Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Stories from O Brother

"O Brother Where Art Thou" provides some interesting allegories about people's various experiences during the Depression.  Many of these stories deal with the desperate and/or strange moves people make to cope with the economic hard times.

Share one scene (or recurring relationship if that's easier) from the film that stood out to you as a poignant Depression coping mechanism.  Describe a bit about it and why you chose it (was it the visual, musical, acting, etc.).  In what ways do you think the film represents how the Depression shapes human nature?  Is it accurate?


  1. One scene that I think displayed the most accurate reflection on the depression was the scene after they escape from prison and they go to one of their cousins house's for help. The man agrees to let them stay in the barn and then turns them in later that day expecting to collect the bounty or receive some sort of reward. This really outlines how bad the depression really was. Family was turning against one another without thinking twice about it if they were to gain something from it. Being that everyone had nothing, it was difficult to expect people to help each other when they could barely help themselves. The film shapes human nature in this scene by outlining how people can act under the specific circumstances. I think had his cousin not been in such a poor place finically, that he wouldn't have had a problem helping them hide and wouldn't have turned them in. It really shows what people are willing to do if they are forced.

  2. The same moment thatstood out to Gwen stood out to me, it was the scene where the convicts had just escaped and ran to one of the men's cousins house where he had been promised earlier to go to for help. But when the men get there,after they're fed andchanged, they go to sleep, only to be woken up by the cops and the mans cousin. The mans cousin was so desperate during the depression that he was willing to turn his own kin in just to get more money from the police. The fact that he would turn his own family inshowed just how desperate the depression was making people act formoney.

  3. Sadly I was not there to see the first half of the movie, but a scene that particularly stuck out to me was the KKK scene. It was so graphic and repulsive yet mesmerizing at the same time with the synchronized dancing and chanting. It was basically a cult. And I could not think of anything more unsettling and harrowing then coming across one of their rallies as Everett and his friends did in the movie.
    Even more crazy than the fact that the KKK meetings were social events, like seeing a movie or a football game, is that the members honestly thought they were doing something good for their people. I remember the gubernatorial candidate was saying that they were "getting rid of evil," even thought they were the evil. This shows how it was one way that people tried to cope with the Depression, just as they had done after the devastation of the Civil War. These people didn't know what to do, and the corrupt politicians weren't helping, so they took matters into their own hands. They found a scapegoat and tried to fix their problems by taking out their anger on the African-Americans and anyone else who they saw as unfit. It is the same thing that was done in Germany for centuries. When there was a plague or any other problem people would blame the Jewish people, claiming that they had poisoned the wells. It seems that it is human nature to act with violence, and direct hate towards a scapegoat when in desperation or calamity.

  4. I would say the KKK scene stood out to me. Because all these politicians are so different at night in the cult compare to what they are during the day. They are just very corrupted. I think the film shapes human nature during the great depression pretty well.