14th November 2017

1.10

Hamlet by William Shakespeare

Title: Hamlet

Text Type: Play, tragedy

Author: William Shakespeare

Time: Between 1599 and 1602

William Shakespeare’s Hamlet entails a timelessness and universality to which anyone can relate  – even 400 years after the tragedy was written. Hamlet is the prince of Denmark who plans to avenge his father’s murder, but his madness and indecision lead the play to unravel in a way that neither Hamlet nor the audience would ever expect it to as his derangement takes a toll on all the characters in his surroundings. Shakespeare’s most well-known play explores the themes of love, desire and revenge and the aspects of life’s meaning and purpose. Shakespearian plays continue to amaze me, but to me personally Hamlet stands out; Shakespeare has allowed me to correlate with Hamlet and his deep thoughts that are divulged throughout the tragedy and I believe that everyone, in one way or another, can connect with the play’s protagonist and his ideas if given the chance to read this outstanding play.

An aspect of Hamlet that interested me especially was the main character’s continuous indecision towards a number of issues that unfold throughout the play and its consequences. After Hamlet’s dead father who recently passed away pays Hamlet a visit as a spirit in the beginning of the play to tell him that he was murdered by his brother, robbing him of his crown and even his wife, the ghost instructs Hamlet to earn revenge on Claudius: Hamlet’s uncle and his father’s brother. Throughout the play, a continuous debate is portrayed by Hamlet whether he should kill his father’s murderer or not, in fear of that the spirit that instructed him to do so, was the devil in disguise, wanting to ensure Hamlet’s damnation. The confusion that Hamlet experiences lead him to insanity and a progressing state of depression and the debate of his uncle’s guilt and the confusion Macbeth experiences after his dead father’s visit makes him debate life itself – contemplating whether it’s better to put up with endless misery or whether to put an end to your issues, all at once – a deep and profound thought demonstrated by Hamlet in the possibly most well-known quote of English literature: “To be, or not to be? That is the question— Whether ’tis nobler in the mind to suffer The slings and arrows of outrageous fortune, Or to take arms against a sea of troubles, And, by opposing, end them?” Hamlet’s contemplation and confusion reflect the character’s further indecision as it makes him continue to put off the task of avenging the murder of his father, the man that will bring upon the collapse the Danish Kingdom and its royal family, an event that arguably could have been prevented if Hamlet took revenge upon himself sooner.

Another theme presented in Hamlet that has generated significant impact on me is presented in Act V, Scene I. Hamlet, and his friend Horatio approach two gravediggers at a graveyard who are preparing a new grave, excavating skulls from the ground and Hamlet becomes fascinated by the fact that such a bony figure once had a face, hair, eyes, a brain – a life. Picking up a skull, Hamlet learns that the one that he holds belonged to Old Hamlet’s jester, Yorick. Hamlet is shaken as he knew Yorick as a child, and he begins to ponder on the idea that everyone will eventually become a worthless skull, buried in the ground or tossed out of the earth to prepare new graves for another dead person who has the same destiny: who too will eventually become a trivial skull. He states that finally, everyone will become the dust of insignificance, whether they’re a slave, a beggar or royalty.

This formulation of an idea that Shakespeare has developed has given me a new perspective on Hamlet as a person as well as the different classes that we label people in society with. Being important and being of more worth is truly just an illusion that humanity has painted for themselves, a divisor of mankind and society. I believe that we are all individuals with equal worth and potential and the labels that degrade people or illustrate them as of higher value is just rubbish that humans come up with out of boredom. No matter how important that we think we think we are, grading ourselves over or under others, the truth of the matter is that we all share the same fate – and Hamlet has helped me come to this realisation.

Through these two aspects portrayed in the Shakespearean tragedy Hamlet: Hamlet’s confusion and indecision which makes him develop serious thoughts and questions of the meaning of life have had an unforgettable impact on me as the reader as the main character ponders upon life’s biggest and deepest questions. What amazes me as the reader, is the timelessness and universality of these thoughts, seeing that the play was written over 400 years ago and yet these ideas are ones that I, among many others understand, and questions that continue to be asked today. Hamlet has changed my perspective on how we think as humans and that we have much more in common than what we think. We all share the same questions and destiny, and without reading Hamlet, this is something that I would not have understood as thoroughly.

 

The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho

Title: The Alchemist

Text type: Novel

Author: Paulo Coelho

Published: 1988

I took it upon myself to read the Alchemist because I got the impression of it being a classic must-read book with a near cult-status after people continuously referring to it: this prompted a curiosity within me to find out what the novel was all about.

