Woody Allens Indifference Toward Death English Literature Essay

This paper will concentrate on Woody Allen, who is in my sentiment a highly-talented histrion, writer, and manager. On top of that, he is an astonishing dramatist and a screaming comic. He was born on the first of December of 1935 to Nettie and Martin Konigsberg, Born and raised in the Big Apple, New York City. Allen s chief focal point appears to be on the middleclass population of New York City, taking deep involvement in their life styles. A bulk of Woody Allen s works appear to be on life and decease, repeating subjects in his creative activities.

The two plants this paper will be looking at are Whatever Works and Death Knocks ; one is a film and one is a drama, severally. In one of these plants, Woody Allen examines the hapless province of society through the eyes of Boris, who appears to be merely excessively intelligent for his ain good ; on the other manus, we have Nat Ackerman, who pleads slightly arrogantly with Death, stating Death that it merely is non his clip yet. He depicts these subjects systematically through many of his Hagiographas. His characters typically begin with one set of values, and, changed by life fortunes, they trade these values for a new set of values. Life forces them to alter in order to accept their state of affairss.

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From a immature age, Allen dreamed of authorship dramas and even hoped to go a successful comic. It was frowned upon unluckily by his parents, who hoped that Allen would go a physician or a attorney alternatively, and financially procure his hereafter. Woody Allen gratefully carried on with his dreams, composing for telecasting webs, which opened all kinds of new doors for him in show concern. It was non long before he started to compose and direct dramas, and he even began to move in them. Even more shortly after, his dramas were adapted into films which earned Oscars for his first-class action and way, and he has even succeeded as a amusing. The sum of attempt and merely how much of himself he puts into his dramas and films is apparent. A good figure of his characters are typically older work forces who find themselves in relationships with immature, beautiful adult females. Woody Allen, at one point in clip, fell in love with and married the adoptive girl of his ex-wife, mirroring the relationship that Boris and Melody had in Whatever Works.

Allen is both the manager and author of the screaming movie, Whatever Works. Boris is an effectual vas through which the universe may see Allen s ain positions on the universe. Allen uses this medium of creativeness in a manner that creative persons would utilize a canvas, noting on his work that it “ distracts me from the uncertainness of life, the inevitableness of aging and decease and decease of loved 1s ; mass violent deaths and famishment, from holocausts non merely semisynthetic slaughter, but the experiential place you ‘re in. ” Through his films, Allen has been able to take a breath life into his characters utilizing his ain ideas and thoughts. Stardust Memories ( 1980 ) allowed Woody Allen to set on show a portrayal of a adult male who is intended to look merely every bit depraved as Allen s critics have accused him of being ( Lee 115-116 ) . Therefore, Whatever Works appears to be one of the most powerful movies through which Woody Allen plants, through his character, Boris.

In Boris head, life is merely a horror film that is excessively much for any one individual to manage. He says that there are no ethical motives or regulations, but alternatively, everybody has to make whatever they can to acquire by — whatever plants. He believes that finally, as one grows older, one s ends and aspirations will merely alter to fit whatever will work for them. Obviously, going a manager, author, and comic was what worked for Woody Allen, and non going a physician or attorney as his parents wished for him. Whatever Works begins with Boris on a complete fulmination against humanity. In fact, the first scene brings to light every failure of humanity, particularly the failure of political orientations. However, it is non the mistake of the political orientations, but the mistake of world, and the thought that work forces are inherently good. To Boris, life is a incubus without people in it and that people should take whatever pleasance they can acquire in this house of incubuss. His position on life is, at best, pessimistic and misanthropic.

When interviewed on his life and positions, Allen expressed a alone position. The broadcaster interviewed Woody Allen, inquiring him about the repeating subjects that appeared in his dramas and narratives, and why they were approximately life being so hard. He answered this, All the of import authors and all the of import philosophers

hold, in one signifier or another, come to the decision, the obvious decision, that you know, life is a awful test and really rough and really full of agony, and so whatever you can make with the judicial admission that you do n’t ache anybody without, you know, destroying a life here or at that place or doing any harm, there ‘s nil incorrect with it ( Will the Real Woody Allen Please Stand Up ) . This opens up an full window into merely what Woody Allen s philosophical positions are, and these positions leave an obvious grade on his originative plants. Boris and Woody not-so-coincidentally portion the same positions, made obvious when Woody says that the existent jobs in his life distract him from work, such as the possibility of decease and the awful kinds of things life might convey. Specifically, what distracts him is this:

the uncertainness of life and inevitableness of aging and decease, and decease of loved 1s, and mass violent deaths and famishments and holocausts, and non merely the manmade slaughter but the experiential place that you ‘re in, you know, being in a universe where you have no thought what ‘s traveling on, why you ‘re here or what possible intending your life can hold and the decision that you come to after a piece, that there is truly no significance to it, and it ‘s merely a random, nonmeaningful event, and these are reasonably dejecting ideas. And if you spend much clip believing about them, non merely ca n’t you decide them, but you sit frozen in your place ( Will the Real Woody Allen Please Stand Up ) .

