The use of metaphors always makes any art/literary/musical work more interesting, more captivating, and more educative to any person. When a person gets a chance to comprehend the meaning of the metaphor, its intentions, and expected effects on people, this person has one of the most significant lessons in his/her life.
Watching the episode Get Ready from Northern Exposure is vital for me in many senses: I realize how complicated and unpredictable the relations between people of different age can be, how inconsiderable trifles may influence further development of such relations, and how slight offensive remarks can be for both men and women; learn that human relations cannot be easy, and their complexity raises with time; and comprehend that sometimes, it is just necessary to choose a compromise or even sacrifice your principles and feelings in order to save relations and be with a beloved person.
In Get Real, an exploration of “feet” as a strong metaphor turns out to be crucial and helps to investigate human relations, taking into consideration such factors like time, age, and even size.
Get Real is the episode, where one of the main characters, Holling, notes that her lover, Shelly, has “inordinately large” feet. He shares this information with one of his close friends and underlines the fact that this size frightens him too much and puts their relations under threat.
Holling concludes that “love’s on its way out the back door” (Northern Exposure). In my opinion, in this case, “feet” serves as one of the most powerful metaphors ever. From the very beginning, it seems to be impossible to judge and analyze relations by feet sizes. However, the words of Holling become wiser and wiser.
At the beginning of Shelly and Holling’s relations, Holling was able to “see flowers, swans…children are playing” (Northern Exposure), and one day, he sees feet only. In this case, the word “feet” as the metaphor may signify not just the part of the body, but the relations and man’s attitude to a woman as a whole.
When the relations only start their development, two people do not pay much attention to each other’s disadvantages, find own habits normal and appropriate, and truly believe that such caring attitude to each other will be lasting forever. With time, people start noticing that their habits are not understood, their interests are not supported, and their principles just have to be changed.
In the case with Shelly and Holling, their relations are under a threat of numerous flaws and chinks, which become recognizable with time, and Holling does not have enough powers to cope with all of them. The size of Shelly’s feet reminds him about true and not present reality: they are just humans with their disadvantages and troubles.
And instead of talking about their relations and adding more romantics to their affairs, Holling pays his attention to the size, the size of his beloved Shelly’s feet. Shelly cannot believe that Holling may be so rude and so heartless. Men are usually aware that women are too sensitive to any critic that is addressed to them, and a lover should certainly comprehend that any words about extra weight or size can make a woman angry or weak.
Attention to her feet size should be regarded as a complex metaphor that underlines how long-lasting relations may be spoiled by one simple phrase or look, or move. It is incorrect to compare or judge people by their sizes, or colors, or smell. Your beloved person should mean more to you, more than his/her social status, more than his/her color of eyes or skin, more than his/her age, more than his/her feet.
To create strong and sincere relations, it is not enough to get used to each other habits and interests, and it is not enough to demonstrate passion and care. Proper relations require much more: to understand to support, to care to enjoy each other’s presence, to help to make sure about each other’s well being, and to believe in providing each other with hope.
The size of the feet seems so miserable in comparison to all those feelings and emotions, which are inherent to people in love. It is necessary to comprehend that people cannot be changed by other people because of love, but love can change their attitude to each other and their understanding of the world. It is useless to measure love using feet size or human height.
Love will never allow to spoil itself by such trifles, and even more, this feeling will help people understand how wrong their guesses can be and what can improve the situation. This episode, Get Real, helps to realize that our life provides us with a beautiful opportunity to love.
It does not matter what age of your beloved person is, and what size of his/her feet is; it is better to emphasize how this size and this age make your beloved person better for you and start appreciating a chance, presented to your by destiny.
Brand, J. & Falsey, J. (Producer), & Katleman, M. (Director). (1991, December 9). Get Real in Northern Exposure [Motion picture]. United States: Universal Studio.