Hi all! I was encouraged by Dr. Johnson to share the website of my Capstone with everyone! I look at the role of isolation in the horror genre by analyzing the books Frankenstein and Dracula, and the movies Alien, Scream, and Hush! Click here!
On November 7th, I attended Jonathan Cohen’s talk on “Disciples of Dionysus: Nietzsche and the Ramones”. I walked into the even not knowing what to expect because I knew nothing about Nietzsche or the Ramones, and my knowledge of Dionysus was limited to his association with wine or alcohol. Cohen began his talk by discussing who Dionysus is the Greek God of wine, fertility, chaos, and the law. While this is a confusing mix of traits to associate with one God, Jonathan Cohen thoroughly explained how all these things could connect. Dionysus is a God of the law because in mythology he decided which laws were good enough to be followed, and is therefore not always lawful. His disciples were often women who, if I remember correctly, would punish men by ripping them apart and eating the pieces of their bodies.
Clearly, there is a lot of lawlessness here as well as the association with outcasts. Next, Cohen gave some context as to how Nietzsche connects to this. This part was a little difficult for me to follow and retain, as I don’t have a lot of practice with philosophy, but I know that early in his career, he positioned himself musically with another composer and later in his career was fervidly against him. His musical progression became less neat and more chaotic in order to achieve a different sound.
Finally, we arrived at the Ramones. Cohen explained how the Ramones are the true disciples of Dionysus and Nietzsche because of their outcast brand of rock. Everything from their physical appearance, their sound, and their lyrics suggest a group of people who are outside of order and have their own rules. Cohen showed us his point by having us listen to songs by the Ramones and read the lyrics at the same time. They are tricksters, similar to Dionysus, and use terms that embody the other, such as pinhead, punk rocker, punk, cretin, and lobotomized.
This connects to Josh Kun’s Audiotopia most strongly through the idea of discovery. In his introduction, Kun describes how the music around him growing up influenced his perception of the world. It created this audiotopic space where things he had never thought of before were possible. As he exposed himself to new music his understanding of the world grew. Cohen described that during the Ramones’ time, there were not many bands quite like them. In fact, they often drew themselves in direct contrast with the Beach Boys, who were clean and had a clean, good sound. The Ramones projected a new identity for listeners, and they projected a new sound. Their sound was more chaotic and allowed listeners to bring their own experiences to the table when listening to their music. This is evident by the followers they attracted and how popular they became. Music allows people to gain access to different kinds of culture and learn about new ideas in a safe way. Even as Jonathan Cohen played their songs for us, we too learned more about the Ramones and their connection to Nietzsche and Dionysus.
Belanna Morales is a senior English major at UMF. This post was originally written for the UMF Literary Theory 2018 blog, which is used by students in ENG 455 Literary Theory to write about course reading material and sometimes to apply the ideas from course readings to events on campus. The Jonathan Cohen talk was scheduled as part of the ongoing Noisy, Wild, and Extremely Troublesome: Lectures in the Arts and Humanities at the University of Maine-Farmington, sponsored by the Humanities Division at UMF.
On November 20th, 2018 I went to see Anthony R. Green’s performance Today’s Music Through Activism in the Emery Performance Center at the University of Maine, Farmington. It was a solo performance, with various music, sounds, media, and even audience voices involved. I didn’t know anything about Green before the performance started besides one clip we watched in class of him, that confused me more than anything else. But Today’s Music Through Activism was on a whole new level.
The entire production had a focus on bringing the experience of being black in America to light. Recent events, like police brutality and unlawful shooting of black people were included, as well as the history of the black experience, shown through “WE CANNOT BE AFRAID/KINDNESS RECITATION” a performance on a lynching. Music, and by extension, sound and performance, has always been an expression of identity and experiences. Not all of Green’s identity or experiences were shared by the audience in rural Maine college with a 60% female attendance, but that’s why it’s important that we did watch and participate.
This reminded me of a section in Josh Kun’s Audiotopia on Whitman’s I Hear America Singing. Whitman’s experiences of supposedly listening to all of America singing neglected to hear the voices of anyone that wasn’t a straight, white, upper class, and predominantly male person. This was obviously a case of selective hearing on Whitman’s behalf, because it wasn’t as if black people were invented after he made all his money. To contrast this, Green’s performance was all about being black: being black in America, showing black creativity, being a black performer, a black singer, and a black person. This was his way of expressing his identity and imagination through sound. He sung, stomped, talked, played piano, choked, hummed, and screamed through the set. Each sound was purposeful and chosen as a way to express his message.
