{[ promptMessage ]}

Bookmark it

{[ promptMessage ]}

dvaid.A4.140 - Daksha Vaid Writing 140 Section 64560D Dr...

Info icon This preview shows pages 1–3. Sign up to view the full content.

View Full Document Right Arrow Icon
Daksha Vaid Writing 140, Section # 64560D Dr. David Tomkins 11 th November 2009 Assignment #4 The Horrible Screaming Men Call Silence He who is unable to live in society, or who has no need because he is sufficient for himself, must be either a beast or god. -Aristotle, Politics In his movie The Enigma Of Kaspar Hauser , German director Werner Hertzog introduces one of the great unsolved mysteries of modern Europe. The film is based on an actual person Kaspar Hauser, who mysteriously appeared in a small town called Nuremberg. He cannot speak and seems barely human. He has difficulty with simple physical activities and speaks haltingly and strangely. Fascinated, the town tries to civilize him, but soon they begin to treat him as a fanatic wild animal, presenting him as a public spectacle. He is enthusiastically embraced as an attractive money making object, and is treated as an object of curiosity by the entire town. However, when he is stabbed mysteriously by the same man who taught him to walk and write his name, he is quickly deemed abnormal after a study by physicians. Although the movie traces the path of Kaspar’s transformation from a wild human to a civilized man, it questions our understanding of a “beast”. Is a beast any living creature that cannot adapt itself to an organized form of life? Are mannerisms, looks, communication skills the only parameters which classify a creature beastly? Our society’s understanding of beastliness renders any creature unable to
Image of page 1

Info icon This preview has intentionally blurred sections. Sign up to view the full version.

View Full Document Right Arrow Icon
portray these characteristics as a lower animal as distinguished from a human being. However, our connotations of beastliness give a false impression of the society as a civilized state of living characterized by taste, refinement, or restraint. The brutish treatment of Kaspar, who is uncorrupt and virtuous, by the townsfolk helps one recognize the crude way in which society and order corrupt the innate human nature which is free from harshness or roughness of violence. Herzog’s film demonstrates this ruthless nature of society which in itself reveal lack of aesthetic appeal or refinement. In his body of work which is at once stunning and perplexing, Werner Herzog tries to bring about the emotions and struggles of an individual who is rejected from the society due to his lack of discipline in a civilized environment. He uses images and visuals which do not narrate the sequence of events, instead bring about the inner battle within the individual. Roger Ebert, a noted critic in Chicago Sun-Times says - “In Herzog the line between fact and fiction is a shifting one. He cares not for accuracy but for effect, for a transcendent ecstasy. "Kaspar Hauser" tells its story not as a narrative about its hero, but as a mosaic of striking behavior and images: A line of penitents struggling up a hillside, a desert caravan led by a blind man, a stork capturing a worm. These images are unrelated to Kaspar except in the way they reflect and illuminate his struggle. The last thing Herzog is interested in is "solving" this lonely man's mystery. It is the mystery that attracts him.”
Image of page 2
Image of page 3
This is the end of the preview. Sign up to access the rest of the document.

{[ snackBarMessage ]}

What students are saying

  • Left Quote Icon

    As a current student on this bumpy collegiate pathway, I stumbled upon Course Hero, where I can find study resources for nearly all my courses, get online help from tutors 24/7, and even share my old projects, papers, and lecture notes with other students.

    Student Picture

    Kiran Temple University Fox School of Business ‘17, Course Hero Intern

  • Left Quote Icon

    I cannot even describe how much Course Hero helped me this summer. It’s truly become something I can always rely on and help me. In the end, I was not only able to survive summer classes, but I was able to thrive thanks to Course Hero.

    Student Picture

    Dana University of Pennsylvania ‘17, Course Hero Intern

  • Left Quote Icon

    The ability to access any university’s resources through Course Hero proved invaluable in my case. I was behind on Tulane coursework and actually used UCLA’s materials to help me move forward and get everything together on time.

    Student Picture

    Jill Tulane University ‘16, Course Hero Intern