Thursday, November 25, 2021

Grey Gardens As Metaphor

Disposable income results in the proliferation of objects. Among other things Miss Havisham, the jilted bride, living in cobwebs in Great Expectations, is a metaphor for inundation. She can’t let anything, including her grief, go. Grey Gardens (1975), the famous Maysles Brother film about the Beale sisters, is a metaphor for the clutter of post-industrial affluence. You may be one of those gifted individuals who’s capable of disposing of their sometimes ill-gotten gains or perhaps you’re a collector living in a huge warehouse devoted to the things you love or better yet someone who simply can’t throw anything away. Here is Gogol on one of his characters from Dead Souls, an aged landowner and widower named Plyushkin who's a hoarder: "Solitary life gave ample nourishment to his avarice which, as is known, has a wolf's appetite and grows more insatiable, the more it devours." Not to make light of poverty or wish it on anyone, but the only good thing that can be said about deprivation is that it’s a safeguard against superfluity. Denizens of primitive agricultural societies in which materialism is no more than the struggle to survive don’t have to worry about waste and clutter. 

Read "What is Goodness? Or a Gift of Charoset" by Francis Levy,


and listen to "Beauty is Only Skin Deep" by The Temptations

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