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Response Paper #2

THE RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN HUMANS AND ANIMALS/NATURE

Can wild be truly domesticated? And if it can, is it right? These are questions that have crossed my mind and our discussion with Thayer Walker. I believe that animals and humans are completely different, and although there is a respectful relationship between most species, humans should not attempt to assert their power over the wild animals because that is not how animal relation’s function. With a respectful relationship, animals and humans can coexist and live off of each other as long as one species does not try to completely dominate the other—especially the jaguars.

Thayer went to an organization in Bolivia that took wild cats in and instead of setting them back into the wild, would walk them on leashes daily. This type of care raised controversy all over. It also made you wonder if you would ever be bold enough to walk a jaguar on a leash. As promising as this organization is, I don’t think this is a good idea and I would not feel comfortable walking a jaguar—as tempting as it is. The idea of domesticating wild animals does not make sense to me. These animals were raised in a different way, and as humans we always have a tendency to conquer things that we see as a threat and fear. We believe that we are on the top of the pyramid. When in reality one of these animals could just snap and immediately you could be dead. We don’t stand a chance against the wild because it will always dominate us. Nature and the wild will always have a way of telling us to back off and respect their space, whether it be biting your crouch, teasing you, or trampling you. Nature will show you your boundaries. Therefore, I think it is wrong to try and domesticate these animals because they were designed to be dominant and to be killers.

            I also don’t trust the program because the wild is the wild. You never know when an animal will turn on you. Like with the leopard, one minute you would be walking and then the next your face would be inside your jaw. Animals are different than humans so one tiny thing can change an animals behavior instantly by triggering its killer instincts. Even though you may believe that an animal is used to human interactions and “domesticated,” it only takes one instance and one wrong turn to return an animal to its natural instincts and completely undo its domestication.

When domesticating animals you are also personifying them. Animals live by a human ritual when they are domesticated so they are given human traits. Humans relate to animals that they believe are smart like humans; therefore, they admire those animals and have respect for them. Animals with human traits are more likely to survive because humans value them. For example humans know the Killer Whale as a whale from sea world who has entertained the public. And even though these whales are killers, humans value the whales because they relate to humans and are smart mammals with human qualities. So if animals are domesticated to have human patterns and qualities they will be respected more by humans since they will be seen as more than an equal.

            These ideas and thoughts bring up the idea of the relationship between animals and humans. I believe that there is a relationship between humans and animals and it can be seen anywhere. It is a mutual admiration and respect relationship. Even though there are exceptions to this relationship, you can see that domesticated animals have respect for their owners, as well as humans having respect (in the sense of fear) for wild animals.

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Response Paper:

            Men and women’s relationships have always been defined throughout history. Men are considered to be superior to women, and only recently have women fought for their rights and increased their status on the totem pole. Yet in Tom Sawyer, Fantasia, and Bambi I see repeated examples of men and women relationships.

            In both Bambi and Fantasia you can see the family relationships between the men and women. The women are always there caring for their children, while the fathers stand far from the family as if on the lookout. This acts as a way to show dominance and the defined role for men. This is your “picture perfect” family from back in the day. Times have changed now because there are more instances when you will see the woman displaying the power. But for a long time, and still today, the family idea is similar to what is portrayed in Disney—the women look after the kids while the father has all the power and stands above his family.

            Along with relationship stereotypes, there are general stereotypes for both men and women. As seen in Bambi, when the male deer come running through the meadow they put on a “tough guy’s” act and display their power by butting heads. Bambi is immediately attracted to this action and instinct kicks in as he experiments with his own form of butting heads. Men are always portrayed as tough, fighters, and dark. In Bambi everyone rushes to see the birth of the new prince since he is a boy and will someday be a man fit to run the forest. There would not have been as much excitement over the birth if it was a girl because men tend to be more valued. Women are characterized as flirty and seductive. Even when using animals, the classic female stereotypes—big lips, big eyes, seductive—are used to distinguish the women. In Fantasia the girls (half horse/half human) spend time getting pampered and prepare to be chosen by the men. They then strut their stuff until they are all eventually paired off with a mate. The men get to do the choosing in this auction, which shows another common stereotype of female and male relationships—that men control women and women will do anything for the men.

