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Comparing Imagery in Flying a Red Kite and The Lamp at Noon

Imagery in Flying a Red Kite and The Lamp at Noon

Imagery is used by many authors as a crucial element of character development. These authors draw parallels between the imagery in their stories and the main characters’ thoughts and feelings. Through intense imagery, non-human elements such as the natural environment, animals, and inanimate objects are brought to life with characteristics that match those of the characters involved.

Sinclair Ross uses vivid imagery of nature to reflect and influence the emotions of his characters in his short story The Lamp at Noon. The wind is a powerful force that changes with the emotions of Ellen and Paul. Sinclair describes the wind as two separate winds: “the wind in flight, and the wind that pursue[s]” (Atwood/Weaver, 74). Like the wind in flight which cannot escape the wind that pursues it, Ellen cannot escape her isolation. The wind in flight always returns to “quake among the feeble eaves, as if in all this dust-mad wilderness it knew no other sanctuary” (74). Ellen is also forced to seek refuge within her small home, which is also the place where she feels the most secluded. The wind outside often contrasts the silence that is encased inside. During an argument between Paul and Ellen, there is an uncomfortable silence, “a deep fastness of it enclosed by rushing wind and creaking walls”(76). This noise around them makes the silence within even more uncomfortable. Paul later finds the silence comforting when he is in the stable. It is described as a “deep hollow calm within, a vast darkness engulfed beneath the tides of moaning wind” (78). The silence protects him and brings him relief from the dangerous world outside. Unfortunately, the walls seem to weaken against the powerful wind, and “instead of release or escape from the assaulting wind, the walls [are] but a feeble stand against it” (78). Paul begins to understand what Ellen is feeling, and the wind screams like Ellen’s cries. As he thinks of ways to restore the land and make Ellen happy, the wind starts to slacken. For a short moment, he feels relief. When he returns to the house, he realizes that Ellen is gone. At this point, the wind whimpers and moans as if it knows Ellen’s isolation and Paul’s despair. The imagery of the wind is used by Sinclair to intensify the characters’ emotions and help the reader understand what the characters are experiencing.

A Critique of the Movie, The Birdcage (La Cage aux Folles)

A Critique of the Movie, The Birdcage (La Cage aux Folles)

A gay couple, living in a gay apartment, with a gay houseboy, above a gay nightclub, in a gay city . . . and they have to straighten it all out for one evening. In 1996 La Cage aux Folles (a 1978 French play) was remade by MGM into The Birdcage, a daringly flamboyant comedy that is in-tune with the times and redefines the idea of family values. It combines the talents of Robin Williams (Armand), Nathan Lane (Albert), and Hank Azaria (Agador) with writer Elaine May and director Mike Nichols. The film is brought to life by the superb uniqueness of each character and what they bring to the screen and add to the plot. This film sheds a new light on non-traditional but equally effective family values and role models through a series of hysterical follies.

The Birdcage is a film about a gay couple who have to act straight when their son’s fiance’s conservative, Republican parents are planning a visit. Amidst the hysterically dramatic disasters involved with this event two valuable lessons are taught. They are lessons in avoiding self denial, and accepting various forms of family values. What makes The Birdcage wonderful, aside from the lessons it teaches, is it’s combination of great acting abilities, the unique role of each character, and the extravagant set and props used.

A great comedy team is only to be expected when you hear the names Williams and Lane together, and a great team is exactly what The Birdcage delivers. Lane, a Tony Award nominee really changes gears for this film from his usual Broadway stage performances. He plays Albert, the feminine half of the gay couple who own The Birdcage nightclub. He appears nightly in the club’s dr…

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…ovie worth seeing if you want a good laugh along side a good dose of family values. With such a stellar cast, crew, and director, only a movie of such absolute hysteria delivering such sound messages could be produced. These qualities are what make The Birdcage a wonderful movie.

Works Cited

Alexander, Al. “‘Birdcage’ Sounds Sour Note.” The Patriot Ledger 8 March 1996: 15 .

Daly, Steve. “The Farce Side.” Entertaiment Weekly 20 December 1996: 88-89.

Anson, David. “Gay Films are a Drag.Ó” Newsweek 18 March 1996: 71.

Maslin, Janet. “La Cage aux Folles, But in South Beach.” New York Times 8 March 1996: C3.

Carr, Jay. “Birdcage Sings.” Boston Globe 8 March 1996: 47 .

Hartigan, Patti. “Birdcage Clips Right Wingers.” Boston Globe 22 March 1996: 47 .

Nichols, Mike, dir. The Birdcage. Perf. Robin Williams and Nathan Lane. MGM, 1996.

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