Happy Days Question #18 ~ The Message

by Laurent Graff

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Unread postby Liz » Thu Dec 21, 2006 8:44 pm

That's right, Parlez. We talked about that a little bit in another thread--that maybe Antoine is just a catalyst or a set of eyes with which we use to see. We are seeing through his eyes. And if this is the case, his character is not all that important, not much more than a narrator. Thus, he is not the focus of the story. The focus of the story is the world he is observing.

But I can't help but feel that Graff wants us to get some sort of spiritual meaning out of it. And I'm not sure we do merely by observing.
You can't judge a book by its cover.

The only thing that matters is the ending. It's the most important part of the story.

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Unread postby DeppInTheHeartOfTexas » Thu Dec 21, 2006 8:54 pm

I see what you are saying, Parlez, I think. He is our eyes into the world of the aging and dying? I suppose I was waiting for that "AHA!" moment when we knew what he learned. But maybe we are just supposed to learn for ouselves...like Graff said, look at life from the end as opposed to looking for someone to give us the answer (as in the messiah passage).
Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming -
Wow! What a ride!

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Unread postby Parlez » Thu Dec 21, 2006 10:48 pm

Agreed.
And, to wit: pg 97.
"The grounds and garden are bright with lovely summer sunshine. In the large shady spots beneath the leafy trees, little groups gather to play secret games or weave plots they dare not disclose. Watched by counselors, the other children play dodgeball, tag, ring-around-the-rosy. A few loners, ill at ease, watch their comrades at a distance or look glum off in a corner, cultivating a promising originality. ..."

Is this not beautiful, fizzy and alive??
Is he not describing himself and what he found at Happy Days from the very beginning?
"Belay that! ...Do something else!" ~ Hector Barbossa
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Unread postby Depputante » Thu Dec 21, 2006 10:51 pm

Parlez wrote:Agreed.
And, to wit: pg 97.
"The grounds and garden are bright with lovely summer sunshine. In the large shady spots beneath the leafy trees, little groups gather to play secret games or weave plots they dare not disclose. Watched by counselors, the other children play dodgeball, tag, ring-around-the-rosy. A few loners, ill at ease, watch their comrades at a distance or look glum off in a corner, cultivating a promising originality. ..."

Is this not beautiful, fizzy and alive??
Is he not describing himself and what he found at Happy Days from the very beginning?


Nice. He's not the ill at ease loner anymore. :cool:
“The scariest enemy is from within. Allowing yourself to be limited and conform to what you're expected to conform to.”~JD

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Unread postby Red Shoes » Thu Dec 21, 2006 11:04 pm

gemini wrote:Redshoes thinks Graff wants us to learn about life.

I am not so sure that was his message. That is what Antionne was "trying" to do, studying the end of life but did he succeed? Ok, I am going to get deep here.
The book did make me want to embrace my life and make sure I don't take it for granted but I think Graff may have had a higher goal in mind. He was more into Antionne's sacrifice to learn the answer to the big question of why are we here.


Yes, that's sort of what I meant. I almost used the words "higher goal" myself when I posted but I couldn't really figure out what I wanted to say.

For me, I'm left baffled. As DITHOT said, I was waiting for the "aha!" moment and it never came. I was left only with a series of "eh?" moments. But hey, I shall eagerly anicipate the film to see what the dear Mr Depp makes of the whole thing. :chill:
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Unread postby Liz » Thu Dec 21, 2006 11:43 pm

Depputante wrote:
Parlez wrote:Agreed.
And, to wit: pg 97.
"The grounds and garden are bright with lovely summer sunshine. In the large shady spots beneath the leafy trees, little groups gather to play secret games or weave plots they dare not disclose. Watched by counselors, the other children play dodgeball, tag, ring-around-the-rosy. A few loners, ill at ease, watch their comrades at a distance or look glum off in a corner, cultivating a promising originality. ..."

Is this not beautiful, fizzy and alive??
Is he not describing himself and what he found at Happy Days from the very beginning?


Nice. He's not the ill at ease loner anymore. :cool:


But on page 98 he doesn't seem to have resolved anything:

"I contemplate the unchanging spectacle of life. And I still ask myself the same questions."
You can't judge a book by its cover.

The only thing that matters is the ending. It's the most important part of the story.

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Unread postby Lady Jill » Thu Dec 21, 2006 11:45 pm

Liz wrote:
Parlez wrote:Accord! In the time of your life, LIVE!
And for those of you (us) who are closer to Happy Days than we (I) would like to be, I'll say that I have every confidence that when we get there it'll be a very different place indeed. We Boomers simply won't tolerate any old thing. I see great paradigm shifts ahead in the arena of aging and care giving and dying. For instance, imagine, if you will, wearing protective underwear with Depp-ENDS written across the bottom. Or having an 'entertainment room' dedicated to Timothy Leary, Keith Richards, and the Good Doctor. Or having the dining room emblazoned with "Animal House" at the entrance. Or finding at the end of the hallway the Kovorkian Memorial Departure Lounge.
Puts a different spin on things, eh?
CONGRATULATIONS!! WE'RE GETTIN' THERE!!
:disco:


:biglaugh:

Let's hear it for the Depp Diva Baby Boomers! :dance:


:bounce: :bounce: :bounce: :bounce: :bounce: :bounce:
Yea!! I'm with you ! The DDBB's!

