Tuesday, March 13, 2012

You're absolutely right, John

You made a great point in your first post about how there is a potential discrepancy between the moral Jerome learns, and the moral we learn. I was going to respond to this point anyway, but then you beat me to it with your great second response.

I definitely maintain that to Jerome the knee is a test for him to pass. He thinks that if he touches the knee and goes no further then he is "maturing" or becoming a new man. But you nailed it when you said: "Jerome only passes the "test" because he's set the limits of the test. That's easy enough for any of us. A real "pass" would have been denying himself the knee." No question. This is an important distinction to make, and I'm glad you made it. For Jerome to refuse the knee and to abandon his rogue-ishness in the process would be a real test and one he never foresaw. Jerome is, after all, trying to play a game with Claire, like Aurora is with him. He's trying to be the author here, but he wrote his own lesson. He hasn't learned anything. The fascinating thing to me is that he thinks he has. It's just so incredibly...human. He thinks he is in control and knows everything, but there is something else working unconsciously in him and externally to him that he's completely unaware of. The film is genius in this way.

When I said that we pass the test if we see Claire the child (or the human) instead of Claire the object of desire then I was trying to refer to a potential discrepancy between Jerome's test and our test. So, I'm glad you called me out on that because it's a crucial and intriguing point to make. This is a really great film to ask questions about and raise new points, and like you wrote, it lets us draw our own conclusions. It rules.

Sorry I couldn't challenge you more to keep this going, but you're right on this point, and I gotta give credit when credit is due.

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