Films from Literature ENG 2400, Fall 2021 OL 0550

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  • #75838

    Prof. Masiello
    Participant

    Movies often if not always reflect the time when they are made whether through different technology, different props, or different references.

    Here are two matters we would have talked about after watching the film.:

    At one point, forgetful Uncle Billy is shown with strings tied to his fingers. George sees it when his uncle has missed the wedding of George and Mary.

    Q: 1) Does anyone know why someone might tie a string on his finger? (No one nowadays does that, but we do other things for the same purpose…)

    Later, Mr. Potter says to George Bailey that he could live the high life instead of “playing nursemaid to a bunch of garlic eaters.”

    Q: 2) Does anyone know what he meant? (It is essentially an ethnic slur.)

    #75839

    Justin Alava
    Participant

    Q: 1) Does anyone know why someone might tie a string on his finger? (No one nowadays does that, but we do other things for the same purpose…)
    I remember my grandpa telling me back in his day, If someone wants to remember to do something, they’ll tie some string around a finger and keep it there until after they’ve done it. The string can work because seeing the string will make them remember why they put it there.

    Yes, Justin, people tied strings on their fingers for exactly why you said they did.

    Q: 2) Does anyone know what he meant? (It is essentially an ethnic slur.)
    I really don’t know what it means but I do know that At the time, this was a common anti-Italian slur and it encapsulated an opinion shared by many Americans.

    Yes, the movie was made in 1946, and Frank Capra, was a major Italian-American director. The Martini family was a friend to George Bailey. Next time you watch The Godfather (1972), notice that it is set in the same era, the post-WWII era and it seems the Italians were the most recent immigrants then, and newer immigrants are often the brunt of discrimination.

    #75841

    Shania Tennant
    Participant

    People tied string around their finger to remember something. If you have it around your finger you can remember you didn’t do what you were supposed to and It will make it easier for you to recollect what you want to remember, allowing you to complete the task.

    Garlic eater is a derogatory term for European immigrants used in the 20th century. It was designed specifically for Italians.

    Great answers, Shania. For more details, please look at what I added to Justin’s comments, just minutes ago.

    #75853

    Gabby
    Participant

    Q: 1) Does anyone know why someone might tie a string on his finger? (No one nowadays does that, but we do other things for the same purpose…)

    I’ve read in other novels that tying strings on your fingers or hand help remind people of things they may forget. I’ve seen that some people modernized it, and wrap rubber bands on their wrists. I used to do that in high school to remind myself I had assignments due soon.

    I thought rubber bans were a fashion statement! Personally, I just write right on my hand to remember things.

    Q: 2) Does anyone know what he meant? (It is essentially an ethnic slur.)

    It’s an anti-European immigrant slur, but it’s more specifically towards Italians.

    Excellent answers, Gabby. For more details, please look at what I added to Justin’s comments, just minutes ago.

    #75899

    weipeng lin
    Participant

    Q: 1) Does anyone know why someone might tie a string on his finger? (No one nowadays does that, but we do other things for the same purpose…)

    I’ve heard of this back in high school about two years ago from one of my teachers. Tying a string on your finger means to remind them of some activity/task that needs to be done or remind them why it was tied onto your finger.

    Q: 2) Does anyone know what he meant? (It is essentially an ethnic slur.)

    It is an anti-Italian slur that was used especially towards Italians.

    #75999

    Asher Derry
    Participant

    Uncle Billy uses a string as a tangible trigger to associate with the wedding. Although trigger reminders such as this can be highly effective, they only work if the user isn’t desensitized to it’s use and have the wherewithal to keep the original association in mind. This reminds me of how I can set the garbage next to the door but still forget to take it out.

    Yes. I personally write on my hand to remember, but sometimes wash my hands to defeat the purpose.

    Sam Wainwright’s use of the “Garlic-Eaters” slur to refer to Italian immigrants could be contextualized in present-day as somebody from a small town in the Midwest who has found success in a better economy phoning a childhood friend and suggesting that they are surrounded by “hillbillies” or in a more direct modernization with equivalent offense, “illegals”. Use of this terminology in the context was intended to suggest that Sam felt his financial progression had elevated him to a level above George’s status, and certainly above the disadvantaged immigrant community that was heavily dependent on Bailey Building & Loan.

    Don’t blame Sam. It was Mr. Potter who made the racist comment! Mr. Potter has no redeeming qualities. Sam is a good guy.

    #76168

    Steven Mendez
    Participant

    Q: 1) Does anyone know why someone might tie a string on his finger? (No one nowadays does that, but we do other things for the same purpose…)

    People tied string around their finger to remember something, So everytime they look at the string on their finger they would remeber why is there.

    Q: 2) Does anyone know what he meant? (It is essentially an ethnic slur.)

    I dont know what it meant so i searched it up and is It is an anti-Italian slur that was used especially towards Italians.

    #76183

    Tatiana B.
    Participant

    Q: 1) Does anyone know why someone might tie a string on his finger? (No one nowadays does that, but we do other things for the same purpose…)

    People do this to help with remembering important things. This is the purpose it is used for in the film It’s a Wonderful Life 1946. By seeing the a string, it is intended to help on recall why it was placed there.

    Q: 2) Does anyone know what he meant? (It is essentially an ethnic slur.)

    Garlic eaters is an Italian slur that was used against Italians. This was based off the time period when the film was released. Upon further research, in 1964, towards the end of World War II Italians were considered aliens and were placed in intermittent camps. This slur was used against the Martini family which demonstrated Potter’s hatred for Italians.

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