Wednesday, March 20, 2013

candyland and sweet home


As ashamed as I am to make a pop culture reference on the Humanities blog, I cannot help but think of Quentin Tarantino's newest movie, Django Unchained, when I read Beloved. Nothing about the excessive gun fire or dramatic close-ups of Jamie Fox seem to relate, but the depiction of Candyland, the notorious plantation where much of the movie takes place, reminds me of Sweet Home. Both of the names are blatantly ironic, considering each is a place of such brutal abuse and tremendous horror. Upon reading the description of the trees at Sweet Home, I immediately thought about the trees in Candyland. Just like how Sethe cannot think of Sweet Home without remembering the beautiful trees, I remember being taken a back by how shockingly beautiful the images of the plantation were. Now I picture Sweet Home the same way I do Candlyland. Ironically and undeservingly beautiful. 

Here are a couple stills that do a poor job of depicting how beautiful the Candyland plantation is. Hopefully most of you have seen the movie and will understand what I'm talking about. 

http://moviesfilmsmotionpictures.files.wordpress.com/2009/11/django_unchained_jamie_foxx-pistol-quentin_tarantino.jpg

http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-rkjKFIUs9zs/UNjLlSIPGnI/AAAAAAAABX8/ESAD4-vtRKg/s1600/django004.png

http://25.media.tumblr.com/tumblr_mdfwseDQLD1rpjuixo1_500.jpg

7 comments:

Grant Reggio said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Grant Reggio said...

Pleasant Ridge, Sunny-side, Spring Villa, Mount Hope are some ironic names I found amongst some other southern plantations. It's funny (in a bad way of course) that such horrible places had such pleasant names. It sort of reflects a similar hypocrisy the America had about slavery in general seeing that it was a land founded on the principles of freedom and liberty.

Grant Reggio said...

Sorry, accidentally spammed my comment

Madeline Davis said...

I haven't seen Django Unchained, but I agree with the sick irony of the plantations' names both in Django and Beloved. I think Sweet Home's name relates to the Garners and their skewed perception on the treatment of slaves. I completely agree that the Garners treated their slaves much better than others did, namely the guards of the prison chain gang, but they were still slaves. Although Sweet Home was far more pleasant than other plantations, Sethe and Paul D were still haunted by their experiences there, so much so that Sethe felt it necessary to kill her children rather than let them be taken back into the same slavery she experienced.

Michell D said...

As I understand it, many of the plantations with slaves did not see slavery by any means a bad thing, if anything they just maximized profits. There were probably some who realized that slavery was bad, but only had slaves because they had to compete with the other plantations. Either way they wouldn't want their plantations to reflect the horrible conditions thief slaves endured. I can't imagine anyone naming their plantation "dehumanization lane" "sweat home" or "mount murder." So I think that either they didn't realize how horrible it was to mistreat humans or they just did it because it seems logical, but in both instances they probably saw no reason to have their homes sound like torture quarters, even though they were.

Ben Bonner said...

I remeber when talking about the industrial revolution in US history last year that there were some industrialists who would have liked for there to have been decent minimum wage standards in place but couldn't offer them because they would no longer be competitive. I think we see some of the same sentiments in Beloved. Mr. Garner seems almost opposed to slavery, however he is forced to own slaves if he wishes to be economically competitive. I think that his refferal to the slaves as "men" and his naming of the plantation as "sweet home" reveal his attempt to find a moral justification for what he knows is wrong.

wkuehne said...

The beauty of plantations homes has always creeped me out. The fact that beautiful plantation homes, and their beautiful settings, have housed some of the world's greatest atrocities is chilling. Indeed, the "ghosts" that Morrison says crowd the rafters of houses in the south is a very good way to describe plantation homes, because they are haunted by death-perhaps not ghosts in the metaphysical and supernatural way, but they have housed death, and the brutality of slavery.