I Walked with a Zombie : Good vs.Evil characters

Good vs.Evil characters

I'm a little unsure of the way the movie framed the characters in terms of their morality. Wesley and Jessica were characterized as "evil," and I guess that wanting to run away together was not particularly nice for Paul, but I don't think it makes them evil. And while Paul was sort of treated as the victim, he seemed nasty and cold. I don't know if that's just me, but I couldn't get over it. I just wish Jessica and Wesley's characters would have been shown a little more sympathy.

Re: Good vs.Evil characters

None of the characters were entirely good or bad. I thought Wesley and Jessica were treated relatively sympathetically--Paul himself admitted to Betsy that he had continually bullied his wife. Even the sympathetic characters are flawed--Mrs. Rand's maternal instincts led her to turn Jessica into a zombie, and Betsy can be quite tactless at time as when he tells the black driver that at least the slave ship brought his enslaved ancestors to a "beautiful place."

There's a light (Over at the Frankenstein place)--The Rocky Horror Picture Show

Re: Good vs.Evil characters

"I'm a little unsure of the way the movie framed the characters in terms of their morality"

I mostly agree with you ...As you say " wanting to run away together was not particularly nice", even by 1940's standards, is hardly evil that warrants Zombification. No wonder Wes turned to the drink, especially with the island mocking him all the time, and the evidence is they (Wes & Jessica), loved each other, and, in a more understanding social climate, should be allowed to be together. Note, however, how Wes rather swoops on the .new flesh' as soon as Betsy arrives .. Desperate loneliness from someone who, as yet is not condemning him, or in his character to prey on women?
Paul is rather cold, but I guess if your wife tries to run away, your brother does a nasty on you, and your mother even more so, I guess it's a miracle HE hasn't become an alcoholic.. I guess someone had to hold the business together, and perhaps that is his saving grace, his heroism. Perhaps the question there is, was he that cold before, thus causing Jessica to seek comfort elsewhere?
(I find it hard to condemn him for no longer loving his wife, all things considered .. she wanted to leave, and is now a Zombie ..)
Wes rather redeems himself by bringing the merciful release of Jessica (potential controversial statement??), knowing he will have to pay for it ..

few visible scars

Re: Good vs.Evil characters

As much I love these old movies, I occasionally get frustrated by the overly simplistic, one-sided moral framing. That sanctimonious narration at the end that implied that Jessica was selfish and therefore deserved to die really irked me. How do we know she was a bad wife? Frankly, I'm more inclined to think Paul was a bad husband; he was cold, thoughtless, humorless, and even admitted outright that he liked to bully his wife. I'll admit Wes wasn't much of a prize either, but at least he seemed to genuinely love her.

Re: Good vs.Evil characters

by lauraeileen894 . Thanks ..I failed to make your good comment about Jessica, (how do we know she was a bad wife?) although I intended to include it when I made the comment that running off with another guy was not a nice ting, but hardly warranted Zombiefication.
I think the intention of the "sanctimonious narration" was about her adultery rather than when she was married. We don't know .. As both of us note, Paul seemed cold .. but how was he before? Was her adultery a result of his emotional distance, or is Paul's coldness the result of what happened? You raise an important pointer when you remember (which I failed to) how he " even admitted outright that he liked to bully his wife"
Yes, we agree that they both (seemed to) genuinely loved each other.

few visible scars

Re: Good vs.Evil characters

The narration at the end was irritating and may have been included so as to make certain the film conformed to the Hayes Code.

There's a light (Over at the Frankenstein place)--The Rocky Horror Picture Show
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