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 ES Discussion Question #3 The neighborhood......., it's the people that you meet each day
captainjacksparrow
Posted: Jan 15 2007, 12:27 PM


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Originally Posted by Karen
on 12/08/04 at 06:34 AM

The neighbors in this community are certainly varied. We know that Burton wanted to make statements with them. What did he tell you about the neighbors he chose to use?

What do you think of Peg? How did she help Edward? Did she hurt him by trying to help him?

Remember there are no right or wrong answers, just opinions.


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captainjacksparrow
Posted: Jan 15 2007, 12:28 PM


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MerryK

All the neighbors, the women seemed pretty nosey to me. Something happens or they see something occuring on their street.. they want to know what's it all about. Showed how mundane their lives were. They certainly fell all over themselves to find out what Edward was all about. Which was shown by their pushiness at the front door to invite themselves to a barbecue.

The person who just always cracked me up though was Peg's husband. What an easy going man he seemed. Nothing seemed to really ever upset him. Almost the opposite of how I would think a "real" husband would actually react at first if his wife brought some stranger.. especially a stranger like Edward into their household to live. He seemed to have a good sense of right and wrong and probably felt it was the right thing to have Edward there.

It's hard to say how Peg fit in with this group of women cause we never saw any interaction beforehand .. except for the Avon selling. Was she just as nosey.. curious about things. I believe she was a very good natured motherly type of person. To bring Edward home with her was almost the same as if she had found an abandoned puppy or kitty .. to take them in.. because they couldnt take care of themselves.. which I think is how she viewed Edward at first.

Peg was probably only the 2nd person that Edward had ever met. And because of her goodness towards him.. he didnt know that people could be mean.. but that was something he slowly learned. In the long run.. I dont think she actually hurt him.. because in his mind.. it still was good.. which is how he remembered it by the ice carvings he would continually do.


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captainjacksparrow
Posted: Jan 15 2007, 12:31 PM


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MadScntst

I saw the neighbors as mostly shallow and fickle. As Mary Kay said, when he first came to town, he was the big novelty, and everyone wanted to know all about him. Then they wanted to be the first to feed him, or the first to have him do their topiaries, or their dog's hair, or *their* hair. When the novelty wore off, the tide turned against him fast, and nobody would give him the benefit of the doubt anymore. The community didn't need him anymore.

As for Peg, I believe she was fundamentally different from most of the neighbors. I feel she truly had a good heart. She was an eternal optimist- she continued to try to sell her Avon products every season, even though she knew that nobody would ever buy anything. There was always that hope, and she strove to try, anyway.

Mary Kay called her "motherly", and I do feel that it was within her nature to want to take him home. She didn't feel he should be left all alone out there- an idea like that was totally foreign to her. Then, as far as the makeup, I don't think she considered him ugly- it was simply that Avon was what she knew, and she thought that it was a way that she could help.

I love Mary Kay's take on the husband, and really can't add anything to it. He just seemed to quietly take everything in stride, no matter how outlandish

I guess the question of whether Peg helped or hurt Edward is sort of a toss-up. Would he have been better off if he had never come down from his house on the hill? He certainly dealt with a lot of pain and suffering that he wouldn't have if he just stayed ignorant to the outside world. But on the other hand, he never would've met the one family that really did seem to care about him, especially Kim. I have to feel he learned something about life, the bad and the good, that would've been left "unfinished", as Vincent Price's character never got to finish his lessons with Edward. And without Peg trying to help him, it never would've snowed


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captainjacksparrow
Posted: Jan 15 2007, 12:34 PM


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ForeverinmyheartJD

I will say its a toss up. If he had been left alone, he wouldn't have known what existed outside of his world. I can't say for sure that would have been the best for him (not knowing anything outside of his world). He found love and happiness, if only for a short time. And even though at the end, he had to go back to being alone, the good things that he learned I believe stayed with him all those years. Afterall, he did make it snow every year

Peg only did what she felt in her heart was the right thing to do. As Mary Kay said, "Motherly" is the best way to describe it. She certainly had the best intentions for him. She even says near the end that when she brought him down to live with them, she didn't think things through. How it would affect his life, their lives, the neighbourhood. She only did what she thought was best.


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captainjacksparrow
Posted: Jan 15 2007, 12:35 PM


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deppmania2003

The community to me is also a not real one in my opinion. Throughout the whole movie Burton want us to believe that they are not real, like robots, living a live that exists only on the outside and not in the hearts of the people. I have a strong feeling now towards the movie Pleasantville, although this is a movie from very much a later date, but I hope you'll catch my drift here.

Peg just stands out here and is the woman that does just all from within her heart and not her mind. She did not think things over when she brought Edward home.


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captainjacksparrow
Posted: Jan 15 2007, 12:36 PM


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Karen

No she doesn't. She just takes Edward home so that she can take care of him. She doesn't think about what the neighbors will say, what her hubby will say, or the kids. She just does what she thinks is right. I love Peg.


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captainjacksparrow
Posted: Jan 15 2007, 12:36 PM


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BarbToo

There were parts of the neighborhood that were all too real to me. I lived in a neighborhood where none of the women worked and most were single...for 12 years. They couldn't stand having a thing going on in the small two blocks that they didn't know about. They had nothing better to do with their time than to watch everything everyone else was doing. We had just about all the cross-section of people that was in the film. I shudder to think what would have happened if some poor soul like Edward had come to our neighborhood.

I think Tim Burton was aware of these little, simple-minded micro-cosm and what harm they could cause. I think he often has a message behind his films and that's why Johnny loves working with him so much.

I think Peg was an innocent in a world where she didn't quite fit in...much the same as Edward didn't fit in when she brought him down to stay with her and her family. That might have been a big part of the reason she was so receptive to accept him, despite his strange looks. Where the others saw him as a novelty, Peg saw him as someone else who needed acceptance, just like her. She seemed to be being brushed off by everyone because she was the "Avon lady". I judge this by the way they spoke to her when she went to the individual doors at the very beginning of the movie. None of them were very friendly toward her. I wonder just how many would have come to her party even without the problem with Edward.


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captainjacksparrow
Posted: Jan 15 2007, 12:38 PM


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MerryK

Good Evening! Just checking in again. I really liked the word describing Edward as a novelty .. that is so true.. and after a bit of time goes by.. the novelty of something always wears off. Lots of interesting insights.


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captainjacksparrow
Posted: Jan 15 2007, 12:39 PM


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Jeppody

You have all described the neighbours, Peg and her family wonderfully, and I agree with all of it, so i have nothing to add.

As for whether Peg did Edward good or harm. I believe it did do him good, despite the pain. He may have ended up back where he started, but at least he had memories, which is never a bad thing.


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captainjacksparrow
Posted: Jan 15 2007, 12:40 PM


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sally2jack

Not much to add either, except that I loved reading everyone's take on the neighborhood.

On whether Peg helped or hurt, it's just another version of the ultimate question:
Is it truly better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all?

I always really liked that scene in Men In Black where Will Smith quotes the original quote (stating that presumably it *is* better to have loved...) and Tommy Lee Jones's character replies: "Try it sometime".


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