Fried Green Tomatoes Interpersonal Relationships Analysis Essay
Fried Green Tomatoes starts when Flagg received a shoebox full of points. which one time belonged to her Aunt Bess who. like Idgie. besides owned a cafe near the railway paths. Flagg developed the narrative through infinite hours of interviews with veterans. The narrative of the town. composed of intelligence cuttings. narrative. and Mrs. Threadgoode’s reminiscences. is narrated to Evelyn Couch. a adult female holding a mid-life individuality crisis and rousing to a sense of feminism. Evelyn finds psychotherapeutic aid in the narratives of Mrs. Threadgoode about life in Whistle Stop during the 1920s. 1930s. and 1940s.
The first and most basic signifier of love is found in the household. From the clip a kid is born. in usual fortunes. that kid is loved unconditionally. A individual grows up with his household and is able to place and show who he truly is. Because of this. ties within the household are normally rather strong. Examples of these relationships are portrayed in Fried Green Tomatoes and one is between Idgie and Buddy: Idgie. a dare-devilish romp. and her older brother Buddy are rather near until Buddy’s prematurely decease. Idgie takes his passing with trouble: One ne’er sees anybody hurt so much.
It seems she would decease right along with him. Sipsey does her portion of watching over her household excessively ; in fact. she may be the true heroine of this movie. She risks her life to salvage Ruth’s babe from the wicked ex-husband. Frank Bennett. when he comes to nobble the kid. Then. despite of being injured. she manages to kill him. But for all her gallantry. the following clip the viewing audiences see her in the eating house. she is scuffling across the floor in loose places. a smile on her face. evidently happy to be at the service of these white folks. In the film. inkinesss are regardful to Whites. but the grounds why are ne’er found.
The two chief African American characters. Big George and Sipsey. are clearly devoted to Idgie. their foreman — Big George to doglike proportions. As Ninny says. “He watched over Idgie dark and twenty-four hours. ” At first it seems as though he is tongueless ; in several scenes. he stands passively waiting for Idgie. It’s non until she’s adult and running the Cafe that he eventually speaks. When Idgie is challenged by a Klan member for functioning Blacks outside her eating house. Big George utters his first words. “You gon na acquire yourself in a whole pile of problem.
” The viewing audiences ne’er learn how this menace affects him ; we ne’er learn how he feels about barbequing all those ribs his friends and household can’t even travel indoors to eat ; his lone concern is what will go on to Idgie. Sipsey’s response to this same incident is to smile and state. “Grady won’t sit next to a coloured kid. but he eats eggs that shoot out of a chicken’s buttocks. ” As with Big George. we ne’er know how Sipsey feels about frying all those eggs for person she knows is racialist. The movie would hold the audience believe she thinks it’s good story.
Subsequently. when the Klan captures Big George and beats him viciously with a whip. he gets his 2nd line in the film. Idgie runs to his assistance and Big George mumbles. “Don’t. Miss Idgie. You gon na acquire yourself in a whole pile of problem. ” One gets the feeling that either Big George suffers from echolalia. or he exists. as Ninny said. strictly to watch over Idgie. Though Fried Green Tomatoes was directed by a male. the subjectiveness is complicated by the film’s narration within a narrative model. The film’s plot line consists of an older adult female ( Mrs.
Threadgoode ) stating a narrative to a visitant ( Evelyn Couch ) about the lives of two “best friends” and traces the consequence that this narrative has on the younger adult female. However. the narrative is non the present twenty-four hours narrative affecting Evelyn Couch. but the 1930s relationship of Ruth and Idgie. which is relayed through flashbacks in Mrs. Threadgoode’s position. Here the subjectiveness is defined as female. In the instance of a movie like Fried Green Tomatoes. it is non adequate to state that the narration is non approximately sapphism as a tactic to pull a larger heterosexual audience.
An empowering. if non more enjoyable. response is to repossess it as a sapphic text through a reading of the film’s subtext. This involves reading beyond the surface degree of the narrative and indicating out sarcasms within the text that may arouse a counter reading or a sapphic reading of the characters. Subtextual analysis is built-in to gay and sapphic movie unfavorable judgment due to the deficiency of homosexual and sapphic characters offered in the dominant film. These are images which have been deleted from cinematic history.
Subtextual analysis is a agency to re-appropriate popular texts by reading them from a “queer” position and infixing cheery significances that the conventional narrative attempts to either repress or negate. Fried Green Tomatoes reveals a sapphic subtext through its combination of the female bond between Ruth and Idgie and the absence an open heterosexual subplot. The vagueness environing the women’s emotionally. even physically. close relationship is non compensated for by the conventional heterosexual secret plan that traditionally grounds heterosexual individualities.
Such vagueness leaves considerable room for the sapphic reading of the characters that the original novel by Fanny Flagg intended. However. I argue that a sapphic reading of this movie comes less from the ambiguity of the old cognition of the novel’s sapphic relationship. but more from the film’s construction of the titillating regard and from its creative activity of a female. instead than a male witness. Such a construction or point of view of the place of the female witness raises many inquiries sing traditional women’s rightist movie theory’s inability to turn to and include sapphic issues.
Fried Green Tomatoes disrupts these theories of sexual representation and female spectatorship by showing gestural communications such as titillating expressions between female characters. As a subtextual analysis of the narrative reveals. in concurrence with a close analysis of the act of staring within the film’s building. the film creates a female expression that in bend concepts a female spectator. The movie presents many ocular exchanges between Ruth and Idgie that are non-sexual. but besides offers several cardinal position shootings that produce a tarriance regard.
