Ms. Gokturk                                                                                          NAME: __________________________

Trends in Literature                                                                           SECTION _______________________

 

Food for Thought in Twelve Monkeys

Insanity: The theme of insanity runs strongly within 12 Monkeys. The importance of Cole lies in the fact that he is the protagonist of the film, and we see the events through his eyes. The important thing to remember is that just because the events are shown to us through Cole's perspective, there is still the overwhelming possibility that Cole is really just insane. Near the beginning of the film, one of the scientists says to Cole that being a "volunteer" and traveling through time puts great stress on the human body, and many volunteers didn't make it back. Metaphorically speaking, they become insane.

LJ Washington: I don't really come from outer space.

Jeffrey Goines: Oh. L. J. Washington. He doesn't really come from outer space.

LJ: Don't mock me my friend. It's a condition of mental divergence. I find myself on the planet Ogo, part of an intellectual elite, preparing to subjugate the barbarian hordes on Pluto. But even though this is a totally convincing reality for me in every way, nevertheless Ogo is actually a construct of my psyche. I am mentally divergent, in that I am escaping certain unnamed realities that plague my life here. When I stop going there, I will be well. Are you also divergent, friend?

1.      What is LJ implying? _________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

2.      Why might this be problematic for us, the audience, as Cole is our narrative voice? __________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

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Railly to Cole

You've created something in your mind...a substitute reality, because you don't want to deal with anything.

Cole

 I would love it if that were true.

 

3. What does Railly initially think is Cole’s problem? If she is right, what is it he may not want to face? __________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

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JEFFREY
You know what "crazy" is?  "Crazy" is "majority rules."  
 
4.       Think about it. Do you agree or disagree? Please explain using the film or personal examples.

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Time: Time is a complicated entity to take on in any film. This movie delves deep into its workings, but can be simplified to a Time is a complicated entity to take on in any film. This movie delves deep into its workings, but can be simplified to a couple of basic rules that the film lays out:
  1. There are other time concepts to consider. How is Twelve Monkeys an ourobouros film? Explain. _______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
 
End of the World Theme
 
TV NEWS REPORTER (v.o.)
                These video tapes were obtained by animal rights activists who worked underground as laboratory assistants  for several months.  Authorities say  there is little they can do until...
 
     The video footage now shows LAB WORKERS watching the results of  their experiments passively.
 
COLE
Look at those assholes, they're asking for it!  Maybe people deserved to be  wiped out!
 
JEFFREY
(startled, turning)
Wiping cut the human race!  That's a great idea!  But it's more of a long  term thing -- right now we have to focus on more immediate goals.
  1. Who are the Twelve Monkeys and for what does James Cole believe they are responsible? _______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
  2. Explain how Twelve Monkeys is an apocalyptic film[1]. Review your definition. _________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________


[1] From Greek apo + kalypsos--literally, an uncovering or unveiling. Because of associations with the final book of the Christian Bible, known either as the Apocalypse of St. John or the Book of Revelation, "apocalyptic" carries connotations of universal cataclysm as well as the disclosure of mysteries. More generally, an apocalypse is a religious or secular depiction of the world's end.