With this quotation mark, it becomes clear how much of Woody is a portion of his characters. American and European civilization alike both had powerful influences on Woody Allen, as he drew from many beginnings such as: Ingmar Bergman, Dostoevsky, Charlie Chaplin, Orson Welles, and many more. He distrusts and satirizes formal instruction through Melody and her mindless behaviour, and even through Boris stating her the American instruction system has failed her, which is why she acts as dull and unintelligent as she does ( Woody Allen ) .

Whatever Works follows the narrative of Boris, a singular mastermind who claims to hold one time about won the Nobel Peace Prize. He is evidently physically acquiring on in old ages, but he surprisingly lives entirely with no married woman at his side. This is seemingly due to the fact that Boris had one time attempted, and failed, to perpetrate self-destruction, and shortly thenceforth, he divorces his first married woman, recognizing that even though he and his married woman have everything in common, they merely merely make non acquire along. One fatal twenty-four hours, Boris meets Melody shortly after holding a repast with his friends. Tune seems to be a runaway from Mississippi who has convinced herself that she merely can non travel place, that she has to remain in New York City, acquire a occupation, and do her dreams come true — but for now, Melody needs a topographic point to remain. She is guiltless and sweet, converting Boris to allow her stay. It is non long until Melody falls in love with him, charmed by his intelligence and wisdom, and she thinks that she is such a lucky miss to hold fallen in love with person so smart to hold about won the Nobel Peace Prize. It is even shorter before he imprints upon her, and shortly, Melody takes up his same doctrines.

It is apparent to see merely how strong Woody Allen s positions are on version. It is absolutely expressed in his movie, Whatever Works, by the portrayal that Allen pigments of Melody s parents. Melody s parents are blue-collar, likely working category degree people with strong spiritual beliefs, which is a stereotype of the Southwestern Americans who live near and around Mississippi. Melody s mother comes to the Big Apple to run into who her girl has married, merely to happen that Boris is a neurotic, old adult male. She faints, and later, she believes Tune must hold been kidnapped and held surety, or even possibly brainwashed. Melody s female parent is about as na ve as her girl, being a simple homemaker who had merely of all time married and slept with one adult male. He cheats on her, taking to their divorce, and Melody s female parent so fled to New York City to be with her girl. She grows accustomed to life in the metropolis that ne’er sleeps, and decides to go a lasting occupant. Her female parent even becomes an artist picture bare montages with her two lovers that she lives with. Unsurprisingly, her hubby alterations every bit good. He valorously comes to New York City to win his married woman s bosom back, merely to detect that he is in fact a homosexual. He takes a male lover and lives in with him. This is how Allen expresses the ways in which one will alter their life in order to do everything work out and to, in consequence, header with the incubus.

Woody Allen seems to seek and do a jeer out of the subject of decease, which is, to many people, a great and awful fright. Take, for illustration, Boris. With the failure of each matrimony, he attempts to perpetrate self-destruction, and it is ever with the same method: to leap out of a window, any window that is nearby. His first effort was with his first married woman after waking up to a panic onslaught. This anxiousness onslaught led Boris to come to the decision that he was deceasing — easy death, small by small, as clip passed. After jumping from the window, Boris fortuitously lands upon the sunshade of a shop, turn overing off of it safely, but geting a hitch. Soon after, he and his married woman divorce, as Boris believed that even though they were perfect and had everything that could be in common, in common, ( aside from being of opposite genders ) , they truly didn t get along at all.

With his 2nd married woman, a 2nd self-destruction effort follows. Tune reveals to Boris that she is in love with another adult male, stating him that he should larn to love life and turn near to people. She wants for him to no longer be so pessimistic, and to bask being alive. Boris replies that he saw this twenty-four hours coming, and he goes place to leap out of his window, once more. With the 2nd effort, Boris lands upon an unfortunate adult female go throughing beneath his window and ends up interrupting the adult female s leg. As destiny would hold it, a relationship buds from this catastrophe. While Boris continues to feign think that decease is the lone manner out, the spectator knows that this is merely a forepart, as every self-destruction effort has been on the bead of a dime, and wholly out of character for him: unplanned, thoughtless, and a complete failure. No affair how atrocious Boris claimed that life was, it was still someway deserving life.