The Alchemist is an ancient tale about a young Spanish boy, Santiago who decides to forge his own destiny rather than do what is traditionally expected of him. Due to his curiosity and desire to travel, he decides to become a shepherd as this was the only occupation at the time allowing one to travel. The tale accompanies Santiago and his flock through Spain and then further afield when he travels through northern Africa and to the Egyptian pyramids on a mission where he undertakes his dream of travelling and finding a hidden treasure.

In short, I can state that the Alchemist is about following your dreams and choosing your own destiny by listening to your heart, or following your personal legend as it is referred to in the book. This theme is obvious in the novel, as when Santiago experiences recurring dreams about the Egyptian pyramids and finding a hidden treasure, a fortuneteller interprets his dream and advises him to find the treasure – a mission that Santiago sets out to do, following personal legend.

A second theme that is of significance to the story is listening to your heart, a theme that grows more important as the novel unfolds. Initially, Santiago does not have the ability to interpret what his heart is saying, but as the book progresses and especially when Santiago meets the Alchemist, he learns to listen and communicate with his heart as well as how to build patience and faith to trust that his heart will supply the answers Santiago needs, even if the occasion comes at the very  last minute.

An interesting and unexpected twist in the story that has tapped into my thoughtfulness is found at the end of the novel when Santiago finds his treasure in Egypt, the treasure surprisingly instructs him to return to the ruined church where the story started – the place he left to follow his personal legend. After a long journey home, which was only briefly described by Coelho, he found his true treasure in the church of Spain, which was the chest in the traditional variety of gold and jewels. This aspect of the Alchemist has taught me that often our dreams and goals in life take us far from home when we search for them, and these journeys often take us back to where we started. However, if Santiago found the treasure in the church when he started – he would be poorer as he would not be enriched with the lessons he learned on his journey to find his treasure and personal legend. This has taught me that sometimes, we look too far, but we learn a lot about ourselves on the journey and this can be worth as much as our goals themselves.

As a goal orientated person, and perhaps a bit of a dreamer, The Alchemist has helped me receive the message that in order to achieve your dreams and goals, you must be willing to  endure hardships and setbacks yet still have the faith, patience and strength needed to continue and never losing sight of your goal. I believe that to my generation, who tends to be idle, expecting that we will all land on our feet, avoiding work and obstacles, this message, is of very high value. With growing numbers and seriousness of global issues, and worldly conflict it is more important than ever for us to exercise resilience and “grit” to overcome setbacks and continue to work towards our goals – and keeping in mind that the journey getting to our goals are of equal importance as achieving them.

The Alchemist is indeed a timeless story and the fact that the book was set far before modernised times emphasises its perpetual and universal meaning. It has taught me that to get the most out of life we must go our own way and pave our own path so that we all can individually satisfy our dreams or personal legends – it also has highlighted that achieving your goals is far from a breeze, but the knowledge and experience you gain on your journey to get there holds value and importance on its own. I will think of The Alchemist as I travel through life, and I have been forever inspired to be as true to my dreams as Santiago was.

 

Children by Nancy Keesing

Long-summer scorched, my surfing children

Catch random waves or thump in dumpers,

Whirling, gasping, tossed disjointed.

I watching, fear they may be broken –

That all those foaming limbs will never

Re-assemble whole, together.

All under such a peaceful sky.

All under such another sky

 

The pictures show some village children

Caught at random, tossed, exploded,

Torn, disjointed, like sticks broken,

Whose jagged scorching limbs will never

Re-assemble whole together.

 

Title: Children

Text Type: Poem

Poet: Nancy Keesing 

 

“Children,” written by Australian poet Nancy Keesing, uses repetition along with contrasting stanzas, powerful imagery and figurative language to emphasise and highlight the drastic differences in lifestyle between children who grow up in safe and privileged environments and the children who live devastated and dangerously as victims and casualties of war.

In the first verse, Keesing describes herself watching her children playing happily in the Australian ocean on a summer’s day as she expresses her worry that her beloved darlings may be hurt in the surf, articulating her parental instincts, worrying for her children as she catastrophizes a situation that from a wider perspective would be viewed as a happy and safe childhood – “under such a peaceful sky.” However, as the poem transitions into the second stanza, the author uses powerful imagery to change the scenery of the poem, illustrating village children deprived by battle, being caught at random, tossed, exploded as repercussions of a war which they live in the midst of.

