Friday, September 18, 2009

The Sound of Civilization


I just read an excellent article by Anthony Esolen, on the movie, The Sound of Music. Basically, this article illustrates what has gone wrong with modern civilization and modern "entertainment media". Here are some snippets from the article (in italics--the rest is my summary.)

1. The movie takes for granted that some things are holy.

 There are nuns. The Mother Superior is portrayed as very wise and loving. The nuns are such an integral part of Maria's life, that she gets married in the convent chapel. Marriage is holy. You don't see Maria and the Captain having sex. Or Liesl and Rolf for that matter.

2. There is such a thing as innocence -- and it is not the same as ignorance.

Maria is innocent and yet she sees the harm that the Captain is doing to his children and she calls him on it.

It is also quite telling which characters in the movie are not innocent. The Baroness. (Remember her?) The Nazis. 'nuf said.

3. There are such things as children, thank God.

The children are not miniature grown ups. That is one of the main points of the movie. The children need to be children. That is what Maria, in her wisdom, fights for throughout the film. After Maria enters their life, we see the children play together and work for the positive attention of the adults rather than living separate lives as many film (and real life) children do today.

4. There are such things as boys and girls, and men and women.

Captain Von Trapp is a man. As the article says, he was manly, patriotic, clearheaded, decisive, and courtly. Maria was a real woman, tender, cheerful, largehearted and a great complement to the Captain's manliness. They turned out to be a beautiful team. Can you imagine what it would have been like had the Captain married the Baroness as planned?

5. Today, no one can sing. No one knows why people ever sang.

 This is a very telling observation. Esolen says that even the radios have lost their music, to be replaced by news and talk, filling our lives with worry and paranoia.

We cannot now have musicals, Esolen says, because we do not sing; and we do not sing because we have lost the sense of anything to sing about, or anyone to sing to.  

4 comments:

Cygnus said...

I prefer to think of it as information. :-)

TACParent said...

I do sing ... as often as I can. As a matter of fact, if I'm not singing that means something is off and I need to spend some time balancing my life and making things right. "The Sound of Music," is a wonderful musical.

Marilena said...

have a look at my post!! its about new things for 2010:D i think you'll be delighted:D there's a little ticker in my upper right hand side of my blog:D iam really looking forward to this!:D as a matter of fact, thanks to your sweetie's page, it convinced me:D

Dymphna said...

TAC--I agree--if one is not singing, something is off. And the Sound of Music is a wonderful musical!

I'm going there now, Marilena!!

Dymphna's favorite quotes


"Slavery ended in medieval Europe only because the church extended its sacraments to all slaves and then managed to impose a ban on the enslavement of Christians (and of Jews). Within the context of medieval Europe, that prohibition was effectively a rule of universal abolition. "— Rodney Stark

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