Still-Rather-Timid wrote:Oh, DeppLovesBananas, as an English teacher who has enough sense to like Johnny Depp, I am loving and chuckling over your tales of the "Pittiful" English teacher! But, as much as I hate to tell you this, I loved Tale of Two Cities and barely made it through The Scarlet Letter. To me, TOTC is about the romantic sacrifice of Sydney Carton--in love with Lucy Manette, but knowing she's in love with his look-alike Charles Darnay and not him, and then going to the gallows in place of Charles Darnay, so that Lucy can have the man she loves, all against the backdrop of the French Revolution--well, I find that thrilling. Sidney Carton's sacrificing himself and giving up the woman he loves so that she may survive reminds me of several of Johnny's characters--Abberline, Cesar, and Raphael. I highly recommend the old film with Ronald Coleman--so tragic and inspiring!
As for symbolism in F&LILV, I was making a joke about the "transparent" symbolism of the Neutrogena soap, but I do find the detail significant. It is true that Hunter actually collected Neutrogena soap samples from a hotel in Vegas; I remember Johnny's mentioning that he found them in Hunter's basement while he was researching F&LILV. But it is interesting to me that Hunter decided that detail was important enough, and significant enough to include in his book associating Las Vegas with the "savage heart of the American dream." That a hotel in Las Vegas would choose Neutrogena soap was funny, and ironic: the ad campaigns for Neutrogena soap have always touted it as somehow purer than other soaps, more natural and contaminant-free because it's sorta transparent instead of opaque like fatty, greedy, greasy, overfed soaps, and it would be more expensive for a hotel to give out than Cashmere Bouquet and Camay. And then I remember that until I heard a TV ad for it, I wasn't sure how to pronounce Neutrogena soap, and that gives it a sort of elite air. So a hotel in Las Vegas using the pure, lean, sinless hard-to-pronounce Neutrogena soap was sort of ironic, and I bet it struck Hunter that way. He could have just written "we stole a lot of the free soap," but he was compelled to mention the brand, so he must have thought it important.
I was recently at a couple of Holiday Inns, and they advertised this new line of "pure and simple" free sample products that they were proud of using, in very unadorned cylindrical bottles. The little shampoo bottle had only one word printed on it, like "cleansing" and the conditioner bottle said something like "untangling," and every product had a one-word gerund as the label. The simplicity was downright cloying and pretentious. Neither of these two Holiday Inns offered the shower caps--which I am accustomed to getting, so I was pissed, and it occurred to me that they couldn't offer a shower cap in this line of product because they couldn't come up with a "pure and simple" one-word gerund label for it! If they labelled it "protecting," someone might mistake it for a condom and sue the Holiday Inn for child support! My point is that soap is never just soap: the hotel chooses its brand of soap to create a certain identity. Each soap has an image associated with it, and the image of Neutrogena soap is at the opposite end of the spectrum from Las Vegas!
Thanks, I'm glad my Pittified English teacher delights you all, I enjoy telling the antics as it were of her, she's quite a character. See the problem for me with ATOTC, was that all that interesting and thought provoking things you just talked about, I didn't comprenhend from the book. Because of the wording, too many words to be more exact, but I am glad you liked it. I am only in the begining stages of the Scarlet Letter, I will form an opinion on it shortly, just have to wash up with some soap first......where did I put that......????
To answer you question Liz, would the notes conflict with my teacher's teaching, well, yeah.
At least it did with ATOTC, (I'll have to check with Scarlet Letter, but SparkNotes, etc, can be helpful, but only in moderation) everytime my friends and I used it to answer questions about chapters and such, I would always get the answers wrong. Probably because the notes weren't specific and just generalized the meaning of the chapter. At times they were helpful but really in the end, you gotta read the book. But ATOTC was just impossible for me, God Bless SRT for reading it, and liking it, I could never get through it.
I'll make a note to update on whatever my english is up to par so to speak with the world of Depp yet. As soon as we're done with the Puritans.
Oh, before I venture off, I have a funny story from English class. You know how the Puritans believed in predestination? Well this kid in my class asked my teacher, if they knew they were going to Hell (or not) since they believed in predestination, if they were going to Hell, why didn't they just party?
I may have just said "going to hell" way too many times for the rules's liking.
But its for ENGLISH.