As the poet states, in the first verse: “I watching, fear they may be broken – That all those foaming limbs will never Re-assemble whole, together,” Keesing portrays her fear that her children “may be broken” in the violent surf, a worry that would be shared among any over-protective first-world parent in the same situation. However, with similar wording to the statement just discussed in the first verse, the author states “Torn, disjointed, like sticks broken, Whose jagged scorching limbs will never, Re-assemble whole together,” – implies a major contrast between the two similarly-worded excerpts from the poem as a parent’s fear that their children may break and never turn whole again in the first quote from the first verse, the poet’s fear for her children  becomes a reality, but for the village children who are killed by war as portrayed in the second statement: “whose jagged scorching limbs will never, re-assemble whole together.”  This use of comparison and similarly structured and worded sentences assists the poet in emphasising the difference in lifestyles between Keesing’s children and the war-torn ones described in the second verse as it turns a parent’s worst nightmare into a truth for the village children – fear becomes reality.

Keesing continues using similar sentences with distinctively contrasting meanings to highlight the diversity of the first and the second verse as well as the Australian children and the ones ravaged by war. The first verse depicts the author’s children being tossed around in the playful surf through the statement, “Catch random waves or thump in dumpers, whirling, gasping, tossed disjointed,” while when the second verse reveals something different in the quote: “Caught at random, tossed, exploded, torn, disjointed, like sticks broken,” – a situation with similar expression to the statement in the first stanza, holds an entirely different purpose. The innocent meaning of the first verse and the exaggeration used to describe the Australian children hurled around in the waves becomes the opposite to the village children in the statement found in the second stanza, describing the children randomly caught by explosions, killed senselessly by war rather than randomly caught by waves as depicted in the first verse.

Another comparison drawn by the poet is the difference between the meaning of the word “scorched” in both stanzas, again building diversity between the two verses and the lifestyles of the different children. In the first verse as the reader comes across the line “long-summer scorched, my surfing children,” we naturally interpret the word scorched, as warm, tanned, sunburnt skin as a result from the long summer which Kessing talks about. However, as I quote from the second verse: “Whose jagged scorching limbs will never re-assemble whole together.” we can interpret a completely different comprehension of the meaning behind the word “scorching” as we learn that the village children’s jagged limbs who will never reassemble whole together are not scorching from playing under the warm sun for a long summer – these children are scorching: their skin boiling, sizzling,  burning to bits, due to the blasts and detonation of explosives that continue to heartlessly hunt and kill innocent children.

Between these two verses, the poet has created a bridge that allows a transition between the two incompatible stanzas. Keesing rounds off the first verse by stating “All under such a peaceful sky” implying that everything that was taking place described by the poet in the first verse was taken place in a dream compared to the events that take place in the second stanza which she opens with stating “All under such another sky,” again calling focus to the difference  between war-torn and privileged children

This passage that Keesing uses to progress from the first verse to the second, stating that these two vastly different situations are taking place under two different skies has made me come to the realization of that the reality is that these two situations actually take place under the one, same sky. The sky that we live our peaceful, simple and non-problematic lives under is, in fact, the exact same sky that covers the children who have been struck and killed by war, living every moment on a brink between life and death or no longer living at all. I have realised that when we swim in the ocean, we swim in the same ocean where refugees are right now drowning as they try to make their way to peace and safety, escaping conflict – the only barrier between us is a sea of water. This has made me think how by breathing, we are inhaling air that may once have been the last breath of one of the village children – a child that never got the chance to fulfil their dreams and maximum potential because their life was cut short because of a cold-hearted conflict.

Keesing’s powerful use of imagery and carefully selected words supporting her illustration of the lives of privileged children and disadvantaged children, living as victims of war and on the edge in every moment of their day –  leaves me with a hollow feeling inside. That under the same sky that covers me right now, lie children, with lives and ambitions just like me, who’s lives will in moments be cut short due to the the destruction brought around by civil unrest and war, kids living everyday on the brink of death simply because of the misfortune of being in the wrong place at the wrong time. Nancy Keesing has made me realise that those village children, deprived by the fallout of a war, could just as well have been me or you – these children were caught at random in a selection for misfortune – while I, and the poet’s children described in the first verse are brought up in peace and advantage purely out of luck.

 

Imagine by John Lennon

Title: Imagine

Text Type: Lyrics

Artist: John Lennon

Released: 1971

(IMPORTANT: Before reading this, note that I am not meaning to offend or discriminate anyone’s religion or beliefs, I am simply making a personal reflection on how I think religion affects me and may or may not affect other people in society.)