I would say that Green’s creativity is something that I would have previously considered “unique” or “a little weird”, but the message and his efforts really hit home for me when we were invited to sing along with him in “Rest in Pow’r: a Song for Survival Echo Round”. It was then that Green sung the three lines over and over, then played the melody, and had us sing along with him. I think it really brought us in a new place and experience on being black in America, by literally having us in the form of our voices part of the performance. We can be part of the problems, or the solutions, but in that moment, we were singing with him, and echoing what he was singing: for those dead by violence against black people, may they rest in power.
Hailey Wellington is a senior at UMF, with a major in Secondary Education-English. This post was originally written for the UMF Literary Theory 2018 blog, which is used by students in ENG 455 Literary Theory to write about course reading material and sometimes to apply the ideas from course readings to events on campus. The Anthony Green performance was scheduled as part of the events organized by the New Commons Project at UMF.
On November 20th I attended Anthony Green’s event where he demonstrated his take on the relation between contemporary music and political activism. I knew hardly anything about the event before attending, so I went into with with no expectations. The event was performance-oriented, as well as sound-oriented, as Green used a culmination of his voice, a piano, his body, percussion, balloons, a marker, fixed media audios, and the audience’s voices to create a soundscape which he then presented to viewers through both fluid and jagged movements of his body. Green sang, screamed, hummed, yelled, and made a variety of other sounds that I lack the vocabulary to properly explain. He combined these sounds with movements of his body, sometimes jumping or strumming his hands all over himself to create a beat, other times using his hands and arms to accentuate the feelings he was conveying through the sounds he made. This event was Green’s way of combining, what I would call, non-traditional and experimentational music with activism with the intention of making his audience aware of the Black experience in the United States.
While Green’s performance fits into nearly everything that’s we’ve learned this semester, I personally feel that it coincides with Josh Kun’s Audiotopia the best. For me, Green created a space, maybe not a world but most definitely a space, in which the non-traditional and unfamiliar sounds that he was making steadily started to become more familiar. The show opened with his quoting a line where a judge condemned a Black man to be lynched, or “hung like a goose”. Green then performed, what I interpreted to be, the events of that lynching through an unconventional vocal performance. The sounds Green created communicated an inability to breathe as well as a sense of terror and discomfort. He did this partly by vocalizing sounds while attempting to breath in through his mouth, and by grabbing at his throat, or thumping himself on his chest/back, and making choking sounds. There were also times where he would disrupt this aural illusion of struggling to breath by mimicking the sounds of people, occasionally a woman based on the high tone of the sounds, screaming in agony, anguish, or rage, at the events that were transpiring.
Green added to his audio space by performing a dance/stomp routine which communicated a sense of togetherness and camaraderie, despite him performing the number on his own. Green also encouraged the audience to sing with him, or hum with him, while he wrote the names of Black people who had died because of the color of their skin or because of their activism on balloons before setting them free to roam and move on stage. The audience, lead by Green, hummed church hymns that were typically sung in the Black community at funerals while he slowly went along and popped each balloon- mimicking the sound of a gunshot and how these people died. Overall, Green transformed the warm, dark, confined space in Emery into a audio space within which he communicated the fear, anger, and resistance that can be seen and felt in the Black community through his unfamiliar and inspirational utilization of non-traditional sounds and body movement.
Juliana Burch is a senior English major at UMF. This post was originally written for the UMF Literary Theory 2018 blog, which is used by students in ENG 455 Literary Theory to write about course reading material and sometimes to apply the ideas from course readings to events on campus. The Anthony Green performance was scheduled as part of the events organized by the New Commons Project at UMF.
UMF recently hosted its annual Symposium Day, a day where students across different majors can present work they have been spending anywhere from a semester to a whole year working on.
Symposium presentations run the gambit from creative endeavors to scientific research. Symposium allows students to present their research and their projects, as well as take questions from fellow students, faculty members, and other audience members.
