21st Century Expression
December 16, 2015
Final Post: The Living Room
“The Living Room” is a story about a woman who begins to follow the life of her neighbors through their living room window. Given that this story is a true story we cannot analyse the piece the way we have looked at many of the works this past semester. What happened both in the living room and how the narrator reacted to the couple’s lives was not scripted the way novels are. Despite this we can still compare common human characteristics to the characters in Love and Radio’s episode that we brought to the class. This post will examine the main comparison my group made in class between “The Living Room” and the short story read at the beginning of the semester “Standard Loneliness Package.”
The main parallel between both “The Living Room” and “Standard Loneliness Package” to me was the action of peeking into other people’s lives. In “Standard Loneliness Package” the form of observation into someone’s life was through choosing to see the experiences of others through the customer’s eyes. Similarly to the podcast the action of observation was a conscious decision. This idea that we can look into others people’s lives has grown in recent years with the advent of new technologies that make it easier to peer into the lives of those that interest us. In class we spoke briefly about the prevalence of reality television and viewers investment into the shows; describing it as though they are friends with the people they are watching. This craving of looking into others people’s lives is only natural, and it is not hard to find the evolutionary benefits to such a curiosity.
Much of the class discussion also revolved around the idea of voyeurism and whether or not the actions of the narrator in the podcast were ethical. I would say that the large distinction between reality television and the podcast we listened to was that the narrator truly cared for the fate of the woman in the window. While reality television stars are made fun of for their daily issues, the narrator was truly routing for the woman to recover from the loss of her partner. It is not hard to tell that the narrator’s relationship with the woman in the window goes far beyond voyeurism.
Facilitators: Ben, Jacob, Justin, Siri
For our facilitation we have brought to you an episode from Love and Radio called “The Living Room.” To be clear the episode stands on its own and you do not need to have listened to prior episodes. “The Living Room” is unique in that the whole episode is cut so that we only hear the interviewee. The story itself touches on topics we have discussed in class such as empathy, attachment, desire, etc.
Hope you enjoy this beautiful story!
It is around this time that I began to believe in the possibility that there would not be any romance within this novel. Fen and Daniel have a very interesting relationship however their relationship does not seem to even come close to anything except mutual survival. Fen is of course a very strong character and has very clear goals as it pertains to the infant. Perhaps the author felt as though having romance within her novel would take away from the strength of her character. In many stories that we read/see that have an apocalyptic element to them we often see people acting with one another in very romantic ways knowing that they could die at any moment. Sherri L. Smith has not added this element into her story and in fact has seemed to have gone in the opposite direction, making the supposed genius Daniel a complete klutz and thereby less appealing. Do you believe that Smith intentionally left out romance from her novel, and if so why?
In this scene Hiro and Baymax have gone into the portal to save Abigail and are pressed for time before the portal collapses on itself. As Hiro and Baymax were about to head into the portal there are parallels to his brother Tadashi going into the burning building to save Professor Callaghan. Much of the story leading up to this moment touched heavily on the personal growth of Hiro and how he has developed to become a better person; and in turn like his brother. However, when it comes down to saying goodbye to Baymax in order to save both himself and Abigail, Hiro is not able to let Baymax go. Baymax is the last thing Hiro has of his brother. The last thing that Baymax asks Hiro is “are you satisfied with your care?” to which Hiro responds “I am satisfied with my care.” Both characters have had this dialogue before and it was far more mechanical. This language on paper does not have very much emotion and could be interpreted as robotic, however there is emotion in the voice of both characters prior to Baymax sending Hiro through the portal. Finally as Hiro heads towards the light at then portals entrance Baymax slips into darkness to make the audience feel that we have really lost him. It is also quite nice to think that even after death Hiro’s brother was able to save him not only from depression but from death.