The iconic classic “Imagine” written and composed by John Lennon explores the idea of living in a simpler world. In his lyrics, Lennon asks us to imagine how our lives would be different in a world without countries, religions, possessions and the structured systems created by humanity that continue to divide us as individuals.

Imagine there’s no heaven, It’s easy if you try, No hell below us, Above us only sky, Imagine all the people living for today.” Imagine opens with Lennon questioning what life would be without the afterlife and how it would affect humanity: an idea portrayed in the first stanza above. Following the instructions of the song, I have imagined how our world and our lives would differ without heaven and hell – afterlife being one of the main foundations for the commitment of religion and worship. Religion structures and restricts the way we live so that we can make our way to a special place when we depart this life that we have been gifted, and while this is what an immense number of people prefer, if I take a step back and look at the situation I can see how people live as slaves under their religions’ obligations by following the rules that will determine their afterlife. So imagine if there is no heaven and there is no hell – isn’t the commitment of religion wasting our time? Restricting us from the lives that we could lead? As Lennon states, as I quote: “Imagine all the people living for today,” a life without an afterlife would make people live in the present, worshipping the gift of today rather than shaping their lives around the security of arriving in heaven when they die – and to one day realise that the day they draw their last breath– they may face only oblivion.

The global chaos and civil unrest that we have been brought up on is largely to do with nationalism, disagreement between countries and religious conflict. In the second verse of Imagine, Lennon asks us to imagine living without religion and countries, and how this would create peace among humanity: “Imagine there’s no countries, It isn’t hard to do, Nothing to kill or die for, And no religion too, Imagine all the people, Living life in peace: You…”  If the whole world was a nation and had no religion, there would be no fighting for boundaries and territory, no nationalism or revenge would uprise war and no religion to disagree with because there is no one to fight and disagree with and no reason for the war and violence that is killing and causing suffering for people as you read this very moment.

In the third verse, Lennon invites us to imagine letting go of our possessions, the materialistic objects that we think we need: “Imagine no possessions, I wonder if you can, No need for greed or hunger, A brotherhood of man, Imagine all the people, Sharing all the world….” This verse has made me question if by sharing the world, will unevenly dispersed wealth, hunger and poverty come to an end as Lennon proposes in his lyrics? And how would our lives evolve from the current state that we live in? Lennon queries whether you really can imagine this idea, perhaps because of the shallow and materialistic world that we live in. At the same time as presenting an idea to end “greed and hunger” this verse also reflects the misplacement of our energy and priorities and how obsessed humans are objects that have no real sentimental value. If everyone could let go of this superficial and futile obsession, we could appreciate what really matters to us individually and together we could focus on larger issues and how to resolve them, in a “brotherhood of man”.

In the final stanza, concluding the song, Lennon reflects on the ideas that he has proposed throughout the lyrics, imagining the uncomplicated and peaceful life that he dreams of as he sings:  “You may say I’m a dreamer, But I’m not the only one, I hope someday you’ll join us, And the world will live as one.” The closing of the song divulges the different approaches that people may have towards Lennon’s idea of a simple life and a debate whether his idealistic hope will ever be possible. Lennon states that you may think that he is a dreamer, and seeing that his ideas are so far from the reality we live in it is reasonable to do so. The distance between the world that we live in and the lives that we lead compared to the situation that Lennon suggests will commonly lead people to believe that his idea is unrealistic and impossible. They will think his theory on how to create world peace is simply just a superstition and a fragment of the artist’s hazy imagination – Lennon’s knowledge of this reaction is portrayed in the quote “You may say I’m a dreamer.” On the flipside, John Lennon’s idea of a simple world would actually solve the prominent issues present in our world today – think about it. War, crime, poverty, misplaced power and inequality would be banished as a result of removing religion, possessions, governments, countries and the order that structures our world and labels the people that live in it– there would truly be nothing to kill or die for – and this questions why people would have the instant, negative reaction towards Lennon’s idea. The only way that living the uncomplicated life that Lennon dreams about would be through unity and agreement, and this is reflected in the lines “I hope one day you’ll join me, and the world will live as one.” The reality of the situation is that there will always need to be a war before there is peace – otherwise peace would mean nothing. In conclusion, people are not afraid of living a life of simplicity and freedom, in fact, this is the ideal for humanity and fairness. What people are afraid of is the change and the unrest it would cause that would emerge on the journey to getting to the simpler world that Lennon imagines would change our world for the better.

