The three wise monkeys


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Incognitu

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The three wise monkeys
« on: December 23, 2008, 02:49:59 AM »
The great thing about this movie is that it can lead to many interpretations, and every new one that I read adds more color to the movie every time I watch it, so I thank you people for sharing it.

What I want to share in this topic is about one powerfull scene of the movie.

It's the part where Ivy is totally alone in the darkness hearing just the terrifying noises of the woods, and then she covers her ears and starts to sing that beatiful song that so she could recomfort her soul, but in vain.

What always come to my mind in this particular scene are the three monkeys. The reason is that she is blind (see no evil), she covers her ears (hear no evil), and she starts to sing the song for no one except herself, so practically she does not speak since no one is hearing and she is trying to silence the noise (speak no evil).

The interpretations for the three monkeys can be various, I will list some of them:

    * In Japan the proverb is simply regarded as a Japanese Golden Rule.
    * Some simply take the proverb as a reminder not to be snoopy, nosy and gossipy.
    * Early associations of the three monkeys with the fearsome six-armed deity Vajrakilaya link the proverb to the teaching of Buddhism that if we do not hear, see or talk evil, we ourselves shall be spared all evil. This may be considered similar to the English proverb "Speak of the Devil - and the devil appears."
    * Others believe the message is that a person who is not exposed to evil (through sight or sound) will not reflect that evil in their own speech and actions.
    * Today "See no evil, hear no evil, speak no evil" is commonly used to describe someone who doesn't want to be involved in a situation, or someone turning a willful blind eye to the immorality of an act in which they are involved.

You can know more about the three monkeys here:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Three_wise_monkeys

So what do you people think about this particular scene?

Mr_Glass.1

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Re: The three wise monkeys
« Reply #1 on: December 23, 2008, 01:28:12 PM »
I had never thought about it that way.  I had always assumed she was innocent, like they say in the movie, and now she's been introduced to a new darker world, and it's really upset her.  Then when the scene takes place she just does everything she can to shut out what scares her.
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Incognitu

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Re: The three wise monkeys
« Reply #2 on: December 23, 2008, 08:59:05 PM »
If you see no symbolism in it, I can say you almost said everything about the scene Mr_Glass.1. But I'm going to ask you people some more things to make this more exciting... if there's really a symbolism in the scene, what do you think it coud be? We know that the woods represent the evil, but what is the meaning of the noises? What Ivy is representing by singing and crying with her ears shut in the total darkness? What the three monkeys have to do with the whole movie? Think like you were seeing a paint from a famous painter.

If we go beyond maybe we can even creat our story about TWWDSO.  ;D

I'll give two more questions:

What do you think about the Tartuic from Lady In The Water being three monkeys? Is it linked to The Village?
« Last Edit: December 23, 2008, 09:10:48 PM by Incognitu »

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Re: The three wise monkeys
« Reply #3 on: December 23, 2008, 11:06:00 PM »
I'll admit when I first read the name of this thread, I thought it was posted in the wrong section lol.
I havent studied anything in-depth about the three wise monkeys, but the tartutic..hmm. They say no one knows what they look like because if you see them, you have broken the law and are about to die. Do no evil and you won't see them. If you see them you will die. If you do evil you will see them and die. I don't know if it's just a coincidence or not, as i havent studied the monkey mythology much.

As for Ivy, i think her blindess definitely has symbolic significance as far as seeing no evil (among other things). I don't really think it's connected to the monkeys though. People tend to do that sort of thing all the time (especially as children), trying to escape something by ignoring it.
See the villain's larger eyes insinuating a just-off-normal perspective on how they see the world? I see signs Lucius Hunt; just not as you see dead people. I am so very happy we saw..each other, and no I will not tell you what color love is. Stop asking.

