If he had lived, the rest of his career would have been spent making sound films. He probably would have made some great ones. But with a silent like “The Last Laugh,” he famously did not require a single title card to tell his story. And “Nosferatu” is more effective for being silent. It is commonplace to say that silent films are more “dreamlike,” but what does that mean? In “Nosferatu,” it means that the characters are confronted with alarming images and denied the freedom to talk them away. There is no repartee in nightmares. Human speech dissipates the shadows and makes a room seem normal. Those things that live only at night do not need to talk, for their victims are asleep, waiting.
Feedback Form for WebCT Students: Click icon to the left for a form on which you can record your understanding of this material. (Password protected.) For further reading, we suggest "The Declining Middle," an essay in the Atlantic Monthly by Bob Kuttner. Kuttner's 1983 essay analyzes the effects of various economic changes in American life. (It is interesting to see, now, how much of what he said about these effects has come to be true.) For a lengthy and complex article that defines the causes of homosexuality, read Chandler Burr's "Homosexuality and Biology." Burr's article ( Atlantic , 1997) is also an excellent example of an essay that defines .