Shocking and sad endings don’t seem to be the most popular. When Henrik Ibsen wrote A Doll’s House the ending was so shocking, that the actress playing the lead demanded an alternate ending if she were to perform it. So rather than having the play end with Nora leaving her husband and thus her kids, she stayed. While much less shocking than the true ending, this changed detail made the work and its message less powerful. Rather than going off to find herself as an individual, Nora remained a doll governed by the lives of others. This change softened the shock factor, but it also weakened Ibsen’s message. A Streetcar Named Desire by Tennessee Williams is another classic example of why changing endings is dangerous. The play ends with Blanche being escorted to an insane asylum while her sister Stella remains with her abusive husband. The characters around Blanche choose to believe that her story of Stanley raping her didn’t happen. The film version starring Vivien Leigh and Marlon Brando ends differently. In the last few minutes Stella runs off with her baby to her neighbor’s apartment swearing that she’ll never go back down (back to Stanley). A few minutes earlier, another character, Mitch, also blames Stanley for Blanche’s hysteric condition. The characters see Stanley as the villain the audience knows he is. But in the play Stanley remains top dog as the characters choose to believe the lie before them. In the film Stanley loses, in the play he wins. I prefer the ending where Stanley is recognized as the villain, and I would love an ending where Blanche lives happily ever after with Mitch, but I only accept the ending as it is written. With any other ending, A Streetcar Named Desire is a completely different play. The message that Williams conveys about the rules that govern the world is weakened, if not lost, with a shift in the ending. Endings are vitally important to both the plot and message of a work, so to change one is a dangerous game. As much as we want happy endings, we have to accept the painful, sad ones laid before us. The End
Some of my earliest memories are of drawing on the chalkboard in my dad’s third grade classroom, playing teacher. I would line up spare chairs along the board and seat stuffed animals in them, trying in vain to teach them the multiplication tables I was learning.
But, they cannot surrender. Now, more than ever, I feel that it’s vitally important to pursue teaching. Future generations depend on it — they need a defender, so I’m preparing for battle.
My journey began in a place called Bartlett on the outskirts of Memphis. I was meant to travel to Memphis to celebrate the day and see the parade. On the way to the blue city I saw a pyramid and met a saint. Once inside the city walls, music filled the streets and crowds of people were tipsy with excitement. Horses clopped past me drawing elegant carriages and a magical trolley flew across the sky above me. I collected strands of jewels as I worked my way through the crowd to view the parade. Music playing troops marched by and members of the parade court waved to the crowd. And to my surprise I was presented a red carnation by one marching past. With the flower in my hand, I found myself away from the crowd on a magical street called Beale. Having seen the parade, I found myself in want of corned beef and Irish soda bread. So searching for a place to satiate my hunger, I found myself walking into a friendly tavern. Yet I was tricked! When I walked through the door I was in not a tavern, but a courtyard! The courtyard was grey and deserted. Almost deserted. In the center of the space, protecting his pot of gold, sat a leprechaun. This leprechaun was taller than most, but magical nonetheless. For when I blinked the leprechaun seemed to be gone with just a wink! I searched the courtyard for any remnants of the leprechaun’s magic or his gold, but found only a door. Through the door I found a bustling place of food and drink. It struck me as an ordinary place til I saw there were flecks of gold in everything plate and then I knew the leprechaun had blessed this space. And this is the tale of whence I met a leprechaun, and I assure you it is completely true.
I know it’s pretty ironic for the white male to be the one writing the blog on International Women’s Day, but today is my assigned day. I am going to start this blog by saying that I will never have to face an enormous number of problems that women face daily, but I can talk about my mom.