Thursday, March 27, 2008

House of Fantasy

From Jane Addams point of view, the theater was a "Romanticism" for the youth. A "house of dreams" as she refers to it in its power over the youngsters, making these fictional stories come to life. Addams believes that "the theater has a strange power to forecast life for the youth" What I believe she was trying to get at was similar to contemporary debates over media and music today. Many critics feel that the images and music that the youth are exposed to may then have a direct effect on their own prospective of life, thus taking a romanticized fiction and creating a new reality. Addams also describes the type of stories that play out in these films. She describes them as films:

"filling their impressionable minds with these absurdities which will become the
foundation for their working moral codes....and the data from which they will
judge the proprieties of life".

This quote also is an example of the potential effects that these films will cause. In reading the descriptions of a few of these films, I can see where she comes to that conclusion. In one of the films, a mother gives thanks to God for him allowing her sons to bring home two hundred dollars in which they obtain by killing an innocent laundyman while robbing him for his money.


At 4:20 PM, Blogger A. Mattson said...

A good post.

Addams was concerned that the cheap theatre was full of immoral fantasies that would make a poor foundation for the values of American youth. The desire for escapist fantasies reflected the brutal conditions of their existence. But it would only be a temporary escape, a diversion from reality.


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