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{February 24, 2008}   Lady and the Tramp-interpersonal relationship

These two videos show some of the scences in the Disney movie, Lady and the Tramp. It is actually a love story between two dogs that came from different backgrounds. The female cocker spaniel, Lady was a Christmas gift from Jim to his wife. When she turned six months, she was given a collar and was allowed to leave the house. She befriended two other dogs who lived down the street. The start of the love scene was when a male mutt named Tramp saw Lady in her big house. They started to pick out information on each other by having small talks. He was a stray whereas she belonged to a rich family. He was attracted to her physical apperance. From the first meeting, the story takes us through on the journey of adventures they went through as they fell in love. Their proxemics drew closer at each meeting. From a public distance, it moved slowly to social distance as Tramp entered the circle of friends Lady had. He took her out and moved on to maintaing casual distance as friends. After the restaurant scene where Tramp and Lady shared a plate of spaghetti and their first kiss, their distance narrowed to intimate distance. Then they started to disclose their feelings for one another. They began to have more private outings and spent more time being with each other with the exclusion of others. Commitment increases and they started to move around as a couple. As we can see from the movie, Tramp felt the need to fit in at first because he was not brought up in a rich family like Lady. So he was very mindful of his gestures and eating habits. However, as the relationship grew, they beagn to be more comfortable with who they were and physical apperance and status took a back seat. Tramp was attracted to her beauty but Lady was attracted to the the experience she could gain from his company. Therefore, their relationship was based upon dissimilarities but the complement each other so well.

Lady also shared a close bonding with Jim and his wife. She was the centre of attraction and always got the love she needed. However, when Jim’s wife was pregnant, Lady felt insecure. She knew their priorities would change. Upon seeing the baby at birth, Lady changed her views and grew protective of the baby. When Lady ran into some trouble with the vicious dogs in town, Tramp came to her rescue and single-handedly fought with them to protect her.  Such non-verbal cues and signals shows us the concern he had for Lady.

From the first scene when Lady was presented to Jim’s wife, to the last scene when Lady and Tramp had their own puppies, the use of haptics to indicate love, concern and hatred is common. Dogs use the form of licking to show love. Patting and cudling  is how humans show affection towards them. They rub their faces against one another to show love and intimacy. Lack of haptics and greater distance shows hatred or unacceptance. The use of artifacts such as the collar gifted to Lady, shows us how precious she is to Jim and his wife. It also gives Lady a form of status within the group of dogs as she had an expensive and shiny collar while the rest did not. The use of oculesics when Jim’s wife looks at her baby shows us the relationship she shares with her baby. The use of eye contact in some of the love scenes between Lady and Tramp shows us the intensity of love. Gazing into each other’s eyes is a romantic use of non-verbal cue to show love. Sequence is also used in this movie. Tramp, being the male character, would usually be the one who initiates the outing and picks Lady up before the outing at her place.  This shows us that he is trying to impress Lady and is being a gentleman as it is a stereotypical view that the male has to make the first move and continue to impress the lady therafter.  They expressed their feelings for one another by using symbols such as by drawing a heart on the cement and engraving their names in it. They showed their accepatance to this relationship by imprinting their paws in the heart. Doing it on cement and not sand shows us that they are establishing that place as their territory. 

The movie uses great pathos via display of appropriate emotions and words to fit the scene. gestures complemented each scene and the music sets the mood be it happy, sad, fearful or angry. Due to their differnce in upbringing and background, we can see how this would sometimes create a barrier while communicating. Tramp would watch how Lady reacted to a situation and then he would copy her behaviour. He used her as a guide so that he would not embarass himself. We can sense a little bit of inferiority complex at the start of the relationship. However, as the relationship develops, Tramp boldly displays his habits of rolling in the mud and eating in a messy way. As they are already commited to the relationship, impressions takes a back seat so they are more accepting towards each other’s flaws and habits.  Lady plays along in the mud and joins in the fun to show Tramp that it is ok to be who he really is. This boosts Tramp’s confidence level.

Their relationship goes through the process of engagement and management but does not go through dissengagement. It ends with them happily together with their four puppies. Like every relatiopnship though, they also went through a conflict when Lady was captured by the dog catcher and put in the pound with other stray dogs in the town. There, the other dogs told Lady that Tramp has had many girlfriends but was never serious with any one of them. He was just fooling around. Upon release, Lady refused to see Tramp and she never wanted to speak to him again. However, after Tramp helped to save the baby from a rat and got into trouble when others misunderstood his actions, Lady forgave hima dn understood his true love for her. This ends on a happy note.

I think this a cute and wonderful love story between two dogs. Everyone should watch it. Please feel free to leave any comments on the clips or the story review.  

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