Imagine, written by John Lennon, has opened my state of mind and has given me a new perspective on how we live structurally, artificially and in order – a system,  that was set up to maintain structure, guidance, and arrangement, but has created the opposite, making us all as individuals slaves to our world’s rules, expectations and obligations and victims of civil unrest and global conflict. Imagine living in the moment, in a life with organic control because there would be nothing to argue about. Imagine living in peace: this is what Lennon has asked us to do, and this article is the result of me doing so.

Listen to Imagine here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DVg2EJvvlF8

 

 

Lost in Translation by Sophia Coppola

Title: Lost in Translation

Text Type: Film

Directed and written by Sophia Coppola

Released: 5th February 2004

Charlotte, played by Scarlett Johansson, and a recent graduate of philosophy and newly married, follow her photographer husband to Tokyo on his business trip. At the same hotel that Charlotte stays at, Bob, played by Bill Murray, a faded movie star, stuck in a loveless marriage, arrives in Tokyo to film an ad for whiskey. Charlotte and Bob are thrown into a world of unknown – they are isolated, searching and lost, without the ability to understand their new surrounding. Alone and alienated in an environment far from what they know, it becomes apparent that something is missing from their lives as the film progresses.

Lost In Translation explores the theme of being lost and what it really means to be so. As the film begun, I initially thought that Bob and Charlotte sense of feeling lost was simply because of the dramatic change of environment of Tokyo – however, as the film unfolds, I learned that the two characters aren’t only lost in a new city – they have lost themselves, and searching to find who they are  again as the film follows their journey of discovery.

As the two characters struggle to leave the security and comfort of their hotel, perhaps scared of what they will find in the depths of Tokyo, Bob and Charlotte continue to cross paths, in the elevator, corridors and the hotel bar. These small encounters grow a familiarness between the two, and as the film progresses, these small encounters gradually advance into a growing friendship between the two very different yet similar characters. I have learnt that the further we get into the movie, the more Bob and Charlotte have in common: a correlation that acts as a foundation for their growing friendship throughout the film even though their lifestyles vary. As Bob and Charlotte are introduced, both lost – they are found by each other. The characters mutual situations, sharing doubts in life, troubled relationships and the common feeling of isolation in an unknown city lead them to explore and discover Tokyo together, as well as it leads them to explore and discover themselves individually, on a mission to find who they really are and what their purpose in life is.

The two characters part their different ways as their stay in Tokyo comes to final, bringing the film to an end, not the typical happy ending that most films of today utilise. The meaningful bond that Bob and Charlotte have formed due to their mutual unawareness and search for their purpose, has helped them resolve their conflicts and find each other – just in time for them to separate. The ending of Lost in Translation illustrates the theme of loss and their sadness of leaving their time together in the past – returning from their escape from the life they are sick of, emphasising their heartfelt friendship and its significance for me as the viewer.

Lost in Translation, written and directed by Sofia Coppola is a film that I thoroughly enjoy watching and rewatching as the setting continues to impress me: it is well thought through and correlates to the story and my personal experience of Tokyo: a city so diverse and out of this world. Additionally, it taps into my thoughtfulness as the film has answered the question of what it means to be lost and excluded– a feeling which I believe anyone can relate to. Bob and Charlotte, define the answer to this question in a world of exclusion and isolation on their journey of discovery in a world where they are both lost; found by each other.

 

Stranger Things Pilot: The Vanishing of Will Byers by The Duffer Brothers

Title: Stranger Things Chapter One: The Vanishing of Will Byers

Text Type: Television programme

Created by: The Duffer Brothers

Released: On Netflix, July 15 2016

 

For not being much of a science fiction fan, Stranger Things, the brainchild of the Duffer brothers Matt and Ross, has blown me away and it’s safe to say that it is probably the best television programme that I have ever watched. The first chapter of the show; “The Vanishing of Will Byers,”  plays a fundamental and pivotal role in the series as it gives the audience a moderate insight on how the plot will develop at the same time as it leaves viewers curious and desperate for more information, more or less forcing them to watch the next episode.