            After revisiting these Disney classics you notice more details that Disney placed in the movie that are too mature for the young viewing audiences. Do you think Disney expected kids to understand what he meant when using these female and male stereotypes? Did he expect kids to learn from this subtly and learn to model it later in life? Did Disney believe in lifestyle of men being dominant to women? There are so many movies made at this time showing these male and female relationships that make me wonder if producers and writers are promoting this stereotype or just that they have not known anything else.

            This relationship is also shown in Tom Sawyer because Tom and his friends and boys so they are suited to be pirates, adventurers, and robbers. Tom has heard that robbers get to keep beautiful women, and that most jobs he’s interested in result in the men ending up with lots of money and pretty girls.

            As you can see, the stereotypical relationship between boys and girls is present in most of the literature and film we have viewed so far. Most of these works are from the same time period so they show a reflection of what is going on at the time. It would be interesting to see what changes would be made to the movie if it was set in present day. Would they portray women differently? Would men still have all the power? It would be cool to see if the relationships and views on men and women changed.

So far when reading Tom Sawyer, nature seems mainly pastoral. 

“It was the cool gray dawn, and there was a delicious sense of repose and peace in the deep pervading calm and silence of the woods.” (page 106)

“…snug nooks carpeted with grass and jeweled with flowers.” (page 108). 

Aside from these quotes, Mark Twain uses words like peaceful, shimmering, calm, and animals to portray the pastoral nature. The nature is calming and a place for escape and adventure to Tom. Even though most passages I have read so far are mainly pastoral, I can sense that there is some sublime that is coming. Nature cannot be purely one or the other and therefore must rely on a mix. Especially since they are pirates and exploring, I feel that something sublime will happen in nature. But in the mean time, nature still remains peaceful and calm. It is a comforting place for Tom. And although he views it as a wild place for adventure, nature has had no sublime, controlled by God, moments, so it remains pastoral, peaceful, calming, and beautiful. It is Tom’s dream since it is undiscovered and wonderful, and because of his sense of adventure he will search to try and find an aspect of nature that is sublime for his expeditions.

Tom Sawyer

“…Tom being placed next to the aisle, in order that he might be as far away from the open window and the seductive outside summer scenes as possible.” (page 37)

 

This quote shows how adults want Tom to interact with nature. They are trying to protect Tom from the freedom of nature and everything that nature represents–freedom, childlike, “dirty,” dangerous, and seductive. They place him on the inside of the pew so that he does not get the temptation to think about the outside world. His aunt is trying so hard to keep him away from a life outdoors and have him grow up quickly into an adult. They are trying to force him to mature early out of his childhood years so that he is not enticed by the beautiful pastoral summer day. Adults in this village are about hard work, labor, and education. Aunt Polly especially doesn’t want Tom hanging around with the wrong kids and getting sucked into the world of imagination. She is trying to kill his imagination. She feels that nature is dangerous and can have a negative long term affect on Tom. By placing him away from the window she is hoping to knock some sense into that boy and get him to focus on more important things. But to Tom nature and the outside world is all that matters. He wants to maintain his childhood and innocence and keep his sense of exploration. The summer works its seducing powers on Tom and persuades him to come enjoy the wonders of nature. In conclusion, Tom is still a young boy who loves his outdoor adventures, but his aunt will try and do whatever she can to make him outgrow his nature phase–even if it means placing him as far away from the window as possible.

