Friday, January 14, 2011

If Life Were Backwards

Then things would be quite interesting, don't you think?

In the book Slaughterhouse-Five by Kurt Vonnegut [which I have to read for English], the main character Billy Pilgrim watches a movie backwards. Don't ask me how because I'm not exactly sure except that Billy is jumping between different moments of his life. It's all rather weird and confusing in the way that some books can be. As I read the backwards movie, I couldn't help but chuckle slightly at the absurdity of the film. I've re-typed the passage below so feel free to give it a read through:

American planes, full of holes and wounded men and corpses took off backwards from an airfield in England. Over France, a few German fighter planes flew at them backwards, sucked bullets and shell fragments from some of the planes and crewmen. They did the same for wrecked American bombers on the ground, and those planes flew up backwards to join the formation.
The formation flew backwards over a German city that was in flames. The bombers opened their bomb bay doors, exerted a miraculous magnetism which shrunk the fires, gathered them into cylindrical steel containers, and lifted the containers into the bellies of the planes. The containers were stored neatly in racks. The Germans below had miraculous devices of their own, which were long steel tubes. They used them to suck more fragments from the crewmen and planes. But there were still a few wounded Americans, though, and some of the bombers were in bad repair. Over France, though, German fighters came up again, made everything and everybody as good as new.

When the bombers got back to their base, the steel cylinders were taken from the racks and shipped back to the US of A, where factories were operating night and day, dismantling the cylinders, separating the dangerous contents into minerals. The minerals were then shipped to specialists in remote areas. It was their business to put them into the ground, to hide them cleverly, so they would never hurt anybody ever again.
The American fliers turned in their uniforms, became high school kids.
And Hitler turned into a baby...

The bolded section is my favourite.

As I was reading that, I couldn't help but think, what if we took other stories and watched them backwards? What changes in their plot would that bring.

So, here's Beauty and the Beast: re-written by me [and yes, I know I've left some things out]:

Image via Google
Belle and Prince What's-His-Name were in love but the castle was under attack. So in order to protect their love, the Prince transformed into a Beast. Then Belle ran away back to the village followed by all the villagers who were angry at not having found the prince. Belle locked herself and her father in the cellar to be safe from the villagers while they rioted outside with the magic mirror.

They released Belle and gave her back the magic mirror before returning to their houses. Belle hugged her father goodbye and then snuck off to the Beast's castle to be with her beloved love. The two are having a grand old time together until the Beast gets hurt fighting wolves to protect Belle. After that, their friendship is gone and Belle is locked in her room. After dinner one night, she sneaks into her room where the Beast finds her and yells at her to come to dinner.

Then Belle is taken to the dungeons where her father appears and tells her he loves her and that she should go back home. So Belle leaves the castle with Philip and goes through the woods back home while Maurice is trapped in the dungeons. Back home, Gaston proposes to Belle who ignores him.

Maurice returns from the woods with his invention and Belle walks through the town while singing, oblivious to everyone else around her.

Meanwhile, somewhere in the woods, the Beast greets a fairy lady and accepts her rose. In exchange, she changes everyone into humans. The End.

Well, that was a lot more interesting than I imagined.

So, if you feel so inclined, I'd love to hear your backwards stories in the Comments!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Hi Rachel
Spelling! it is "cellars" not "sellers" in this instance. Hope you have found your voice again
Hugos