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Blue Velvet & a Wild Sheep Chase

In: Novels

Submitted By jbern
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10/14/2014
Reality and the Struggle between Good and Evil
We exist, fundamentally conscious of the world around us, but for many it is with blinders. Everyone has their own version of reality, how the world works and how they think the world should work. Quite often we live comfortably in our own realities and sometimes we struggle in them. Reality can differ from person to person and other times our realities match oneanother. Is the world we think we know real, or are we dreaming? Sometimes in living and struggling with our own realities we miss another struggle, the struggle between good and evil. It is an age old struggle between the light and the dark for dominance over our realities. “All wills struggle for domination, independence, and power over one another, which is the source of change in the universe.” (Friedrich Nietzsche Beyond Good and Evil)Such is the case with Blue Velvet and A wild Sheep Chase. In watching Blue Velvet and reading A Wild Sheep Chase we get an inside look at what happens when two conflicting realities butt heads, when light and innocence fights head on with dark and evil.
In Blue Velvet and A Wild Sheep Chase, the main characters become involved in mysteries. They both lead seemingly normal, simple, even boring lives. Absorbed in their own realities of how their worlds work. In both stories the main characters are forced to become involved with scary, powerful men. One throws himself into the mystery, willingly and the other, a seemingly innocent bystander, is pulled into the mystery. A Wild Sheep Chase seems to be written in organized chaos. Throughout the book we are taken backwards and forwards in time by the narrator. However there is an understanding of how the passage backwards ties into the present; nearly everything makes sense. Blue Velvet is organized in a linear manner from beginning to end. The passage of time seems to be very quick, unlike A Wild Sheep Chase. In my opinion, the imagery of A Wild Sheep Chase is much more vivid than Blue Velvet. Both are very detailed, but there are more imaginative qualities to A Wild Sheep Chase than Blue Velvet. When reading A Wild Sheep Chase one can almost smell the rain and the ocean. Blue Velvet is rather dreary; most of the scenes take place at night. When there is a scene that takes place during the day the colors are still rather dark and, in my opinion, almost dream-like. Almost as if everything in the movie had been simply a dream.
In Blue Velvet, Jeffery lives in sunny suburbia, a picturesque life where little goes wrong. As a very naïve individual, his version of reality is that everyone is good and the world around him in general is also good. This is his reality, but when his father has a stroke Jeffery visits him in the hospital we see some of change to his reality. On his way home he finds an ear, accidentally, gives it to a detective and then goes back later to the same detective to see if he can find out anything else about the ear. The daughter of the detective, Sandy, engages Jeffery’s curiosity even more by telling him that she overheard information about a singer who might or might not be involved. She takes Jeffery to look at the apartment building that the singer lives in, and from there Jeffery decides to involve himself more by hatching a plan to get into the singer’s apartment. What followed was a horror story of abuse and darkness. As he gets further drawn into the mystery of the ear he gets a very strong dose of Frank’s reality. Frank’s reality is that there is evil and trouble in the world and that the darkness dominates all. At one point in the movie Jeffrey asks Sandy “Why are there people like Frank? Why is there so much trouble in this world?” He came head to head with Frank who shattered Jeffery’s innocence and almost stole his light. Jeffery was good and innocent almost to a fault and his curiosity got the better of him. For a moment we are almost convinced that the dark, evil underbelly of this picturesque town, will win out. That the light will not prevail, we are afraid for Jeffery and completely horrified at the things Jeffery was forced to watch, and the punishment he had to endure for being innocent and curious. The Filmsite Movie Review accurately described the film.. “In some ways, the two male leads represent the two dichotomous sides of life (e.g., light/dark…)”. This movie is a classic struggle between good and evil, and an excellent example of how different one individual’s reality can be from another.
In A Wild Sheep Chase, the narrator leads a simple life that teeters on being boring which is exactly what the narrator wanted “…I’m trying to get into the thick of boredom.” (pg 43) The narrator then finds himself pulled into the mystery; he did not go seek out the mystery on his own. He was given a seemingly innocent, beautiful picture of sheep in a meadow, by an old friend and asked that it be printed. The picture is what pulls the narrator into the mystery. His partner was visited by a secretary to a very powerful man, the “Boss”. Through the secretary the Boss requested that the picture be pulled and that whoever ran the picture be brought to him. No explanations as to why at first, but the narrator was told to look at the picture and was directed to a sheep with a strange mark on it wool a star. Then the narrator is told that the Boss had collected every piece of information he could on sheep. The secretary to the Boss also hypothesized that the boss was possessed by the sheep. The Boss was imprisoned and accused of being a war criminal when he was released he became a powerful yet silent force. He used that powerfulness, his evil to buy political figures and media until he owned the entire right wing of politics. He uses that force to bully the narrator into taking down the picture and going on a search for the sheep. Perhaps this innocent sheep and the Boss’ desire to own the sheep exemplifies the struggle between light and dark. The dark seeking to dominate the light, evil attempting to dominate good. Here the struggle between good and evil is not as clear as it is with Blue Velvet, however the struggle is still there and noticeable. What is clear is that the narrator’s reality differed from the reality of the Boss.
Both Blue Velvet and A Wild Sheep Chase show the duality of good and evil. They also show us how our realities differ from oneanother and we are given a very detailed, even if horrific, explanation of what happens when conflicting realities collide. They also show us that we choose our paths in life. Frank chose to be evil, Jeffery chose to be good, just as the Boss chose to be evil and the narrator chose to be good. We determine our own realities; we determine how we live and whether we are good or evil. Reverend Sun Myung Moon stated in his essay The History of the Struggle of Good and Evil and Oneself that “Goodness or evil can always be determined centered upon the individual. Thus you are the one who determines whether certain things are good or certain things are evil.” We choose our own actions; we choose either to follow evil or to follow good for the rest of our days.

Works Cited
“Blue Velvet” Filmsite Movie Review
Nietzsche, Friedrich “Beyond Good and Evil”
Moon, Reverend Sun Myung “The History of the Struggle of Good and Evil and Oneself”
“Blue Velvet” David Lynch 1986
Murakami, Haruki “A Wild Sheep Chase” Kodansha Ltd., 1982

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