Natural Influences

I think nature is defined by the human personality. Nature will always be there, but it is people’s experiences that guide their perceptions of nature. Every character in the passage had a different interpretation of nature and it meant something different for everyone. Some people viewed it as beautiful, wild, peaceful, dry, wet, dreamy, and spiny. In the first passage the author considers the nature to be wild and savage because it has yet to be inhabited. In the next passage the author is amazed by what God has created with nature. And even though nature has changed in between these years, it is the author’s personality, opinions, and experiences that shape their views toward nature. In the other passages, the authors have conflicting views toward nature about it being too dry, too wet, wild once inhabited with humans, spinning, and a land of dreams. The psychical environment definitely does have an affect on the writer’s portrayal of nature, but it is more the experiences of the author that affect the writer’s view on nature. For instance if you put a group of people in an area of nature at the same time, they all will have different experiences that contribute to their view of nature so they will all have different views and portrayals of nature that will influence their thoughts on nature.

Fantasia Review

Since I have never seen Fantasia before, I have been very surprised by this movie. Like said before, this is not your classic Disney movie at all. Sure the animation does apply to kids but there is no dialogue but just classical music as the sound in the movie. The music is great and is a great addition to the film. Fantasound was in perfect harmony with the actions of the characters which left plenty of room for imagination to create your own dialogue. however, I don’t think it it necessary to have a dialogue because they significance of the movie is its sound and how the characters react with the sound. 

 

The scenes we saw in class can be analyzed in so many different ways. There is the element of color that is displayed in the movie. The colors can be analyzed as a form of racial segregation. There are differences in certain characters and their colors. Light and dark is also a main element of color in the movie. The mood of the scene can easily be determined by the color. For example, when T-Rex entered there was a dark and loud entrance so that you knew something bad was about to happen. So light and color work as a pair to set to tone of movie. 

 

Gender is also a very significant part of the movie. In many scenes you can see the role of women vs. the role of men. The female fish were very seductive with their stereotypical big lips and eyes while batting their eye lashes. Also in the scene with the horse/human creatures there is a big ordeal to get the girls ready for their presentation. They wait and prepare for the men to come, and once they do the girls put on a “show” and model and are auctioned off to the men. Interestingly enough the girls and boys paired of with members of the same color. That relates back to the color and possibly racial stereotypes about how people belong with members of the same color. At the end of that scene the father flying unicorn was perched on the top branch while the mom was at home being the only one caring for her young. The parents didnt even sleep together, because the father had to watch out for his family during the night. Here you can clearly see the gender roles in society played out. 

 

Fantasia also focuses a lot on nature–both pastural and sublime. It seems that there is never a scene that is completely pastoral or completely sublime. It would be ideal to live in a pastoral nature, but one can not function without the other. A purely pastoral nature or purely sublime nature would get too boring and would need some change. So like in the last scene we watched, the land started out happy, colorful, and pastoral, but then was turned sublime when the gods were messing around with the lightning. After the sublime moment, the land returned to pastoral and everything was ok, so the sublime had a positive change on nature. Everything can’t be perfect and there will always be change (sublime nature) but it won’t always be bad. 

 

Disney does a great job in Fantasia using sound, color, and nature to relay important messages. This movie can be analyzed in so many ways and thats why I believe it is a classic and can be enjoyed by all ages.

Definitions

Animal: Creatures that are essential for the survival of the earth. Range from ants to tigers to people. But humans are becoming more and more separated from the section of “animals.”

Nature: Is the habitat in which the animals live. It is the bare Earth without being urbanized and is still in it’s original state. 

Wild: Uncivilized. Where animals are free to do whatever they want. Survival of the fittest. 

Human: Humans are the most advanced forms of animals and have begun to branch off. They are more superior than other animals, yet they are still connected and rely on each other.

Morals: Someone’s beliefs and values that guide them through life and they will always remain true to their morals. In a sense it tells people what is right and what is wrong.

Love: Everyone needs love. It is a drug that makes people feel happy, comfortable and secure. Whether it be with a partner, animal, or friend, love is always needed.

Life: All of the definitions above and many more all create life. Life is the interactions within the animals and nature and the wild. Everything functioning together creates life.