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Re: The three wise monkeys
« Reply #4 on: December 24, 2008, 01:05:41 PM »
I guess also in the fact that Ivy doesn't try and fight back, because she is innocent and the way she's been raised up she doesn't try and fight back, but merely to hide.  Then the next day when the creature returns she ends up killing it, showing that she's becoming more like the people outside.  Wacky theory I know, but I'm just throwing things out there.
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Incognitu

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Re: The three wise monkeys
« Reply #5 on: December 24, 2008, 11:00:11 PM »
I'll admit when I first read the name of this thread, I thought it was posted in the wrong section lol.
I havent studied anything in-depth about the three wise monkeys, but the tartutic..hmm. They say no one knows what they look like because if you see them, you have broken the law and are about to die. Do no evil and you won't see them. If you see them you will die. If you do evil you will see them and die. I don't know if it's just a coincidence or not, as i havent studied the monkey mythology much.

Let's suppose that you are willing to die just to see their form, you would see three monsters looking like monkeys, don't you? If they had no form I think M.Night would do them like ghosts. Another thing is that the guardian saw them but didn't die, maybe there's a symbolism about him too.

As for Ivy, i think her blindess definitely has symbolic significance as far as seeing no evil (among other things). I don't really think it's connected to the monkeys though. People tend to do that sort of thing all the time (especially as children), trying to escape something by ignoring it.

Reading your post I thought another theory that links LITW to the village. If it's wrong to see the Tartuic and you are breaking a law, then when Lucius goes to the woods and sees one of TWWDSO (I know it's an elder), his destiny is to die, this is just like the laws of the Tartuic.
So according to the law Lucius must die but why Ivy didn't die? That symbolism I'm not certain but I think she represents a Goddess that no evil can consume, maybe the Goddess of Love. With this in mind, you can think that the scene really links to the three monkeys since she sees no evil, hears no evil and speaks no evil.

My theory is that the Tartuic are TWWDSO and they are shown in The Village with red cloak becouse the color that the ancients used to symbolize the monkey is red. So that's why they had drawn the Tartuic in red on the stones. And TWWDSO even look like Tartuic using red cloak.

I guess also in the fact that Ivy doesn't try and fight back, because she is innocent and the way she's been raised up she doesn't try and fight back, but merely to hide.  Then the next day when the creature returns she ends up killing it, showing that she's becoming more like the people outside.  Wacky theory I know, but I'm just throwing things out there.

It can be interpreted that way too, good thought. Maybe the noise is the real world trying to reach her but she doesn't want to, and as you said, when she kills the creature she accepts the real world and finally talks with someone from outside (Kevin).
« Last Edit: December 25, 2008, 05:42:48 AM by Incognitu »

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Re: The three wise monkeys
« Reply #6 on: December 26, 2008, 12:34:13 AM »
the noise is fake.  TWDSO are fake. Period. It's interesting that in the deleted scene Lucius tells august that he should not have raised the stick ( i guess symbolizing his pacifism and willingness to die rather than do violence), but Ivy certainly does raise a stick to TWDSO, and in fact kills one out of necessity. We might be able to discount deleted scenes though..because lucius DOES say in actual feature "i don't worry about what might happen; only what needs to be done."
TWDSO look like tartutic because they were designed by the same guy
TWDSO in actual feature were drawn on the rock in yellow (interestingly enough) as opposed to the trailer

However, one strange connection to the 3 monkeys is the see no evil (the bad color is not to be seen [and the aforementioned blindness of ivy]) speak no evil (TW Dont Speak O)

Mrglass, you have a good point there how Ivy gets more assertive, less afraid, more mature, sadder, more experienced etc as she naturally progresses from the isolated village through the woods to the outside world. When she comes back, the elders actually look to her as one of their own. "it will be in THEM that this place lives on" It is very similar to a coming-of-age story like how parents raise their children trying to keep them in thi innocent little bubble, while they really know the grim truth of the outside world, but eventually the children have to venture out there themselves in order to become responsible adults/parents themselves and the cycle begins anew.
See the villain's larger eyes insinuating a just-off-normal perspective on how they see the world? I see signs Lucius Hunt; just not as you see dead people. I am so very happy we saw..each other, and no I will not tell you what color love is. Stop asking.

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Re: The three wise monkeys
« Reply #7 on: December 30, 2008, 01:15:00 PM »
Yeah, I agree with you Namaste.  I always wonder why Night takes out some of his deleted scenes.
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Re: The three wise monkeys
« Reply #8 on: May 19, 2009, 08:02:15 PM »
"Look before you leap."  reminded me of that for a moment.