For English majors, Symposium Day consisted of various presentations across a variety of topics. Some presentations included analyses of adaptation, such as Richard Southard’s presentation on Music as Adaptation, how novels and authors brought about the birth of a new genre, such as Jessica Casey’s presentation on Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein being attributed to the birth of science-fiction, and reflecting on the lives and works of influential authors and writers, such as Anthony Lewis’s presentation on the life and music of Bob Dylan. English seniors also presented their Capstone projects in the Landing.
Capstone is the last class in every major in which students pursue a topic of interest in a project unique to the major, such as portfolios for creative writing majors, an art show for art majors, and for English majors, research papers. Capstone classes are a semester long and are almost entirely dedicated to research, which culminates in a presentation on the topic (usually Symposium, though there are other events depending on the semester and the class, such as the Senior Reading for Creative Writing majors).
The senior presenters consisted of Ciara Keene, Justine Walp, Anthony Lewis, Allison Turtlott, Jessica Casey, and Rosemary Penny, all sponsored by English professor Kristen Case.
Symposium presentations also include two one year-long Research Fellow award winners, one of which was held by English major Curtis Cole. Cole’s presentation, titled Enchanted Assemblages: Creative Pedagogy and Thomas Malory’s Le Morte Darthur, was sponsored by English professor Dan Gunn. There were also many Wilson Scholar awards, which are dedicated to shorter semester long, but still more in depth projects. These projects included Hannah Calkin’s poetry book and the process of creating and publishing it and Lauren Stetson’s practicum in intensive nonfiction.
Symposium Day is overseen and organized by the University Culture Committee. English professor Misty Krueger serves as the chair, with professors Paul Stancioff, Patti Bailie, and Olivia Donaldson serving as the other members.
Symposium Day is named for UMF alumni Michael D. Wilson, who graduated UMF in 1976 and was killed in an accident shortly before beginning a teaching position in Aroostook County. Presentations are made possible by Wilson Research Fellow Awards, Wilson Scholarships, and the students and faculty advisors.
For this year’s symposium program of events, visit http://www2.umf.maine.edu/symposium/wp-content/uploads/sites/107/2018/04/Symposium-Book-2018-1.pdf.
I’m Thinking of Ending Things is a book by Iain Reid. It’s suspenseful, often toying with the reader to make them wonder what is reality, and what is illusion. I’m actually lucky I even read this book, because it wasn’t my first choice. I had a slew of other books I was considering, but my sister pointed this one out to me. I wasn’t initially intrigued, because I figured I couldn’t get the same effect I would in a book that I would from a movie-format psychological thriller. I also thought the cover was trying too hard to be edgy. However, I was incorrect in my hypothesis about the suspense and horror.
We start the novel off with an ominous phrases. Could be taken as many things. “I’m thinking of ending things” occurs so often in the book, and it’s generally thought that our narrator is considering ending her relationship with her boyfriend, Jake. Our narrator, nameless, is going to go on a long trip with him to visit his parents. That’s where a lot of her thoughts about terminating things culminate. We get a lot of her inside thoughts, and things turn a little ominous. We hear about another character, The Caller.
The Caller is a secret that she’s keeping from Jake. This person calls late at night, leaving eerie voicemails. Whenever the call is picked up, there’s either breathing or an instant hang up. Her thoughts seem to flow back to Jake, and she thinks about how they met at a trivia night at a pub near their college campus. Jake is some kind of scientist, working in a lab. It’s not exactly said what kind of scientist, or what kind of lab. He uses big words and has an expansive vocabulary; his intelligence is referenced all the time.
At the end of the second chapter, we get a page of what seems to be a conversation between two nameless individuals. Not the narrator nor Jake, and it’s separate from the story the narrator is telling. It alludes to some kind of man that did something horrific. It’s not specific in who they people are talking about, or what exactly he did.
We then hear a memory that the narrator has that is particularly unsettling. Late at night, she woke up and looked out the window. There was an extremely tall man outside, she could only see his torso. He was evidently quite tall, and simply stood there. He did weird things with his hands, like rub them together every so often. But he just stood and seemed to be watching, even though he was taller than the window. Music was playing outdoors in addition to him standing there. And then he waves. That’s what makes it so weird, is that it’s not even a malicious gesture. Just a wave.
