異形奇花:AN ESSAY FOR THEATRE CLASS


Death Note and Little Shop of Horrors: A Study in Contrast
What would you do if you had the power to bring death to any individual just by writing his name on a notebook or leaving him to a plant?
After having enjoyed the musical, Little Shop of Horrors, I am reminded of a movie, Death Note, which I watched last week. The two pieces have such distinct cultural backgrounds and time periods: Death Note was created in the 1960s in the Eastern culture, and Little Shop of Horrors was created in 2000s in the Western culture. However, these two works express a very similar theme: death, the most misunderstood subject in the world today.
Based on a popular Japanese manga written by Takeshi Obata, Death Note tells the story of a very normal university student, Light, who has a very strong sense of justice and wants to be a policeman, like his father. One day, he picked up a notebook left by a “God of death” and found that the rules written on the inside front cover actually work—whoever has his name written inside the book will meet death by heart attack. This rule just scratches the surface, as Light continues to experiment with the capabilities of the book, internalizing all the rules to manipulate them to work to his advantage. At first, he just killed criminals who could not be punished due to the lack of testimony. But as time went on, he lost control, and began killing people just for the purpose of winning the game, including his girlfriend and father. In the end, Light was killed by the God of death, who was bored with the game, and “lost the opportunity to enter either heaven or hell.”
An unlimited power cannot coexist with morality, just as no one can unhesitatingly and consistently do just things. When man can do anything he wants, like an omnipotent being, he will lose control.
In fact, the God of death could not kill people without any reason, because everyone had a decided lifespan. He left the death note to the human world for fun. What’s more, the God of death ended up with a much longer life, because the life of the people killed by Light was transferred to the God of death. It was similar to the way that Audrey II became stronger and bigger by eating human bodies.
Death Note and Little Shop of Horrors both mentioned crime, but Little Shop of Horrors is more illuminating. The way of revealing the crime is creative and fun. The florist, Seymour, is like the nerdy milquetoast of a fairytale. The comedy elements of the play reduced the terror of it. Each of the characters has a full personality and is rich in humor.
As Audrey II grew bigger and bigger every day, it attracted more and more visitors, bringing a lot of money and business to the flower shop. All of the people loved it and enjoyed its unparalleled beauty, but no one paid any attention to its danger. The director criticized people who became blind and ignored the inclement inner by the appearance of things.
From beginning to end, Audrey never had the ability to hurt humankind on its own; it could not walk or use any magic. Human greed and desire send human flesh and flood continuously to its mouth. Many sins are due to the behavior of ourselves, illustrated by the story about the wolves that eat people in north India. In fact, it was because their kids were killed by humans first that they wanted revenge. So, the killed a few human children, and since then, they find human flesh delicious, and continue killing children of the village.
The biggest disaster that humans meet always comes from the masterpiece of ourselves.
Although there are a lot of descriptions of death in both Death Note and Little Shop of Horrors, the meanings of death behind them are quite different. In eastern people’s minds, individual death is treated as a transition to a group, which means that people wish that they can leave something to their offspring and be remembered. But in the western culture, death belongs to an individual life, and will remain in a different way, such as in a soul.
Eastern culture was greatly influenced by Buddhism, which holds the belief that people should neither want death nor hate death, but think well of death. People should recognize that life is uncertain and, more importantly, empty. For example, the Chinese think highly of funerals and will try their best to plan a luxurious one while they are still in the world. However, the importance of funerals is not because they believe that there is another world after death, but to show the people who are still alive that the main purpose of life is to be remembered.
Are the deaths of criminals in Death Note and the death of the dentist in Little Shop of Horrors pitiful and unjust? Yes, I think so. Although the criminals and the dentist had done a lot of bad things that made everybody hate them, they still had the right to live. If some individual had just killed them, he would have become one of them too. The vicious circle will never end, which creates a crazy world.

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