The Emulation of Art & Life
In all walks of everyday life, lessons and experiences are collected in hopes to use them in future scenarios. Many writers throughout history have said they have used these occurrences in their work. At various point in life situations arise in which decisions must be made and once the choice is being carried out, there comes a point when one cannot go back and change course. This inability to revert one’s path is called the “Point of No Return.” In other instances the use of geography may not only be viewed literally but also serve as a metaphor. There are also periods when isolation has an effect on the behavior of an individual. Point of no return, use of geographic surroundings and isolation are concepts used in all of the following works: Francis Ford Coppola’s Apocalypse Now (Now), William Faulkner’s “A Rose for Emily” (A Rose), and Tim O’Brien’s “The Things They Carried” (Things). In these three pieces one shall see not only the ideas of “Point of No Return” (PNR), geographic surroundings, and isolation, but the notion of art imitating life. Foremost, PNR comes in a variety of ways for each of the many characters we encounter in these adventures. In Now, we see Willard’s PNR towards the end of the film after he has arrived at Kurtz’s compound. As he sits in the darkness, Chef’s decapitated head is thrust into his lap. Without Chef to aid him, Willard realizes he is truly on his own. In order to escape Kurtz’s world intact, he must complete his mission alone. In the case of Emily’s manservant in “A Rose,” the PNR is depicted after the death of Emily. “The negro met the first of the ladies at the front door and let them in, with their hushed, sibilant voices and their quick, curious glances, and then he disappeared. He walked right through the house and out the back and was not seen again.” (Faulkner, pg.7) The manservant is aware of the truth of Emily’s dark life which shall soon be exposed to all and does not want to be...
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