Fallen Angel Essay

Fallen Angel Essay-54
Characteristically, he is entirely indifferent to questions of belief and unbelief; rather, Bloom prefers to treat the great Western religions as a series of “literary representations”.This means that Satan, the fallen angel par excellence, the “star figure” in this story, was a “literary character” long before Milton got his hands on him in .Released in 1921, The Kid was Chaplin’s longest title to date.

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Not redemption through Christ, needless to say, but redemption through literature.

harlie Chaplin’s career underwent many transitions and transformations, but none more important than the one marked by the making of The Kid.

Although his melancholy and sentimental side had emerged early on in his filmmaking career (arguably first appearing at the end of 1915’s The Tramp), it was with The Kid that he first fully embraced an emotional approach.

The movie announces this with an intertitle: “A picture with a smile—and perhaps, a tear.” This ambiguous tone would mark Chaplin’s films from this point on, and it is here that the roots of the filmmaker’s graceful dance between laughter and grief can be seen.

By appearing, as Blake put it, to be of the devil’s party, Milton brings us to the recognition that our relationship with Satan is an “intimate” one.

Satan, or at least Milton’s Satan, fascinates and disturbs us precisely because we see ourselves in him.If, on Bloom’s account, Milton’s literary genius is outstripped by Shakespeare’s, it is because Shakespeare sees that there are more fallen angels than devils, that “we can be fallen angels without being demons or devils.” For Bloom, therefore, “fallen angel” and “human being” are different names for the same condition.In his secular religion of literature, fallenness is stripped of its Pauline and Augustinian associations and becomes a synonym for what Philip Roth calls the “human stain” – the fact that, more often than not, we remain enigmatic to ourselves; simply put, the fact that we get things (and people) wrong.The Kid embeds Chaplin’s Tramp character in the drama of the Woman (played by Edna Purviance), who abandons her illegitimate child and spends her life regretting it.(In Chaplin’s 1972 revision and rerelease of The Kid, the Woman’s story still frames the film, but he eliminated several scenes involving her, as if he regretted splitting the audience’s emotional engagement between the father-son bond that develops between the Tramp and the Kid and the pathos of the Woman’s situation.) Chaplin’s expansion of the dramatic scope of his films also signaled a shift in mood.And central to these effusions is the idea of “angelic intervention” and communication with angels.Bloom thinks, reasonably enough, that such obsessions are sentimental evasions of the simple fact of human finitude.(Actually, Bloom doesn’t argue so much as smother the reader in great gusts of oracular chutzpah.) Angels, he says, are everywhere.A cursory Amazon search turns up , which latter is apparently a guide to the “angelic meanings” of numbers.The key to this is getting us to see that angels, specifically fallen angels, are in fact images of a distinctively human predicament – that of a dying animal with transcendental longings.To this end, Bloom applies his gargantuan erudition to the representations of fallen angels and devils which first emerged in the Zoroastrian faith of ancient Persia, before then being transmitted to Judaism and Christianity.


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