Whatever Works, it turns out, is non the lone film through which Allen has made a jeer of decease. Another movie is What s New, Pussycat? ( 1965 ) . Not one originative piece goes by without inquiring some deep and valuable question about the lives of world, such as: Is it possible to make a deeply fulfilling romantic relationship with merely one individual? Is at that place one set of perfectly true moral rules, or is moralss merely a affair of sentiment? Is there God? And what will go on after decease? ( Lee 46 ) . Woody Allen seems to hold eventually answered the inquiries posed in other, predating films with Whatever Works. He seems to be exhaustively convinced that there is no God at all ; Allen shows this through the manner Melody and Boris poke merriment at her male parent for his spiritual rites, such as supplication.

With no regard for her male parent s beliefs, she boldly states that there is nil at all to pray to and that cipher is listening. There is merely air. Faced with a meaningless existence and no manner to turn out the being of God, his character contemplates suicide ( Blake 61 ) . It is a major battle among the characters in Woody Allen s plants. Along with this battle, there is a romantic battle, one with morality. The characters all briefly wrestle with inquiries of morality and gender — all in the name of love. Take, for illustration, Melody s female parent, who swings from being a homemaker from Mississippi to being an creative person with two lovers at one time. In keeping true with Boris claims, it was merely of import that whatever it was worked.

Next, there is Death Knocks: a drama with merely two characters, Nat Ackerman and Death himself. It is a drama that makes a complete gag out of the personification of Death in many ways than one. First and first, Death has to creep up the piping of the house and knock on the window in order to acquire in. If that was non undignified plenty, he takes on the visual aspect of the really adult male he has come to claim. Worst of all, Death is awful at card games. Death claims that there is a different Death for everyone, and that is why he takes on the signifier of his victim. Unable to believe that this appareled adult male who resembles him is decease, Nat challenges him to Gin Rummy — and wins. He earns for himself another 24 hours and $ 28 to boot. Nat kicks Death right out the door, stating him to make whatever he likes every bit long as he doesn t come back for 24 hours. Through this short, one-act drama, it would look that Allen is unwilling to accept the thought of decease, preferring to cover with it when he thinks his clip comes.

Some of Woody Allen s characters even seem to be obsessed with the thought of decease. Alvy, who appears in Annie Hall ( 1977 ) , and Boris from Whatever Works are both characters that are obsessed with abstract considerations about the torment of life and the panics of decease ( Lee 61 ) . This seems to be because, decease is seldom far from Allen s ideas or images ( Blake 69 ) . On top of this, it is a belief of Allen s that life and hurting are, basically, one and the same. Therefore, it is non surprising that many of his characters are shown on the tightrope of life — both afraid to populate and to decease.

Ever the existential philosopher, Woody Allen has ever tried to see life as an perceiver, seeking to acquire a better expression at life. Many dramas have been written, and many films have been directed and filmed, all in the name of capturing the large image for all to see on paper and on the Ag screen. He has let a successful calling, but at the same clip, it might look as though he has succeeded at maintaining it from acquiring to his caput. A fright of decease lingers in the dorsum of his head, and yet, in seeking to deflect himself from this fright, it is all that his originative plants seem to be approximately.

Work Cited

“ Allen, Woody. ” Britannica Biographies. Middle Search Plus. Web. 18 Jan. 2011.

Blake, Richard A. Woody Allen: Profane and Sacred. Lanham, MD ( u.a. ) : Scarecrow, 1995. Print.

Estrin, Mark W. “ Allen, Woody. ” International Dictionary of Films and Filmmakers. Ed. Sara Pendergast and Tom Pendergast. 4th erectile dysfunction. Vol. 2: Directors. Detroit: St. James Press, 2000. 8-14. Gale Virtual Reference Library. Web. 12 Jan. 2011.

Lee, Sander H. Eighteen Woody Allen Films Analyzed: Anguish, God and Existentialism. Jefferson, NC: McFarland & A ; , 1998. Print.

Lee, Sander H. Woody Allen ‘s Angst: Philosophic Comments on His Serious Films. Jefferson, NC: McFarland, 1997. Print.

McCaffrey, Donald W. “ Allen, Woody. ” International Dictionary of Films and Filmmakers. Ed. Sara Pendergast and Tom Pendergast. 4th erectile dysfunction. Vol. 3: Actors and Actresses. Detroit: St. James Press, 2000. 11-14. Gale Virtual Reference Library. Web. 12 Jan. 2011.

“ Will The Real Woody Allen Please Stand Up? [ REBROADCAST ] . ” Fresh Air 29 Dec. 2009. Literature Resource Center. Web. 18 Jan. 2011.

“ Woody Allen. ” International Dictionary of Films and Filmmakers. Vol. 2. Gale, 2000.Gale Biography In Context. Web. 19 Jan. 2011.

“ Woody Allen On Life, Films And ‘Whatever Works ‘ : NPR. ” NPR: National Public Radio: News & A ; Analysis, World, US, Music & A ; Humanistic disciplines: NPR. 15 June 2009. Web. 13 Jan. 2011. & lt ; hypertext transfer protocol: //www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php? storyId=105400872 & gt ; .


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