Kurt Cobain: Image of Teenage Escapism

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Kurt Cobain: Image of Teenage Escapism by Mind Map: Kurt Cobain: Image of Teenage Escapism

1. Streetcar Named Desire

1.1. Kurt Cobain

1.1.1. Blanche = Courtney Love Kinderwhore Aesthetic "Courtney Love successfully introduced the kinderwhore look: filmy Victorian nightgowns with fright-wig doll hair and heavy makeup." - Cintra Wilson (NY Times) http://www.nytimes.com/2008/09/18/fashion/18GOTH.html?pagewanted=print&_r=0 Blanche rips clothes in drunken haze Courtney Love was going to write a story for the New Yorker called "A Blanche Dubois Lover" before deciding to write about her life http://abcnews.go.com/Entertainment/courtney-love-rocks/story?id=18307066 Heart-Shaped Box "That cool yellow silk--the boucle. See if it's crushed. If it's not too crushed I'll wear it and on the lapel that silver and turquoise pin in the shape of a seahorse. You will find them in the heartshaped box I keep my accessories in." A Streetcar Named Desire (Tennessee Williams) Scene 11 One of Nirvana's few singles specifically about Courtney Love "She eyes me like a Pisces when I am weak I've been locked inside your heart-shaped box for weeks" - Heart Shaped Box (Nirvana)

1.1.2. Rape Streetcar Named Desire is the quintessential story of a women struggling with being raped. STANLEY [softly]: Come to think of it--maybe you wouldn't be bad to--interfere with.... [Blanche moves backward through the door into the bedroom.] BLANCHE: Stay back! Don't you come toward me another step or I'll-- STANLEY: What? BLANCHE: Some awful thing will happen! It will! STANLEY: What are you putting on now? [They are now both inside the bedroom.] BLANCHE: I warn you, don't, I'm in danger! [He takes another step. She smashes a bottle on the table and faces him, clutching the broken top.] STANLEY: What did you do that for? BLANCHE: So I could twist the broken end in your face! STANLEY: I bet you would do that! BLANCHE: I would! I will if you-- STANLEY: Oh! So you want some rough-house! All right, let's have some rough-house! [He springs toward her, overturning the table. She cries out and strikes at him with the bottle top but he catches her wrist.] Tiger--tiger! Drop the bottle top! Drop it! We've had this date with each other from the beginning! [She moans. The bottle top falls. She sinks to her knees. He picks up her inert figure and carries her to the bed. The hot trumpet and drums from the Four Deuces sound loudly.] - A Streetcar Named Desire (Tennessee Williams) Scene 10 Kurt Cobain was very interested in discussing topics like rape (being closely tied to the Riot grrrl movement) Polly Rape Me

1.2. Substance Abuse and Escapism

1.2.1. Blanche Uses Alcohol to escape her past where society saw her as prostitute One of the first things she does is pour herself a drink Stanley complains about her drinking all of his liquor But Blanche continues to deny her alcoholism throughout Williams spells it out in a scene direction Escaping Previous Life

1.2.2. Kurt Uses heroin to escape stomach pains Interview with MTV in 1994 Journal Entries Describing Heroin

1.3. Teenager

1.3.1. Blanche Blanche goes through traumatic experience as teenager STANLEY: You were married once, weren't you? [The music of the polka rises up, faint in the distance.] BLANCHE: Yes. When I was quite young. STANLEY: What happened? BLANCHE: The boy--the boy died. - A Streetcar Named Desire (Tennessee Williams) Scene 1 BLANCHE: He was a boy, just a boy, when I was a very young girl. When I was sixteen, I made the discovery--love. All at once and much, much too completely. It was like you suddenly turned a blinding light on something that had always been half in shadow, that's how it struck the world for me. But I was unlucky. Deluded.... I didn't know anything except I loved him unendurably but without being able to help him or help myself. Then I found out. In the worst of all possible ways. By coming suddenly into a room that I thought was empty--which wasn't empty, but had two people in it... the boy I had married and an older man who had been his friend for years.... - A Streetcar Named Desire (Tennessee Williams) Scene 6 BLANCHE: It was because--on the dance-floor--unable to stop myself--I'd suddenly said--"I saw! I know! You disgust me..." And then the searchlight which had been turned on the world was turned off again and never for one moment since has there been any light that's stronger than this--kitchen-- candle... - A Streetcar Named Desire (Tennessee Williams) Scene 6 Because of this she maintains the mentality of a teenager, continuously attempting to escape her troubles See Alcohol as Substance Abuse BLANCHE: Whoever you are--I have always depended on the kindness of strangers. - A Streetcar Named Desire (Tennessee Williams) Scene 11

