Sunday, October 07, 2012

Some thoughts on The Prisoner episode "Dance of the Dead"

“Dance of the Dead”

#2: He’s not like the others.
Doctor: …Every man has his breaking point.
#2: I don’t want him broken. He must be won over. It may seem a long process to your practical mind but this man has a future with us.

Again, the highlight of the crowd scenes show that they all look happy and full of ebullience from afar, but up close they have no emotion on their faces.

#2: You’ll come?
#6: I have a choice?
#2: You do as you want.
#6: As long as it’s what you want.
#2: As long as it is what the majority wants. We’re democratic…in some ways.

Ain’t it the truth? Oh, my, I love this exchange. Democracy works sometimes! But in close items, there’s always 49% of people who are going to be upset! On issues that divide our nation 50/50, stuff like gun control, euthanasia, capital punishment, abortion, TAXES, you are never going to appease the vast majority because there isn’t a vast majority. It’s easy to say that democracy brought these issues to a vote and the majority won, but when the losing side still have completely valid points--and all those issues mentioned heretofore easily can be seen in a variety of ways, I don’t care which side you’re on--you’ll never truly win. For instance, no matter what side you are on when it comes to abortion and Roe v. Wade, there are still plenty of people out there who think it can be overturned if you get the “right” people on the Supreme Court. What does this say about the issue then? Switch the people and you switch the verdict?

Town Crier: There will be…happiness…by order.” The guy behind him looks like a riot cop with a face shield!

The observer does it because it’s her job--she even paraphrases Lincoln. She’s part of that society and sees #6 as the insane one. This is another great comparison to 1984. Winston Smith was the crazy one, remember.

Dutton is forgotten during a lot of Prisoner discussions. But he’s another showcase of what could happen to #6.

Dutton says he’s already told them everything but they don’t believe him. He’s broken and not in a good way to being on their side. He is apparently not as important as #6. But if #6 gives in, maybe he’ll get a nice lobotomy, especially if he gives in but doesn't buy in to the Village.

#2: This is your world. I am your world. If you insist on living a dream you may be taken for mad.
#6: I like my dream.
#2: Then you are mad.

Later at the trial, #6 says how it is just like in the French Revolution and #2 says, “They got through the dead wood, didn't they?” It’s as if she is envious of their accomplishments--she applauds them.

I love how the judges are Queen Elizabeth I, Caesar, and Napoleon.

#6: Has anyone ever seen these ‘rules’?
That is brilliant, a striking allusion to Orwell’s Animal Farm. The animals can’t read so they don’t know when the rules have been changed. If you have never seen the rulebook, how do you know the rules aren't being made up to suit someone’s purpose?

The ending chase is like Shirley Jackson’s “The Lottery.” They chase him because they are sufficiently conditioned and told to chase him.

The tickertape machine (?) or newswire(?) starts up again, even after having its guts ripped out. How cryptically fascinating.

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