Books and Movies Reviews

Being there

Figure-Ground: Indefinite amount of reality depending on what you make figure or ground. We see the world through figure-ground. What can be background can be figure. What can be figure can be background. Figure is what one pays attention to, while ground is what one blocks out. An example of this is when two people are together and talking between themselves. One person brings up something about an object, but the other person thinks thefirst person is talking about something other than the object. Thefirst person does not give sufficient information about what he is talking about, so the second person guesses, or fills in from his own interpretation, what thefirst person is talking about.
In the film, there are a few scenes where we see figure-ground take place. One is when Chance is being escorted around the Rand house because of his injured leg. Chance is in a wheelchair being escorted up to his room by a Rand servant. The Rand mansion is so huge that elevators are required, especially for Mr. Rand who is so ill. While in the elevator, Chance says,
"I've never been in one of these before."
"Mr. Rand has two of them."
Chance hears this and asks the servant,
"Do any have televisions in them?"
The servant finds Chance's question amusing and starts to laugh. The servant thinks he is being humorous when he asks about the television in the elevator. When he is done laughing, he tells Chance,
"There isn't a television in any of the elevators."
When Chance says that he has never been in one of these, he means that he has never been in an elevator before. For his entire life, he has been stuck in a house that has no elevator. He was never allowed to venture out into the world, so he never came into contact with one. It was not in his experience. The servant in the scene thinks he is referring to never having been in a wheelchair before. Therefore, he goes alo…

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