Lady Jill :biglaugh:

P. S. Yup. " I still ask myself the same questions". Picture YOU walking out of the theater after watching this as a movie. . .????? Isn't this what movies ( books too ) are all about? Rattling your head to THINK? QUESTION? Ah ha, the answer lies within you.
" After we're gone, the only thing that matters is the love we left behind."

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Unread postby Depputante » Fri Dec 22, 2006 12:13 am

Liz wrote:
Depputante wrote:
Parlez wrote:Agreed.
And, to wit: pg 97.
"The grounds and garden are bright with lovely summer sunshine. In the large shady spots beneath the leafy trees, little groups gather to play secret games or weave plots they dare not disclose. Watched by counselors, the other children play dodgeball, tag, ring-around-the-rosy. A few loners, ill at ease, watch their comrades at a distance or look glum off in a corner, cultivating a promising originality. ..."

Is this not beautiful, fizzy and alive??
Is he not describing himself and what he found at Happy Days from the very beginning?


Nice. He's not the ill at ease loner anymore. :cool:


But on page 98 he doesn't seem to have resolved anything:

"I contemplate the unchanging spectacle of life. And I still ask myself the same questions."


Well, I'll sit on the fence here. He didn't solve his questions about death, but he definately gained an adimration for life. I wish the book had more ...in your face type answers. Perhaps Johnny will settle this debate in the movie.
“The scariest enemy is from within. Allowing yourself to be limited and conform to what you're expected to conform to.”~JD

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Unread postby Liz » Fri Dec 22, 2006 12:15 am

Lady Jill wrote: P. S. Yup. " I still ask myself the same questions". Picture YOU walking out of the theater after watching this as a movie. . .????? Isn't this what movies ( books too ) are all about? Rattling your head to THINK? QUESTION? Ah ha, the answer lies within you.


:lol: Seriously, I think it does.
You can't judge a book by its cover.

The only thing that matters is the ending. It's the most important part of the story.

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Unread postby Liz » Fri Dec 22, 2006 12:20 am

Depputante wrote: I wish the book had more ...in your face type answers. Perhaps Johnny will settle this debate in the movie.


It wouldn't be the first time we Noodlemantras had a debate that wasn't settled. Secret Window, the movie, settled it for us, I guess, although it veered from the book.
You can't judge a book by its cover.

The only thing that matters is the ending. It's the most important part of the story.

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Unread postby Parlez » Fri Dec 22, 2006 12:42 am

Okay, one final hair-splitting...
The passage on pg. 97, IMO, contains all the elements of the story ~ the children playing their games mirror the elders at Happy Days, playing their games, 'watched by counselors' (the staff) ~ Antoine himself is one of the 'loners, ill at ease' who watches 'at a distance', 'off in a corner, cultivating a promising originality.'

Maybe that's a stretch, but I like it. Besides, I'm still snowed in here in Colorado and I've nothing else to do but beat this topic to death!

I can only hope our DDBB Home of the future comes with a similar 'gardener' sitting on a bench somewhere.
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"Belay that! ...Do something else!" ~ Hector Barbossa

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Unread postby nebraska » Fri Dec 22, 2006 12:56 am

"Life is uncertain, eat dessert first."

I don't know if that is what Graff intended, but that probably comes as close to a message as I am able to draw out of the book.

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Unread postby Depputante » Fri Dec 22, 2006 1:23 am

Parlez wrote:Okay, one final hair-splitting...

I can only hope our DDBB Home of the future comes with a similar 'gardener' sitting on a bench somewhere.
:lilyrose:


*heh* yeah one complete with a Wino Forever tattoo !
“The scariest enemy is from within. Allowing yourself to be limited and conform to what you're expected to conform to.”~JD

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Unread postby Liz » Fri Dec 22, 2006 1:34 am

Depputante wrote:
Parlez wrote:Okay, one final hair-splitting...

I can only hope our DDBB Home of the future comes with a similar 'gardener' sitting on a bench somewhere.
:lilyrose:


*heh* yeah one complete with a Wino Forever tattoo !


That's my home of choice! :grin:

Nebraska wrote:"Life is uncertain, eat dessert first."


Wise words those.

Parlez wrote:Maybe that's a stretch, but I like it. Besides, I'm still snowed in here in Colorado and I've nothing else to do but beat this topic to death!


Parlez, I hope you weren't planning on going anywhere out of CO. I hear that the Denver weather is reeking havoc in the world of air travel.
You can't judge a book by its cover.

The only thing that matters is the ending. It's the most important part of the story.

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Unread postby gemini » Fri Dec 22, 2006 1:46 am

Liz wrote:
Depputante wrote: I wish the book had more ...in your face type answers. Perhaps Johnny will settle this debate in the movie.


It wouldn't be the first time we Noodlemantras had a debate that wasn't settled. Secret Window, the movie, settled it for us, I guess, although it veered from the book.

A lot of films differ from the books and this is sometimes why authors are not happy with the movie versions of their books. This reminds me of T&Ts remarks about the finished product being a combination of all involved and not only the writers. I think if Johnny makes the movie he can give it whatever twist he wants. Graff may have left the answers up to the reader but the movie doesn't have to.
This also brings to mind Johnnys disagreement with the director on the way Shantaram was being done. They had different visions for the film which means they must differ on what they want brought out from the book.
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