Enjoyed reading the story of the three monkeys.  Haven't seen it.

This did remind me of something I read just this morning.

It's from a book about Edgar Cayce.

It's from the chapter on Truth.

"When we speak of a truth, or the truth, or truth, we possibly mean different things.  You remember the story of the three men of Hindustan who went to see the elephant, but all of them were blind.  Now that's us!  We are all blind, but we are seeking the truth because we are very much in the same positions as the three men who went to see the elephant.  One of them stumbled against the side of the elephant and said, "I perceive, without a doubt, the elephant is very like a wall."  Was that the truth in him?  Another one, as he stumbled about the animal, found his trunk, and said, "I perceive with a certainty the elephant is very like a tree."  Was he correct in his supposition?  The other man, as he stumbled about, got hold of the tail, and said, "I perceive the elephant is very much like a rope."  Now were they in error?  Did they have the truth?  Or did they have only a portion of the truth?  Or did they have any of the truth? 

We often say that any movement of any character succeeds insofar as it has a portion of the truth."

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Re: The three wise monkeys
« Reply #9 on: August 16, 2011, 06:37:08 PM »
The great thing about this movie is that it can lead to many interpretations, and every new one that I read adds more color to the movie every time I watch it, so I thank you people for sharing it.

After watching this movie again, I noticed something new.

In regards to the storyline about how the elders are protecting everyone from the evil towns. Each elder had a story about a murder that hit close to them. The village was to be a safe place away from those evil people. As it turns out, Lucius Hunt almost dies from a knife stab by Noah in the village.

I think one of the "lessons" I got was that evil is in the world no matter where you are. You can't build a village and hide away. People are not always good all the time. There are temptations that drive the evil deeds in people.
Well do have him come forward.

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Re: The three wise monkeys
« Reply #10 on: August 16, 2011, 11:50:48 PM »
Villager, I think that is probably the most basic message in the film. August Nicholson laments, "you can't run from heartache. Like a dog it can smell you."  also, " We cannot run from heartache. My brother was slain in the towns, the rest of my family died here. Heartache is a part of life, we know that now."

Ivy, upon realizing how much the Elders had sacrificed to attempt running from tragedy tells her father "I am so sad for you, papa"
See the villain's larger eyes insinuating a just-off-normal perspective on how they see the world? I see signs Lucius Hunt; just not as you see dead people. I am so very happy we saw..each other, and no I will not tell you what color love is. Stop asking.

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Re: The three wise monkeys
« Reply #11 on: August 18, 2011, 12:45:01 AM »
Then she goes and gets the medicine and is successful in her quest. The death of Noah makes the stories real. So continues the village.

I agree it is the most basic message. I also think it is probably the most important message. For some reason at the end of the movie I always think the big "scare" is that they are hiding in the woods and that it is really modern times!! I mean there are so many twists and small messages in this movie it is difficult to point to one that represents what this movie is all about. It could be a love story (which it is) or it could be a disturbing story about, as you put it, August Nicholson's laments.

It is funny because it seems like half and half. The ending is disturbing (as a viewer) but for the characters it is good (she found the medicine the village life continues). It almost makes me want to see what happens next.
Well do have him come forward.

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Re: The three wise monkeys
« Reply #12 on: August 18, 2011, 01:36:58 AM »
Actually, you're right. It IS about both. It's about the relationship of love to fear. passion (red) to caution (yellow), sarifice vs selfishness. It's all about the love/fear spectrum. It's too much to put into words..which I suppose is the reason Shyamalan had to make the movie in the first place  :P

 ?I can't control my destiny, I trust my soul, my only goal is just to be. There's only now, there's only here. Give in to love or live in fear. No other path, no other way. No day but today.? -johnathan Larson (rent)

"Love takes off masks that we fear we cannot live without and know we cannot live within.? - James Arthur Baldwin

?I believe that every single event in life happens in an opportunity to choose love over fear.?  -Oprah Winfrey
See the villain's larger eyes insinuating a just-off-normal perspective on how they see the world? I see signs Lucius Hunt; just not as you see dead people. I am so very happy we saw..each other, and no I will not tell you what color love is. Stop asking.