2. A Perfect Day For Bananafish

2.1. Escapism

2.1.1. "Oh, you mean after they eat so many bananas they can't get out of the banana hole?" "Yes," said Sybil. "Well, I hate to tell you, Sybil. They die." - A Perfect Day For Bananafish (J.D. Salinger) If you don't escape, you die

2.2. Suicide

2.2.1. Escape the pains of success Seymour Child Prodigy Becomes Professor at Columbia at 20 Featured on Radio Show "It's a Wise Child" Fights in WW2 Attempts Suicide by slitting wrist Commits Suicide in "Bananafish" while wife sleeps to escape his success, his thoughts of the war, and to hold on to childhood innocence Kurt Grew up in a broken home Started a band called Nirvana Wrote a smash hit in "Smells Like Teen Spirit" a anthem against abuse of teenage culture Released "Nevermind" which would go on to become one of the best selling albums of all time, as well as one of the most beloved Released "In Utero" which many argued was just as good as Nevermind if not even better Went on to become "the voice of the generation" and be considered one of the greatest rock stars of all time Committed Suicide in 1994

3. The Catcher In The Rye

3.1. Holding on to Childhood

3.1.1. Holden spends the whole book trying to escape adulthood He tries to sleep with a prostitute, and can't. Attempts to merely talk to her 'She was around my age. I sat down in the big chair, next to her, and offered her a cigarette. "I don't smoke," she said. She had a tiny little wheeny-whiny voice. You could hardly hear her. She never said thank you, either, when you offered her something. She just didn't know any better.... "Ya got a watch on ya?" she said. She didn't care what the hell my name was, naturally. "Hey, how old are you, anyways?" "Me? Twenty-two." "Like fun you are." It was a funny thing to say. It sounded like a real kid. You'd think a prostitute and all would say "Like hell you are" or "Cut the crap"' - A Catcher in the Rye (J.D. Salinger) Chapter 13 Sees sex as rite of passage Repeatedly claims that he is depressed when around prostitute Runs from parents when he gets kicked out of school My kid sister Phoebe goes to bed around nine o'clock--so I couldn't call her up. She wouldn't've cared if I'd woke her up, but the trouble was, she wouldn't've been the one that answered the phone. My parents would be the ones. So that was out. - A Catcher in the Rye (J.D. Salinger) Chapter 13 Wants the world to freeze "The best thing, though, in that museum was that everything always stayed right where it was. Nobody'd move. You could go there a hundred thousand times, and that Eskimo would still be just finished catching those two fish, the birds would still be on their way south, the deer would still be drinking out of that water hole, with their pretty antlers and their pretty, skinny legs, and that squaw with the naked bosom would still be weaving that same blanket." - A Catcher in the Rye (J.D. Salinger) Chapter 16

3.1.2. Kurt spends his life as the eternal teenager "Smells Like Teen Spirit" Wrote his Suicide Note to Imaginary Friend: Boddah "To Boddah Speaking from the tongue of an experienced simpleton who obviously would rather be an emasculated, infantile complain-ee. This note should be pretty easy to understand."

3.2. Growing Up

3.2.1. "Serve The Servants" "Teenage angst has paid off well Now I'm bored and old" On the last album he admits he needs to grow up

3.2.2. Holden Fixates on Ducks in central park "Okay," I said. Then I thought of something, all of a sudden. "Hey, listen," I said. "You know those ducks in that lagoon right near Central Park South? That little lake? By any chance, do you happen to know where they go, the ducks, when it gets all frozen over? Do you happen to know, by any chance?"- A Catcher in the Rye (J.D. Salinger) Chapter 9 He wonders where the ducks are gonna go, (i.e. where will he go? will he grow up?) Merry-Go-Round is the symbol for the teenager. Spinning round round without moving “Then the carousel started, and I watched her go round and round...All the kids tried to grap for the gold ring, and so was old Phoebe, and I was sort of afraid she's fall off the goddam horse, but I didn't say or do anything. The thing with kids is, if they want to grab for the gold ring, you have to let them do it, and not say anything. If they fall off, they fall off, but it is bad to say anything to them.” - A Catcher in the Rye (J.D. Salinger) Chapter 16


4.1. Ah, they do bother him, these free women in their teens, their spirits are so contagious, I'll tell you it's just -out, -ray, -juss, / Spirit is so -con, -tay, -juss, / Nobody knows their a-ges.. - Gravity's Rainbow

5. Thesis

5.1. Kurt Cobain and his literary influences, tell us that the teenage experience is inherently about escapism