Ageism is Deathly

When viewing the film The Old Man and the Storm, the brokenness of a community could be portrayed as citizens lost their homes. As Roach states “the illusory scene of closure that Eurocentrists call memory (“what’s done is done”) incites emotion toward the future, in aspiration no less than in dread…” The article is arguing that failure has to be accepted for what it is. In contrast, the film showed a man with determination and resilience in terms of saving what he lost. He states, when referring to his home, “not about to leave it, it took to long to build what I built.” The man showed pride and humility of what was his rather than focus on the supernumeraries of materialism. The Eurocentric view dominated Roach’s article of how one feels necessary to accumulate as many materials as they can with their wealth as they age to reassure their own value and life.

Joseph’s Roach’s Cities of the Dead: Circum-Atlantic Peformance immediately caught my attention as we were reading bits and pieces of it in class. Something about the text of long articles and the syntax makes the reader have to annotate the words making it even better and more challenging to read. To analyze. To understand and put into perspective what the diction is trying to portray to the reader.

In Roach’s article, death was a prominent theme presented in the article as it stated, “Arnold van Gennep’s seminal formulation of death as a rite of passage.” The most humane events a person experiences are the acts of birth and death. Roach says as “…they involve figures whose very professions, itself alternately ostracized and overvalued…” This can be related to the stigmas older senior citizens face in society as they serve as effigies. There is a negative connotation of senior citizens due to their age and can be seen as “useless.” At the same time, certain upbringings emphasize respecting one’s elders as there is a pressure from both sides to agree upon an opinion on not only senior citizens but on the topic ageism. Richeson states, “similar to racism, “ageism” refers to the negative attitudes associated with advanced age.

An example of senior citizens being overvalued can be the idea, as Richeson mentions in his article of the “…perfect grandmother, [as the] subtype consists of women who are kind, serene, trustworthy, nurturing, and helpful.” Along with grandmothers portrayed as warm and competent, they can also be seen as cognitively incompetent, and therefore can be concluded as being “ostracized” in society.

It was interesting to examine Roaches’ piece and relate death to the negative mentality of ageism. How certain concepts in society can be overvalued yet still be ostracized is fascinating to explore and I wonder if certain stigmas will fade or transition to alternate views as generations pass.

 

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