There’s fantastic meaning woven into the story of Tarzan. It’s a story about an uncivilized man who becomes civilized yet it doesn’t end there. Burroughs created an interesting character when he penned the character to life on paper but it was the film Greystoke that truly breathed depth into him because of the tight script, precise direction, gorgeous sets, wonderful acting and overall tone. There are two powerful scenes in the film where Tarzan not only loses his human grandfather but also his adoptive father, the ape named Silverbeard. Tarzan lacks an understanding about death when his human relative dies, but cries madly when his closest animal relative is killed. In deep grief he shouts aloud, “he was my father!” The picture may not connect with a lot of movie viewers but it connected with me on many levels when I first watched it. Director Hudson said the film was “about Adam and Eve and the loss of innocence and our human urges. His human savior in the form of the explorer named, d’Arnot teaches him language but that’s where Tarzan becomes lost. d’Arnot is the snake and the question for Tarzan is how does a man live between the apes and the angels of heaven? What society does he join? Many times in life we feel and act like the beast man. As we integrate into society by becoming adults we think back to the many times we felt as if we are losing our way by being too much a part of the fabric of civilization. Hudson noted that we have a battle of nature and nurture, nature and culture. “It’s about the freedom of the jungle and the distortions and strictures of society, and how perhaps we can’t do without either of them….two opposing forces, which shouldn’t be opposing at all.” It’s hard to let go of the often painful knowledge that we hold in our mind; we are aware; we know some things about life and death, and about tenderness and savageness that we keep in our heart. In life we must never waste those poignant moments to learn, just like Tarzan, who was half man half ape. King of the jungle. We must find our rightful place in this world. Rise up like a man and be a King. 📸 This is Congo
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