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RC312 Paper 1 Re-Write - Often questions are raised after...

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Often questions are raised after watching a film concerning the meaning of certain actions of characters. Outside of inquiries regarding the plot, figuring out why a specific line of poetry was read repeatedly at times, or why a group of characters only wore bright colors are the type of questions posed in dealing with the meaning. Repetition of themes, objects used and actions carried out are often purposely done by the filmmaker, these become known as motifs. Motifs are commonly used to make reference to a particular theme or subject in order to further explain emotions and ideas in a subtle way. Within Shop on Main Street, Divided We Fall and Transport From Paradise lie many motifs in an effort to bring forth the meaning of the actions of those who played a part in working with or helping Jews during World War II. These motifs include but are not limited to both visual and sound generated reoccurrences such as reflections, refractions and biblical imagery as well as the sound of running; all of which contribute to the development and understanding of the meaning of each film. In Shop on Main Street Tono’s dog Essence is a representation of character symbolism. When we are first introduced to Tono we see he is a skilled worker who is not materialistic but more so interested in the quality of his work. This is evident by his lack of concern with the payment he received (at the beginning of the film), made up of half money and half pigeons, after completing a job. Though it may be subtle the presence of Essence exists as a representation of the morality and conscience of Tono. We see Tono and Essence travel to town to see the progress being made on the new monument being built. This monument, however, was a clear representation of the Fascists allegiance with the Nazi beliefs toward war and Jews. It was also likened to the “Tower of Babel”, a biblical reference that illustrates the efforts of human beings to reach for heaven on their own doing, without God. As Tono is viewing it he looks to be slightly uncomfortable and irritated. Simultaneously Essence is shown urinating on a small monument shaped figure. At this moment Essence and Tono are in accord with each other in feelings and emotions. Soon after Tono is presented with the opportunity to be the manager of Mrs. Lautmann’s shop. His wife who ultimately wants more money promotes his acceptance, something Tono does not have a huge desire for but accepts anyway. The following morning as Tono is leaving for his first day as manager; he leaves Essence at home, as if to leave his conscience in order to go through with the plans made the previous night. As a climactic illustration of this relationship, the middle of the film depicts Tono helping Mrs. Lautmann by claiming to be her assistant instead of her manager thus allowing her to believe she still has complete control over the shop. He also goes as far as to help refurbish her furniture for her, bringing him back to his preferred element of work. After we see Tono make the decision to take over Mrs. Lautmann’s shop Essence does not
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