1) Mario Vargas Llosa tells the story is obviously older than the “Marito” who is living it . . . how would you describe the tone? what is the attitude of the narrator to the young man he was?
2) if every other chapter, basically, represents one of Pedro Camacho’s serials —if they didn’t happen, in other words, what is the point of spending so much time on these characters/events/conflicts?
Given the title, Aunt Julia and the Scriptwriter, the two main characters in the book, Aunt Julia and Pedro Camacho, are expressed individually in the book. In the parts where Mario narrates, we see Aunt Julia’s side of the story but Mario’s relationship with Pedro Camacho is very limited given his closed-off personality. In using half of the chapters for the serials, Mario is allowing Pedro Camacho to be expressed as an important character and the audience begins to understand him through the recurring ideas in his serials. For example, the repetition of the “man with an aquiline nose in the prime of his life” as the centre of the story may portray how Pedro sees himself. As the description is repeated continuously, it indicates that in some ways he is trying to convince himself of this description, ignoring that he is ‘missing out’ on reality. Additionally, as the man in his fifties is the main character in all of the serials, it could portray how Pedro feels he is at the centre of people’s lives and the world revolves around him.
3) If a story is basically, “one time, in one place, something happened” then it’s not really literature —it’s journalism or history or maybe even just gossip. Literature is usually thought to express something timeless —something true in a bigger sense. What might this novel be saying about life?
In Mario Llosa’s book, Aunt Julia and the Scriptwriter, the author uses the characters and the layout of the book to represent the theme and idea that in this book reality and imagination are in conflict. Mario’s aunt claims the radio serials are “mere claptrap” but live “with their ears glued to the radio” establishing a basic premise of reality and imagination being in conflict. In this case, their imagination, that they were cultured and much-preferred books to serials conflicts reality, which is that they are very invested in the serials. As they believe that serials are “mere claptrap” the author is displaying how the aunts are in a state of denial about their own reality, establishing a conflict between reality and imagination. In contrast, Mario uses Pedro’s character who lives on the line of separation between reality and imagination and rather prefers his imagination. Pedro believes that dressing up as his characters allows the “day’s work to become more tolerable” and the author is thus demonstrating that Pedro uses his imagination to make reality more bearable. This is another portrayal of the conflict between imagination and reality as although Pedro has accepted the two but must suffer through reality to enjoy his imagination. Lastly, another aspect of this theme is the difference between the author of the book and the character Mario. This two-sided expression of Mario represents another time where reality and imagination are in conflict as Mario uses his reality, as an author, to write and portray his imagination through his book to represent his life.
In the series of ads labelled, “the Kobe System” Nike uses Kobe Bryant, among other famous people, to establish a premium brand of Nike. On a surface level, the ads do not appear to make sense as they are short in length and are edited in a way so that they appear incomplete and cut off. The first point to make about the ads is that they promote the audience to think and research the shoe after watching the ad as the actual information about the shoe is limited. Nike’s production of the ad means that is intriguing and encourages customers to research more and its unusual style encourages people to research it more. Additionally, given the ad, was theoretically advertising the shoe, but gave no information about it, which may imply that the shoe is about more than just playing basketball, but about the customer reaching “success” at a level similar to that of Kobe Bryant. This ad achieves the level of superiority and success in associating the Nike brand with famous people. In using celebrities of both genders and people from a variety of countries, Nike attempt to paint themselves as the elite sports brand all over the world. Even if the audience decides that the shoes are too expensive, Nike has created a superior brand for themselves which is associated with famous people, often those that the audience loves and admires, meaning regardless of whether or not the viewer purchases the shoe, they buy into the brand. Moreover, the setting of the ad takes place in a setting where Kobe acts as the motivational speaker, further contributing to the dominant and superior brand of Nike.