Wednesday, October 2, 2019
Cabaret :: essays research papers
Brian says 'you're about as fatale as an after dinner mint!' Is Sally really harmless? Brian's exasperated accusation that Sally is 'as fatale as an after dinner mint' is expressed at the end of a weekend away with Max. The outburst reveals Brian's opinion that Sally is not the seductress she fancies herself to be, but is simply 'deluding' herself. However, one must stop to consider the meaning of harmless when applied to Sally Bowles. She is essentially self-absorbed and theatrical, a confused and childlike character, used in the film to demonstrate to the viewer the dangers of complacency and self-indulgence in a dangerous political environment. Sally is, in fact, unintentionally harmful, for her actions can corrupt and she is politically ignorant. Throughout the film Sally boasts her personal corruption, and perpetuates an acceptance that 'divine decadence' and debauchery are desirable lifestyles. A representative of the seedy and superficial cabaret world, Sally flaunts her promiscuity and chooses to live a life where external problems do not undermine her opinion that 'life is a cabaret'. Her world is an illusion; nothing will obstruct her view that Berlin's decadent society is a wonderfully exciting setting for her rise to stardom. Her self-absorption is obvious when she tells Brian she wants to know 'absolutely everything' about him, and then proceeds to talk over him. Similarly, her inability to assist Natalia in her romantic dilemma with Fritz suggests that she has immersed herself so completely in the amorality of the cabaret world that she cannot comprehend Natalia's emotions, or even face reality enough to contextualise her problem. This lack of empathy for those in tune with the real world rather than Sally's constru cted fantasy has the potential to damage her relationships. Sally is ardently ambitious, and her shameless espousal of hedonism is exemplary of her preparedness to do corrupt things to achieve her dreams. Sally is highly atuned to the potential of power and money to advance her career. To attain these things, she uses her sexuality as a commodity, simply another means for the advancement of her aspirations. Her liberal sexuality may ultimately harm both herself and Brian, as it makes him feel used, and her potential for any kind of real relationship is continuously pushed into the background until it becomes almost an impossibility. Sally's initial approach to all strangers is to attempt to seduce them, as seen with both Brian and Max.