As Chris Straayer notes. “since the heterosexual construction of the regard is already established as sexual. viewing audiences can construct on it to carry through an titillating. homosexual expression. ” The exchanges of titillating expressions in Fried Green Tomatoes typically appear during emotionally charged and sexually implicative scenes. The schemes begin early in the film. Right off. Ruth is introduced as girlfriend to Idgie’s stripling brother. Buddy. before he is killed by a train. One scene has the three walking across a clam. Ruth keeping the kid Idgie’s manus.
Given this scene entirely. it’s easy to conceive of why audiences walk off experiencing they’ve merely watched a film about best friends. Then. to farther distance audiences from any ideas of adult females loving adult females for romantically. old ages after Buddy’s decease. his female parent invites Ruth back to assist her trade with a still sullen Idgie. The film wants us to believe that the women’s relationship revolves around their common love of Buddy. and that given his loss. they may every bit good settle for each other.
One illustration occurs at the beginning of Ruth and Idgie’s relationship. during a scene in which Idgie disturbs a beehive in order to recover the honeycomb for Ruth. After an exchange of coquettish expressions between the two. Idgie treads towards the beehive and through a drove of angry bees. The scene is constructed through an initial shooting of Ruth watching ldgie. followed by a long return on Idgie’s walk into the drove. The shooting appears to be in slow gesture. filmed at a somewhat faster rate. spread outing the shot’s screen clip every bit good as its dramatic / emotional impact.
A contrary shooting back to Ruth defines this regard as hers ; her look reveals a mixture of disbelief and esteem. The regard lingers on Idgie as she returns from the beehive with the honeycomb in manus. “You are a bee smoothie. Idgie Threadgoode. ” Ruth comments with a smiling. projecting a coquettish glimpse at Idgie. who returns the gesture. That dark the two attend a party at which Idgie is dressed in male retarding force ( a tie. bloomerss. waistcoat. and braces ) . Drunk for the first clip. the proper and feminine Ruth takes Idgie to a privy portion of the lake where they swim in their underwear and splash H2O at each other.
The butch-femme aesthetic that this movie presents is a reasonably obvious invitation for a sapphic reading. However. the apposition of this scene and one within the present twenty-four hours narrative of Evelyn Couch is every bit successful in promoting a sexual analysis of Idgie and Ruth’s relationship. The gestural communications between Idgie and Ruth. plus their indirect channels of communicating such as coquettish lines push sapphic analysis. The shooting of the two flirtation in the H2O is matched by a scene from Evelyn’s women’s group meeting.
The teacher suggests that the adult females get in touch with their muliebrity. their “source of power and discreteness. ” In order to make so. the adult females straddle mirrors in an attempt to look at their vaginas. The teacher turns to a panicky Evelyn and asks bluffly: “Do you have a job with your gender? ” Feminine gender is explored and questioned in this scene. when read along side the emotionally charged scenes of Idgie and Ruth at the lake.
This suggests an titillating reading of the women’s looks every bit good as their relationship. A similar reading can be drawn from the entwining narrations of two ulterior scenes. the first of which recounts the freshly married and pregnant Ruth. Idgie finds that Ruth is the victim of physical maltreatment and decides to deliver her by taking her away from her opprobrious hubby. Ruth and Idgie exchange a yearning. emotional set of expressions through a changeable form before Ruth’s hubby kicks her down a flight of steps. This clip the position shooting is Idgie’s.
Through her subjectiveness. the hurting and understanding of the scene is heightened by the love Idgie feels for Ruth. Idgie brings Ruth off to the auto and the two ride off together to populate without male invasion. To stress the scene. Ruth tosses her nuptials pealing out of the auto as they pull out of the private road. This scene returns to Evelyn at the supermarket. Her women’s group friend asks her if she will be go toing the following meeting. She encourages Evelyn to travel because the subject will be the “art of onanism.
” The old scene of Idgie and Ruth’s going from the heterosexual matrix of married life and their ensuing committedness to each other is matched with another scene denoting gender. in this case. a specific sexual pattern that involves the absence of the male. The sexual nature of Ruth and Idgie’s relationship now becomes less subtextual and more evident. imparting a deeper significance to the ulterior courthouse scene in which Ruth and Idgie exchange stares into each other’s eyes while Ruth caresses Idgie’s face and declares her her “best friend.
” The presence of the exchange of expressions in the courthouse is non matched by a sexual intension in the present twenty-four hours narrative. but at this point it is barely necessary. Ruth and Idgie meet after Buddy’s decease and when they meet it’s clear that they’re in love with each other. non a shade. As Ninny tells it. “Everywhere that Ruth was. that’s where Idgie would be. It was a common thing. They merely took to each other. and you could hear them sitting on the swing on the porch. tittering all dark. Even Sipsey razzed her.
She’d ‘see Idgie by herself and state. ‘That ol’ love bug done hit Idgie. ” After Idgie performs her honey-gathering thaumaturgy and hands the comb to Ruth. Ruth bursts into cryings and Idgie starts imploring for forgiveness. “‘I’m regretful Ruth. delight don’t be mad at me. ’ ‘Mad? ‘ Ruth put her weaponries around Idgie and said. ‘Oh Idgie. I’m non mad at you. It’s merely that I don’t cognize what I’d of all time do if anything of all time happened to you. I truly don’t’ . ” The decision of this movie suggests that the storyteller is the elderly Idgie Threadgoode relaying a potentially sapphic narrative to a consecutive adult female ( Evelyn ) .
This non merely gives the narrative position and subjectiveness. but besides serves to mirror the selective and covert mode in which the possibility of a sapphic relationship in a mainstream movie is presented to a preponderantly heterosexual audience. The exchange of expressions and implied gender invite a sapphic reading without demanding it by expressed definition. This movie poses a challenge to the theoretical models of feminist movie theory and addresses the sapphic spectator who is mostly ignored by feminism and society.