As they get to the parents’ house, things are even stranger. They live way out in the middle of nowhere, miles from much civilization. There isn’t really any introduction, no exchanging of names or anything that would be expected from a son bringing home his girlfriend from college. Actually, over dinner, the mother talks a lot about how she hears voices and her hearing is going. Then the mother wants to play a game, about impersonating someone. Jake has been quiet through most of the dinner. The mother insists our narrator impersonate Jake. It seems to irritate him, and then Jake imitates the narrator. She explains it as horrifyingly accurate, as if he were a real impersonation of her. After dinner, she goes to the bathroom, and ends up exploring the dark house.
She stumbles across the basement door, covered in scratches. Obviously, since this is a thriller story, she’s going to explore a place she knows she shouldn’t. She comes across weird paintings, girls with claw-like fingernails. She overhears the parents upstairs talking about how they were upset that someone had lost their job at a lab, hadn’t had a job in a long time. The narrator can’t hear them clearly, since they’re upstairs, but thinks they’re talking about Jake. She knocks over a few cans of paint and runs upstairs.
Deciding it was time to leave, the narrator says her goodbyes to the parents. The dad ends up not being around, and the mom seems like she’s almost pleading for her to stay. A little weirded out, she ends up deciding she has to go home. She has a really bad headache and just wants to get home, plus Jake was supposed to have work in the morning. Jake talks about how he had a brother with mental issues, he would follow people and make weird hand gestures, generally stalking people.
They stop at a Dairy Queen, and the girls inside seem like they’re less than pleased to be there so late at night, working. One girl mumbles how she’s scared for the narrator, that she doesn’t have to go anywhere if she doesn’t want to. The narrator doesn’t really understand.
As if the whole story wasn’t weird, they end up stopping at a school, still in the middle of nowhere, to throw out the cups. Jake gets out the car, it’s pitch black and snowing. He comes back and the narrator and him start to make out. Jake freaks and says there’s someone staring at them from inside the school, the janitor working over winter break. Jake gets angry and runs inside to confront the creepy watcher. The watcher also waved. After a while, the narrator gets scared and tries to go in to find Jake. She hears something like rubber boots, and finds an eerie message, the same message she’d been getting on her phone from The Caller. She runs throughout the school. But then the “I” narration switches to “We”. The narrator isn’t a girl. The narrator is Jake. The Caller is Jake. Jake’s parents aren’t still alive, they’d been dead for some time. “What are you waiting for?” in response to the voicemail message is repeated for four pages. The narrator comes to terms that they are Jake, they are unstable, and decides they want to end things. They use a coat hanger and jam it into their neck several times and bunch up in the closet.
I found this book very unsettling. I loved every minute of it, though. I sat down and read it in a few hours, at nighttime. Night is the best time to read or watch something scary, it enhances the whole experience. I think this book could be suited for maybe high schoolers and college students alike, maybe older. Not middle school, there are some dark themes in it that might be kind of a lot. I think that the twist of the narrator not existing and the parents being dead was executed just right, better than I’m describing it. It’s not tacky, and it doesn’t leave the reader feeling like they were cheated. I’d really recommend it to anyone looking for a spooky book to read!
I’m Thinking of Ending Things
210 pages. Published by Scout Press. $14.99
Body language is an important part in any production because it can help communicate the tone to the audience. In the UMF production of The Bald Soprano, it was used to maintain a level of pseudo-serious comedy. UMF students put on the play with a clear comedic angle, which was enhanced by the kinds of body language used.
The first moment where body language stood out to me was the arrival of Mr. and Mrs. Martin. It is not noted in the written play, but on stage, the actors mimicked the body language of each other. For example, when Mr. Martin said a line and took a step forward, Mrs. Martin would say her line and take a step forward as well. They acted as mirrors of each other, which was an interesting addition to their complicated relationship. It is also a great use of body language to further exaggerate that they are essentially copying what the other says as well.
Watching carefully, I noticed that there was a place where the exact mirroring broke off, which makes sense in the context of what they were saying. All along, everything had been the same. They were in the same train car, from the same town, and lived in the same place. When they started talking about the child, Alice, things began to differentiate. Mr. Martin pointed at Mrs. Martin, but then she only proceeded to hold her arm out, etc. This was a subtle indication through body language that things were not truly the same, as Mary points out. They do not have the same daughter and are not who they each think they are. It’s amazing that the actors were able to indicate these differences on such a minute level.
