Sunday, March 5, 2017
Stasis in Elmer Gantry (1960)
Within our text, Elmer Gantry, the primary stasis of action is employed in order for the cult leader, Elmer Gantry, to persuade his followers that they need him in their lives. In the trailer, to convince the religious leader Sister Sharon Falconer, loosely based off of Aimee Semple McPherson, of his intentions, Gantry says "I'd show you what heaven is like...just ecstasy." Through utilizing religion and sex, Gantry calls to action the need for him within her organization. Once he is able to preach to his audience, he begins to ask for money by convincing everybody that it is the only way to get to heaven. In order to emphasize this, Gantry says that they are "all sinners" doomed to "perdition." In the trailer, Falconer, under the influence of Gantry, asks the congregation what they think will get them into "God's own glorious heaven," following with the question "Your bank book?" In the blog, "Elmer Gantry: The Trap of Hypocrisy and Greed," it is said that Falconer in fact "knows Gantry is lying but allows him to continue preaching" because she believes they are meant to be. Through the powers of sex and guilting his audience, Elmer Gantry manages to convince his followers that the action they must take in order to not perdition is through him.