Films from Literature ENG 2400 Spring 2024 0565

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  • Apr. 19 Two easy questions about It's a Wonderful Life (1946)
  • #93791

    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, It’s a Wonderful Life:

    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.)

    #93797

    Kenneth Cao
    Participant

    1. Someone might tie a string on their finger to remember something important.

    Yes.

    2. I think what Mr. Potter meant is that George Bailey can live a life full of luxury and wealth instead of spending his time taking care of people of the lower class.

    Kenneth, Mr. Potter was alluding to a particular group.  Think Mr. Martini.  Please see other students’ posts…

    #93799

    Angel Padilla
    Participant

    1.)  Someone might tie a string on their finger in order to remind themselves of something important. I used to do it all the time when I was little and it helped me remember to do certain homework assignments.

    Yes.  (I just write directly on my hand!)

    2.) I believe that Mr. Potter used garlic eaters as a derogatory term to describe people who aren’t financially stable. He’s essentially dehumanizing people who are lower class residents and is insisting that George can live a more luxurious and rich lifestyle if he wasn’t helping people like that.

    Angel, <strong style=”box-sizing: border-box; font-family: ‘Open Sans’, Helvetica, Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 14px;”>Mr. Potter was alluding to a particular group.  Think Mr. Martini.  Please see other students’ posts…

     

     

    #93802

    Mehriniso
    Participant

    1. When someone ties a string on their finger it’s to keep what they know in a tight space so that they don’t forget it or it doesn’t slip out of their mind. The idea is that when you see the string on your finger, it will remind you to do or recall something important that you might forget otherwise.

    Yes!

    2. I think when Mr. Potter’s comment calls people “garlic eaters” it is an insult aimed at the Italian-American community. George Bailey helps this community through his job, while Mr. Potter shows his disrespect and bias with this remark. This shows the big difference between George, who cares about others, and Mr. Potter, who is selfish and looks down on people.

    Yes, Mehriniso.  The director of the film, Frank Capra, was himself Italian-American, and during the 1940s Italians were the newest immigrant group.  Think of the characters in The Godfather and how people referred to them–the same historical time.

    #93808

    Mu Song
    Participant

    1) Someone might tie a string to his finger to remind themselves of something that they need to do. The way it works is that every time they look at the string or notice it they are reminded of the reason they tied on.

    Yes.

    2) I think Garlic Eaters refers to Bailey’s ethnic background since he comes from an Italian background. The term garlic eaters is supposed to insult his background and disrespect him. It also could refer to the way the low-class residents live.

    Mr. Potter was saying something negative about the Italian-Americans that George helped obtain houses, like Mr. Martini.

    Mu, the Baileys were not Italian.  I think they were Irish-American.  When Uncle Billy was drunk after Harry Bailey’s marriage celebration, he was singing “My Wild Irish Rose.”

    #93818

    Naureen Asha
    Participant

    1. Someone might tie a string around their finger to hold onto information that they want to remember. This means that if you notice the string on your finger, it will serve as a reminder to do or remember something significant.

    Yes!

    2. I believe that Mr. Potter is demeaning the Italian-American community when he refers to them as “garlic eaters.” George Bailey uses his work to benefit the people, yet Mr. Potter’s comment demonstrates his arrogance for the upper class. This reflects the correlation between people’s own stands in their community.

    Okay.

    #93836

    Tshari Yancey
    Participant

    1). Tying a string around your finger was once used as a technique to help someone remember something important. In current times people often use digital reminders, such as smartphone alerts or calender notifications.

    True.  I am happy to just write reminders on my hand since I cannot misplace it!

    2). It is a reference to Mr. Martini who is Italian-American refering to them as “garlic eaters” is indeed a stereotypical slur about italian cuisine and culture, implying that italian people primarily consume garlic in their food.

    Yes, Tshari, and the Italians were the newest immigrant group during the period of adult George Bailey’s Buildings and Loan Company.  AS you know, immigrants are usually the target of criticism by racists.

    #94049

    Alyssa skerret
    Participant

    1) Tying a string on a person’s finger was a way to help remind someone of something important. The idea is that the presence of the string would catch the person’s attention and serve as a reminder of task or event. However, this technique isn’t commonly used today due to people finding various ways to job their memory.

    2) The term, “garlic eaters” is an ethnic slur directed towards Italian-Americans, who are known to include garlic in their foods.

    #94098

    Adonis C
    Participant

    1.) Someone may tie strings on their finger as a means to remind them of something they would prefer not to forget, whether it be a task, date, event, plan, etc.

     

    2.) Considering the ethnic background of the people who George helped, it’s safe to say that “garlic eater(s)” was a derogatory term directed at Italians/Italian-Americans. Garlic is used in a lot of the Italian dishes popular in America. So it was/is a common stereotype.

    • This reply was modified 2 months, 1 week ago by Adonis C.
    #94332

    Angel Ordonez
    Participant

    1) Tying strings around your finger serves as a reminder of tasks needed to be done. This serves as a visual reminder rather than an alarm clock app that we have today. I actually keep notes in my wallet to serve as a physical reminder.

    2) Iv’e actually heard this term said before and it is a slur relating to Italian-Americans.

    #94335

    Naila
    Participant

    <span style=”font-family: ‘Open Sans’, Helvetica, Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 14px; background-color: #f0f0f0;”>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…)</span>

    someone may tie a string about their fingers to remember something or represent something important.

    <span style=”font-family: ‘Open Sans’, Helvetica, Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 14px; background-color: #f0f0f0;”>Q: 2) Does anyone know what he meant? (It is essentially an ethnic slur.)</span>

    Mr.Potter is saying that George has the opportunity to be of higher status instead of working with “lower class” individuals. As for garlic eater, I think he maybe referring to Italians.

    #94355

    Rafi
    Participant

    1. they might tie something around their finger to remember something important probably.

    2. it is a Italian-American slur.

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