While no other particular instance of body language displayed such critical information as this, there were other moments that were used to their advantage. Mrs. Smith seems like a drab character on paper, and even at the beginning of the UMF production. She, like the rest of the characters, talk about nothing of importance. However, when she opens the door to her home when the doorbell rings, she does so in such a dramatic way. She continues to have slightly over exaggerated body motions, especially after the Fire Chief enters. This use of body language displays how her character is secretly craving drama and attention that neither her husband nor lifestyle can give her.
The Fire Chief himself also used body language to his advantage. The actor onstage made the character come to life as he walked around like he owned the place. The Fire Chief came off as very confident and as someone who uses the knowledge of their attractive qualities to their advantage. When he interacted with Mary on the table in the front, he was clearly very attracted to her in an exaggerated way. The fact that Mary acted slightly surprised when the Fire Chief touches her created an awkward kind of comedy that was nonetheless successful.
The Bald Soprano reads as a confusing, boring play on paper, but can truly come to life when acted out onstage. The use of body language throughout the production lent to both its comedy and my personal understanding of the play.
I attended the Sunday matinee for “The Bald Soprano”. I was actually surprised at how much I found myself enjoying it. One thing that kind of stood out to me was the setting. It for the most part, it looked somewhat like a kind of fancy house, what with a leather sofa and a large clock, and portraits of our characters. But the wall stood out to me. It was blue, and didn’t seem to match the rest of our setting at all. Now, it could easily just be a stretch, but I thought it added a little something to the absurdity of the play. Since nothing else in the play really seems to connect, maybe the wall doesn’t connect with the rest of the background.
I particularly enjoyed Mr. and Mrs. Martin’s monotone dialogue in their first interaction. I hadn’t actually pictured them speaking like that to each other, but it added something comical to their words. Overall, the dialogue was still difficult to follow. I realize that the point is to not make any sense, but actually hearing it just made me understand that I was never going to understand what they were talking about.
In relation to dialogue, I thought the switch from British culture to American culture was interesting. I can’t remember a lot of specifics, but some of the things (like the food choices) might have actually been the same. And they still said “bloody” a few times, definitely a British term. So whether that was either an oversight or deliberately to add to confusion, I’m not entirely sure. I know that they were at least in the suburbs, and quite proud of drinking American water.
Another thing that I thought was made even more absurd was actually hearing the clock chime 20+ times. Several times. It’s one thing to read that it chimes a lot, but hearing it is both funny and unsettling. To add to how wacky the clock’s features were, it ended up shifting and slamming and opening up. I might have just missed it while reading, but I’m not sure I remembered that from the original play.
Speaking of unsettling, the Fire Chief and Maid were a little too convincing. Groping and ear biting, they really sold it. I had underestimated how weird this play was going to be, but they went there. Then again, the point of the play is absurdity, so it actually fits quite well. How many regular plays have such explicit displays of expression on stage?
While I thought the ending was funny, part of it seemed borderline scary. The actors were screaming and moving around all over the place, the lighting was changing, everything was in full discord. It was like watching a horror movie with people frantically scrambling around and screeching. Perhaps even af foreign horror movie, since I had no idea what they were talking about.
Eugene Ionesco’s “The Bald Soprano” is just as bizarre to watch as it is to read. However, even though the play retains its oddness factor when moved from the page onto the stage, the experience of seeing it performed is much different from the experience of reading the script. This most likely comes from the added visual aspect of viewing the play, and seeing how the actors choose to move and utilize the space on stage.
One of the most prominent scenes in which this is exemplified is the initial conversation between Mr. and Mrs. Martin, when the couple are trying to figure out where they’ve seen each other before. While the monotonous voices are similar to what is seen in the script, it appears very different on the stage. For example, in this production there was a lot more movement between the two actors than what was mentioned in the script. The couple’s movements often mirrored each other, and this highlighted the many repetitive lines in the conversation. The action made the discussion more interesting to watch as well, and captured the audience’s attention. The identical movements of the characters combined with their blank expressions and mechanical way of speaking highlighted the absurdity of the situation, often eliciting laughter from the viewers.
The comedic aspects of this scene did not end there. Towards the end of the conversation, Mr. and Mrs. Martin kneel on the arms of the couch, reach towards each other, and collapse dramatically down onto the sofa. These actions were not a part of the script, but they were quite entertaining to watch. The two remained laying awkwardly on the couch for the 29 chimes, and the length served to make the audience feel rather uncomfortable after their amusement at the preceding activities. This mix of mirth and discomfort was quite a common occurrence while viewing the play, whereas while reading the script often highlighted feelings of confusion instead.
Another part of the play that was both funny and uncomfortable was the interactions between the Fire Chief and Mary, the maid. While in the script it just states that Mary throws herself at the Fire Chief, it was much more awkward and prolonged in the play. The discomfort of the other characters is shared by the audience, with the added embarrassed amusement on the part of the viewers. The hilarity is increased with the dramatic gestures that accompany the recitation of “The Fire” poem, culminating with the maid being carried off stage by Mr. and Mrs. Smith.
The awkwardly comedic tone of this play persists through to the end, which consists of the Smiths and the Martins running around screaming nonsense at each other. While this was just plain bizarre to read in the script, watching the characters move around the stage while yelling weird phrases at each other was much more entertaining. The audience was clearly confused about what was going on, but still seemed to find the spectacle rather funny.
In all of the above instances, the actions and movements of the actors added something to the viewing experience that was not present when simply reading the script. The way that the actors moved and spoke added a much more amusing note to the play, causing it to be entertaining as well as baffling.
In Sigmund Freud’s “The Uncanny”, he describes the concept of the uncanny in psychoanalytical theory as, “that class of the frightening which leads back to what is known of old and long familiar.” (825). Similar to defamiliarization, the idea of the uncanny is one which takes what is familiar and presents it in a new light. However, while defamiliarization presents the thing in a way that is pleasing, the uncanny is what is not pleasing at all, and is instead based in fear. Freud makes reference to the German word ‘unheimlich’ which directly translates to “unhomely”. He describes this as “the opposite of what is familiar; and we are tempted to conclude that what is ‘uncanny’ is frightening precisely because it is not known and familiar.” (826). The idea of the uncanny about the fear of things coming to light which were meant to remain unknown, or hidden under the familiar. The feeling of the uncanny manifests from fears which have been pushed deeply into the back of one’s mind, but remain present. These fears resurface when what is familiar no longer feels “homely”. This concept is often the basis of the 1950’s series The Twilight Zone, particularly in an episode titled “The Hitch-Hiker”.
In this episode, a 27-year-old woman is driving across country from New York to California for a vacation, alone. She first sees the hitch-hiker after a minor breakdown in Pennsylvania, where he appears in front of her car and sticks out his thumb. She sees him again at the gas station a few miles down the road. Her fear grows quickly when she spots him for a third time 50 miles later, again in Virginia, again on the turnpike, and at a construction stop, a railroad crossing, etc. No matter how far she goes, he’s always there. Nobody else can see the hitch-hiker, which she learns from a Navy man who travels with her for some time. Eventually she gets to a phone to call her mother, as she needs to hear a voice, “A warm, familiar voice so I won’t lose my mind.” She is told that her mother is in the hospital from a nervous breakdown, due to the death of her daughter. She gets back in the car, and the man is in the backseat. She looks at him calmly, and the episode concludes.
It can be argued that the woman’s terror manifests from her fear of being alone, or particularly being alone with a strange man. She spends so many hours driving at a time, without seeing anyone familiar, that this man is created in her mind. He becomes a familiar face, but not one which brings her comfort. It’s common to have a fear of strangers, as we are taught from a young age to be weary of those we don’t know. The man is constantly described as being very plain, not particularly scary in his appearance or his actions. He is dressed in a drab, gray suit, and does nothing but stand in front of her. The fear does not stem from his menacing look, his violent actions, or his threatening words. He is frightening because he does nothing at all. He has become familiar in a way which does not make sense, and becomes a disturbing figure because his purpose is unknown. His reappearance cannot be explained as it isn’t logical, and this lack of logic in itself creates discomfort.
Most women can agree that they’ve been told at least once in their lives when venturing out on their own to fear strange men. Women are told not to travel alone, not to be out at night alone, not to talk to men you can’t trust. This woman is put into all of these situations, and faces this odd man, completely alone. The hitch-hiker has become the uncanny; the unfamiliar man who becomes familiar in an unsettling way. The man who must have cruel intentions. He is the fear which lived inside the woman the moment she set out for her long, lonely trip across the country. She is heading as far away from what is “homely” as she can get by car, and her desire to turn around grows with every mile.