughter (and later we find out is also her sister) is put into the similar situation. Compared to House of the Spirits, the movie as a whole conveys the ideology of female empowerment and commitment to enduring the reality surrounding them. Just as Clara and Blanca possess special powers that allow them to in some sense protect themselves from the outside world, Raimunda and Sole have the ghost of their mother as a comforting entity guiding them throughout their life.

As for the male counterparts in the story, both stories share the similarity of surrounding these women with awful and irrational men who start and or add to their already problematic lives. Paco, a drunk who has an obsession with sex, ends up trying to molest and push himself onto his step-daughter, Paula. Fortunately, the confrontation ends with a knife in his gut. This confrontation also leads to Raimunda getting access to the restaurant. Irene’s husband ended up having an affair with Agustina’s mother, and Irene ends up burning their house down after finding out that Raimunda was also molested and pregnant. The affair is ended when they both burn to death in the flames. On the other hand, Emilio was perhaps the only decent man in a cast made up of mostly women. He was honorable and well-spoken when Raimunda confesses to using the restaurant without his permission, but ultimately gives in to letting her continue to use it.

Both stories convey magical realism as a defense mechanism to protect the characters from their terrible circumstances. In House of the Spirits, many of the main female characters possess some kind of special power they use to interact with the world around them. Clara and Blanca in particular claim telepathic powers in order to see the future and change accordingly. In Volver, the presence of Irene gives the girls a sense of motherly protection they thought they lost. They become more unified in the face of the unknown, and are more capable to fix themselves.


1. Volver. Rolling Stone. 7 September, 2016. http://www.rollingstone.com/movies/reviews/volver-20061102

2. Volver Review. Rotten Tomatoes. 7 September, 2016. https://www.rottentomatoes.com/m/volver/

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Telepathy Momma


Backtracking to the early days of class, I can’t help but notice the striking comparisons between Pan’s Labyrinth and House of the Spirits (which is in no doubt why Duffey even showed it to us in the first place. Thanks teach.). We we discussed before, a child’s innocence seems to radiate off of the terrible circumstances that arise within their daily lives. For Pan’s Labyrinth, Ofelia’s innocence took the form through fairy tales and stories, mostly as a way to cope with the terrible things actually going on around her. The same could actually be said the same thing about Clara in House of the Spirits- both characters seem to expel a great multitude of innocence, which is lost by many of her other family members.

In Clara’s case, her form of innocence comes from the strange powers she develops as a small child. Clara’s telekinetic prowess, in my opinion, represent the same thing that Ofelia has in her story- a sense of innocence. As many of her beloved family members pass on, she in some way stays true to her innocence because she has that power to see things before they happen. This is pretty apparent in the way she treats people around her. Her dialogue with Esteban seems to stimulate a sense of purity as she really doesn’t say anything mean or even object to him and his outbursts. She is almost in a trance within herself, blocking out all of the terrible truths she sees everyday, such as her parent’s deaths. She is never phased by any of this, but why? Is it because she has time to prepare herself before the inevitable demise, or is she in a way trying to block out all of the harsh realities in order for her to keep her innocence alive? I believe that her telekinetic powers are drawn from that innocence in some way.

Another important point about this is the way she acts when she’s pregnant. As she’s caring an innocent child within her, she goes completely silent. She never speaks, but is that because she wants to protect her child as well? From what we can see, Clara herself is a wonderful mother, but is still quite distant overall. It is almost to keep her own hardships away from the children. Whether she truly understands her situation or is just going along with it, that’s a hard question to ask.

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Pan’s Labyrinth

What ACTUALLY defines a person’s perception of reality? To cope with the multitude of things that go on in life, people are created with defense mechanisms in order to lessen the stress put upon them. As innocence is lost, that perception of reality also is lost, and is replaced with the inevitable sense of despair and hopelessness.  In Pan’s Labyrinth, this perception of reality is tested through the eyes of Ofelia- a young eleven year old girl living in the middle of a war-torn Spain.

Ofelia finds solace in fairy tales, as a young girl should, but is struck with the awful reality that she lives in. When her mother marries a Spanish army captain, a ruthless and tyrannic man, Ofelia is forced to find her inner peace. Upon arriving at the captain’s residence, she is met by a fairy disguised as an insect, and follows it to a ruined labyrinth deep in the woods.

After meeting a faun by the name of Pan, Ofelia is tasked with completing certain tasks by the time the next full moon rises. As her trials in her fairy tale realm become more heinous and difficult, her reality is not much better. Her mother falls ill, as well as the rebel’s advances on the homestead and the surrounding woods. Her perception of the reality surrounding her only seems to blend with her fairy tale reality she wants to believe. Juggling between these two realities becomes quite a task for the young girl.

At the core of the film, it is about a girl who can’t seem to find any peace in her life. In turn, she puts herself inside her fairy tales. Instead of feeling safe, the reality only seems to seep into her fairy tale, reminding her that fairy tales aren’t all they are built up to be. Ofelia’s innocence and purity is lost physically, but even in the face of death she dies happy- reunited in her fairy tale with her mother and father in her kingdom.

Welcome to the Website

What do ya know? My first post. This is a thing.

Anyways, hey there. My name is Kurtis and I will probably start running this website like some rip-off Facebook group that only i’m a part of.

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