World War I was the development of all sorts of different kinds of weapons and technologies, but another important development of World War I was the development of new medical illnesses, such as shell shock, that impacted not only those who fought in the war, but also those around soldiers who had developed this mental impairment. In “The Waste Land”, there is an interaction between a man and woman that captures the affects that shell shock had on both the soldiers and the people around these soldiers after the war. The woman is always telling the man that he needs to “HURRY UP” because “ITS TIME” to go. She continues to yell this at him because she is frustrated with his inability to get moving and get things right. The man, however, can’t make note of her frustration because of his shell shock; he doesn’t make any sort of attempt to fulfill her demands even though she is persistent. The Waste Land illustrates that the anxieties developed by soldiers not only affected them but also everyone around them after they returned home.
BLAST can be thought of as a clear expression of youth through the vorticism used as well as the ideas being expressed in the articles. BLAST was a clear example of the term vorticism, which means bringing a lot of stuff into an identifiable point of tangibility and then blowing it all up. In BLAST, all of the stuff being brought together is the youthful ideas of standing up to the authority figures of the Victorian period. Essentially what they are telling all of society with BLAST is “fuck you”. The writers of BLAST attempted to send a message to all of society, but specifically the members of society who still held Victorian ideas. The message they were trying to send was being “BLASTED” out to society with the obnoxious pink cover and bold lettering, illustrating the writers’ anger and frustration with society. Their message is also illustrated in their words found in BLAST.
In BLAST, there is a common back and forth between blessing and blasting whatever they decide to talk about. They bless then blast certain things to illustrate that they don’t want to take a side on anything. They “fight first for one side, then on the other, but always for the SAME cause”, which is to show that they don’t want to follow the messed up society around them. The writers of BLAST express youth through their frustration with society and their refusal to conform to what is around them. They must go against whatever authority figures are out there and make their message known by BLASTing it out.
Coming into the movie I had expectations on what to expect from the movie. I had seen the other The Who rock opera “Tommy” done on stage and it was much more based around the music, each song being sang on stage and acting as the place for the majority of the action to happen. This was very different from what I expected as the music in the movie acted more as background music to certain aspects of the movie, and didn’t even include every song. I think this threw me off some, as well as the long periods of boredom, which were intentional so as to show the boredom Jimmy felt in his life. I did like the in the movie we could more clearly see Jimmy’s progression and emotional states to better understand his character, plus it was cool to see the mods and rockers visualized in front of me and I got a better idea about what they were about. I also liked that at the end the throwing the bike off the cliff made it so that one could make their own inferences on what happened to Jimmy, whether he went with it or whether it was symbolic of his casting off of the mods. Overall, though, I think I enjoyed the album version better. I liked the progression of songs and I was disappointed that these great pieces of music weren’t completely included in the film, although they did a good job of incorporating the ones they did into it. I just really loved the songs, and not playing them all to their entirety made it flat and it was hard for me to really appreciate the movie as much.
Quadrophenia shows that from the Romantics, to victorians, and now to the Modernist youth has stayed fairly the same, except now in the Modern times they are disillusioned by great institutions because of World War 1 something that greatly changed the face of Europe. Throughout the whole thing Jimmy is trying to decide whether conformity of the mods is really for him or if he is better off being himself. He struggles with realizing that everything he believed in when it comes to the mods is sort of a fake, seen in the “Bell Boy” and “The Punk Meets the Godfather”. He is yearning for connections and love, something that he has yet to find with the mods which confuses him even more. This trying to find his place is something that youth have always tried to find and to create within themselves, and answer questions that help them become something more than themselves. The search for identity is something that youths have been doing for years, and Jimmy’s search nicely sums up the topic that we have been trying to understand throughout the semester.
The Society at Cranford makes a huge statement about evolution and youth’s involvement in it. In Cranford, there are no men or people of youth, which mean when Captain Brown arrives with his youthful daughter and his other more sickly one, they cause quite a splash. Nothing happens in this town. There are no births or deaths so the town is stagnant, trying to resist that of modernity, which Captain Brown fully represents, seen in his literary battle with Ms. Jenkes as he declares that Dickens is better than her preferred chose of Dr. Johnson, which her minister father first introduced to her. This lack of youths means that there is no one too challenge the ideas and actions of the older individuals, especially as they are disconnected from all that is modernity and industrialization. Youthfulness is more modern, up to the times, and more self-made, much like Captain Brown, although eh himself is not youthful. When Captain Brown and his sickly daughter dies, leaving Jessie on her own, she is then married off, and her child who visits reads both Dickens and Johnson showing youths ability to adapt more, which ensures their survival, which is something that is not likely to happen to Cranford.
I felt that the movie did a great job portraying Jimmy’s identify crisis. At the source of his angst is his constant questioning of who he is. The song “The Real Me” shows his struggle to see how others view him. Throughout the entire movie there was a constant feeling of uneasiness in Jimmy. He clearly is passionate about being a Mod, but discovers he is overly dedicated to the group. He never feels completely accepted at home or with his friends, even his parents question who he is. The scene when his Mom kicks him out of the house shows the unsettlement in his house: “Can you see the real me, Mama? Mama? Can you see the real me, Mama? Whoa, Mama” (The Real Me). Once he is on the street he just roams as though he is seeking his identity. The background music to the last scene is “I’ve Had Enough”:
“I’ve had enough of dancehalls,
I’ve had enough of pills,
I’ve had enough of street fights,
I’ve seen my share of kills,
I’m finished with the fashions,
And acting like I’m tough,
I’m bored with hate and passion,
I’ve had enough of crime and love.”
As this song plays he runs a motorbike off a cliff and it is left to the audience to guess if he jumped too. Questioning who he is has become too much and this is how he handles the stress. I have come to the conclusion that he jumps off the bike before it flies over the cliff. Although Jimmy struggles with mental illness and many other things, I believe he is just blowing off steam in this scene. I don’t think he was devoted to jumping off the cliff.
The movie Quadrophenia and the Rock Opera have several differences that strengthen the meaning behind what the who attempted to do when they wrote the music and lyrics to Quadrophenia. One vast difference was the character that Jimmy is quite close to who happens to be a rocker. In the early interactions between the two of them, it is clear that Jimmy is very comfortable around his rocker friend, but when other mods are around he acts as though he doesn’t recognize his friend. It illustrated that Jimmy has difficulty accepting the mod movement when the movement does not align with his lifestyle before he embraced the mod movement. In other words, he only fully takes on and embraces the mod movement with things that came about after he accepted the movement, like his job.
The ending to the movie was a fantastic representation of how Jimmy is conflicted internally as to how serious he should take the mod movement. All of his friends, and even his biggest mod idol ace face, appear to be sell outs to Jimmy as they cannot embrace the mod movement with every piece of their lives. He cannot understand how they are content with only being a mod when it is time to go to parties. The ending is also very ambiguous to whether or not Jimmy drives off the cliff with the bike, giving his whole self to the mod lifestyle, or if he bails at the last second and saves himself from the mod lifestyle. Over all, the movie was more enjoyable to me than the Rock Opera, but it was important to see the two different mediums, and how the who’s message about youth could be portrayed in two different, yet related, ways.