Thursday, April 12, 2007

The House of Dreams

Jane Addams presents this document "The House of Dreams" to show the connection between Youths and the theater. The influence of film has a profound effect on youths, for they are drowned i what is make believe and finds it difficult to separate it from reality. The theater to many youths is something that they want to relate to. They see unconventional stories that are played in theaters and these stories and are somewhat connected to their lives or how they imagine things to be. The theater helps to create fantasies for these youths and they look foward to see shows that portray a better life for people and society (a higher lifestyle) because they are deprived of having this life. "In a very real sense the drama alone performs for them the office of art as is clearly revealed in their blundering demand stated in many forms for "a play unlike life". The theater becomes to them a "veritable house of dreams" infinetly more real than the noisy streets and the crowded factories" (p.76). Therefore the conception of mystery, romance and drama that are presented in film is a highly better life than the life that is offered to these youths.
They also see that theater presents a conception of sanity and positive aspects of life; "The drama provides a transition between the romantic conceptions which they vainly struggle to keep intact and life's cruelties and trivialities whiich they refuse to admit. a child whose imagination has been cultivated is able to do this for himself through reading and reverie, but for the overworked city youth of meager education, perhaps nothing but the theater is able to perform this important office"(p.77). In other words, Industrial youth workers depended upon film and art to hold on to the contradictions of what their perception of life was, which was not full of nobility and not harmonious.


At 9:11 PM, Blogger A. Mattson said...

You need to format your posts. Use short paragraphs and separate out the quotes so they stand out from your words. Remember to proof read and check your grammar before posting.

This is a good discussion of the idea that film was an escapist fantasy for the urban immigrant population. Why was Addams unhappy about this? What is the problem with a little escape from the hardships of reality?


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