Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Journey Narrative: Garden State (2003)

The movie Garden State follows Andrew Largeman as he returns to the town he grew up in, in order to attend his mother's funeral. Andrew has not been back to the New Jersey town since he was sent away to boarding school as a youth, following a tragic accident he caused, which left his mother a paraplegic. Since the accident, Andrew's psychiatrist father has prescribed him lithium, which has left him in a numb state of existence. After finding some minor success as a TV actor, Andrew is waiting tables in an upscale Los Angeles restaurant, when he gets the news of his mother's death. When Andrew returns for the funeral, he avoids his father, and spends his time with old friends. By chance, Andrew meets a girl named Sam who represents everything that he is not. Whereas Andrew avoids facing life's troubles, and is numb to his own feelings, Sam feels everything. She is an open-book, and while she has faced tragedy and disappointment herself, she is welcoming to what the world has to offer. As Andrew develops a relationship with Sam, and confronts his past, he begins to rethink the way he has been living his life, and what the future might hold.

Garden State follows the format of a journey narrative. Andrew leaves Los Angeles(Point A), to go to his hometown in New Jersey(Point B), and then plans to return to Los Angeles(Point A). While the journey is geographical, it is also temporal. At the beginning of the story, Andrew is quiet, unassuming, and emotionally detached. He is a silent spectator of his own life, and the world around him. When he returns home, he learns how to approach life in a completely different way. He decides that feeling the bad in life is worth it to be able to feel the good, as well. Instead of avoiding his father, he confronts him and all of their issues in the past. He releases his guilt over his mom's accident, forgiving himself and his father, for handling the situation so poorly. The movie ends at the airport, where Andrew decides to continue pursuing his relationship with Sam. It is not determined whether he will return to Los Angeles or stay in New Jersey. Where he goes from that point forward, however, does not matter. His decision to continue living in this new, open way marks the completion of his emotional journey.

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Hi! My name is Vivien, and I am a second-year Business Marketing major. I grew up in Marin County, so the Bay Area has always been my home. As of this moment I am hoping to go into event planning/coordination. Even though I am studying business, English has always been one of my favorite subjects. I also love baking! Here is a link to a cupcake recipe that I can't wait to try: