Download Animal heroes by Ernest Thompson Seton PDF

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By Ernest Thompson Seton

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In a top down fashion, everybody is assigned a function in the social ritual of the celebration. The meticulously long debates about specific song and dance arrangements, the deliberations about the exact quality and meaning of each performance, the decisions about the right interpretation and the adequate tone for each song all underpin the importance of linguistic reification in the official rituals. Because these rituals have no organic tie to the subjects who perform them, the discursive practices have to be forceful in order to maintain the sense of reality on the boat.

The ball as an official ritual collapses but the breakdown opens space for a truly transgressive carnival of celebration. The raffle, a central component of the festivity, carries an allegorical weight in the movie. When Josef (Josef Kolb), the fireman who is responsible for organizing the raffle, discovers the disappearance of the items, he first accuses his colleagues of theft and later goes into a desperate reasoning to defend himself and to justify the loss. His crazy chain of reasoning employs a frantic logic to solve the mystery for a moment—until a colleague points out that either way there is nothing left on the table.

But the film exposes his lies and deceptions, and a grim and depressing reality emerges from under the picture perfect surface. Ryszard’s web of lies is built on top of a broken reality characterized by food lines, by dysfunctional bureaucracy, by corruption, by lack of working morale, by food shortage, by thriving black markets, and by utter poverty. The façade that he creates is a carnivalesque mask that hides the dysfunctional, broken, and ugly reality. 51 The ongoing debate around the word “tradition” is essential to understanding the dissolved link between the signified and the signifier in the film.

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