Thursday, March 20, 2014

Reaction Paper on All the Time in the World

In Greek mythology, Kronos was the ferocious destroyer of worlds, a Titan who fathered Zeus, Poseidon, and Hades. In etymological roots, kronos is a Greek word that carries the meaning time. In these classical accounts, there seems to be a connection between time and the destroyer. This cannot be more apparent than in the fate of the hero in the Twilight Zone episode All the Time in the World.
Here, we find a man burdened by ordinary life, masquerading as a bank clerk while hiding a secret identity as a bibliophile. Too often, he lands himself in reprimand over neglect of the most basic duties. He is the quintessential escapist, who was lucky enough to hide himself during a massive (nuclear) wipeout. Everything was destroyed, except for his most coveted objects – books from a nearby library. Piling them up by year, he was already starting to read when the universe decided to tip the scales over once again. He lifted the cracked frame from the ground, lenses dropping piece by piece. He had all the time in the world, but he could read no more.
Although I did observe certain facts of life such as ‘you can’t have it all,’ or dependence on technology (i.e. glasses), what was more striking was the role of time in the story. Neither was it passive nor merely in the background. It was time the destroyer, who had man in his clutches. At first, it was selfish against man, very present in the struggle for escape; in the end, being (cunningly) generous with him, then conspiring with Fortuna to destroy man.

The episode was unorthodox in its approach to battling out conflict of the character, because the destruction of his enemies (relationships, work, etc.) was not brought about by the character, which is also the reason why in the end, he cannot be able to go around the ultimate conflict that came upon him.

Christine Joy L. Galunan

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