 

The pilot opens with an establishing shot of Hawkins National Laboratory U.S. Department of Energy at night time and it is revealed to the audience that the episode takes place on November the 6th, 1993, in Hawkins, Indiana. Inside the lab, the viewer witnesses a scientist frantically running from an inhuman creature currently unknown to the audience who abducts the scientist, making him vanish like smoke into the air. We are then shifted to the other side of Hawkins where a group of four schoolboys playing a board game inside the classic American ‘80s home. When the boys separate, returning to their homes to sleep before the school day the next day, Will sees something terrifying as he bikes home in the darkness of the night – he is chased home by a supernatural creature and when he returns home to an empty house, terrified, he vanishes, evaporates, right in front of the viewer’s eyes, without a trace of how or why. This event will become the pivot of the television programme as surrounding characters unravel the mystery of Will Byer’s disappearance.  It becomes apparent that something very strange is happening in Hawkins, and that something supernatural is lurking around in the laboratory and the small town.

 

It is important to note that the second scene of the boys playing the board game opens with one of the boys, Mike, stating “Something is coming, something hungry for blood.  A shadow grows on the wall behind you, swallowing you in darkness. It is almost here.” The instant reaction of the audience is that this sentence relates to the creature that captured the scientist in the lab – however it is soon revealed that it is only related to the board game that the boys are playing – Dungeons and Dragons. What is currently unknown at this stage, is that this quote by one of the school boys, Mike, echoes the development of the episode, and acts as a clue of what is to come. Even though Mike has no clue of it, what he said is bound to be true – there is, in fact, something coming, something hungry for blood and it’s almost here, a clever technique used by the creators of the show to captivate the interest of the audience, giving traces of what is to come.

As the town of Hawkins, a town where it is said that “nothing ever happens” wakes up to a missing Will Byers, dramatic irony keeps the audience (and myself) interested  as the town tries to piece together Will’s whereabouts – an investigation that the audience lies one step ahead in because of their awareness that the vanishing of Will was due to paranormal causes – a fact that surrounding characters will have to find out on their own.

When Joyce Byers, Will’s mother played by Winona Ryder, discovers that her son was not in his bed in the morning, she assumes that he never came home the previous night while she was working late. In a meeting with the  Hawkins Police Department, Chief Hopper tells Joyce “99 out of a hundred times a kid goes missing, the kid is with a parent or a relative” implying that Will is not far away and that she needs to stop worrying. Frustrated, Joyce argues back questioning: “What about the other time? You said 99 out of 100. What about the other time, the one? The one!” Joyce leaves the office in worry, demanding for Hopper to find her son. This scene acts as a perfect example of dramatic irony that is displayed throughout the first episode, as while the nature of Will’s disappearance of the characters in Stranger Things still remains a clueless mystery, the viewers know that his vanishing involves stranger things, than Hopper suggests.

As the episode progresses, the audience gets further insight into the events taking place within Hawkins Lab. The viewers learn that a girl, who not much is known about so far has escaped from the lab, and this girl is being hunted by the scientists who work within the lab. The girl encounters the audience throughout the episode and we learn that she has supernatural powers through the ability to move things with the force of her mind. As the matter of Will’s disappearance becomes more serious and the pilot reaches its end, the girl struggles to hide from the people in the laboratory who are chasing her. The pilot is concluded by Joyce receiving an unclear phone call from Will, where a monstrous sound of some sort of demon can be heard in the background, who ends up ending the call, and by Will’s three friends, Mike, Lucas and Dusten who have started their own investigation to find Will find the girl hiding in the forest in the middle of the night. These two events, bring an end to the pilot and makes the audience question; who is the girl from the laboratory? Do her superpowers have a relationship with the paranormality of Will’s abduction? And if they do – can she help Mike, Dustan and Lucas find Will? And last but not least – who on earth was the monster on the other end of Joyce’s phone call?

Aside from how impressed I am with the Duffer Brothers’ ability to captivate the attention of millions of people including me with their extremely well thought-through and detailed pilot using techniques in such high quantities that I can not include them all in this response, another aspect of the pilot of Stranger Things, “The Vanishing of Will Byers” is the extremely well-thought-through, detailed and imaginative setting of the show – teleporting you to the early ‘80s. The creators of the show have thrown in hundreds of minor details throughout the episode, such as clothing and architecture, colours, cars, music accurate to the era, all adult characters having a cigarette between their lips at all times, along with other staples from the ‘80s such as comics and walkie-talkies, used to emphasise the setting, making me truly feel that I have been sucked into another decade.

Overall, my first impression of the television programme Stranger Things created by the Duffer brothers was the pilot of the show “The Vanishing of Will Byers” – an episode that fully gripped my attention and interest due to the detailed setting and the perfect amount of insight into the developing plot, leaving me also investigating what happened to Will through the clues that the creators of the show provide, and without any doubt forcing me to watch the next episode, resulting in me binge-watching the entire show in one night.

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