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Farewell, the American way - Blog of Stuff [entries|archive|friends|userinfo]
V. E. "Veltzeh" Lehkonen

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Farewell, the American way [Jul. 7th, 2009|09:44 pm]
V. E. "Veltzeh" Lehkonen
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...No, not really. I couldn't make such a long post about it.

My dad has been complaining about the way farewells and goodbyes are portrayed in American movies. I have to say I agree. Americans fuss over it, obsess over it and generally just make it a much bigger thing than it really should be.

Farewell scenes last for ages, and they mostly induce feelings of inconvenience in me. And the drama if someone dies... if it's during an action scene, there's always time to make a big deal about the death, defying all logic of self-preservation. Even the enemies secretly stop coming for a while.

A funeral is usually onerously long and people hold long, uncomfortable speeches.

What is the point in making those scenes so long and/or unrealistic? There are better ways to convey the significance of the death/leaving. Still, I don't think it's bad to make farewell scenes the American way, but I'm getting a bit tired of it and dislike it.

I really liked how a death was handled in a Swedish film Ronja Rövardotter. A character noticed that the dying character was dead and then started screaming about it, but the dying character turned out to be faking. The dying character then waited until all the others had gathered around him, said something along "so long" and died. A bit later the other characters were shown to be a little depressed. And that was it.

So, a question for the Americans or otherwise culturally gifted: Where are the roots of Americans' obsession with farewells? Why does it take so long?
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Comments:
[User Picture]From: insouciant_alm
2009-07-09 03:34 pm (UTC)
well, as an American... The only thing I can say really, is that most of us hate to let go of anything. Money, food, books, that silly paper-mache ball we made in second grade. If it's ours we're not going to let go of it easily. Same with death of a loved one, or even a not-so-loved one.

Mostly, though, we just don't like to lose. That's why good-byes take so darn long.

Personally, I agree with you. Short, sweet, to the point. That would be nice.
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[User Picture]From: veltzeh
2009-07-10 07:02 am (UTC)
Aha, that makes sense! And the continuation question is: where does this obsession with possession come from? X)
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