Monday, February 7, 2011

Rabbit Proof Fence

This weekend I re-watched an incredible movie called "Rabbit Proof Fence." Below is the link for a tribute trailer that explains the plot and shows images from the movie. As I thought about the trials that these Aboroginese girls had to endure, I was reminded of the "White Man's Burden" and even the futility of life that we have discussed in connection with Dostoevsky and Elliot's works. At one point in the movie, white missionaries try to indoctrinate the Aboroginese children, often cruelly punishing them and forcing them to become "civilized" using very uncivilized methods. The fact that this has happened in Australia, Africa (as shown by Conrad's Heart of Darkness), and in various other countries seems to support the Underground Man's belief that humans do not progress and in fact are more barbarous than before since "Previously man saw justice in bloodshed and exterminated whomever he wished with a clear conscience; whereas now, though we consider bloodshed to be abominable, we nevertheless engage in this abomination even more than before" (553). Prufrock also seems to think humans cannot progress, stating, "I should have been a pair of ragged claws scuttling across the floors of silent seas" (982). This image of a crab implies a sideward movement, rather than forward. What do you all think about Dostoevsky and Elliot's questions of human progress? Can we as humans ever move forward, or are we just "pairs of ragged claws scuttling across the floors of silent seas"?

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