Domestic Spaces

25 Nov

The Galloway reading from last week mentioned how within the show 24, the space of the workplace is so dominating that there is no domestic space, all familial and personal relationships end up playing themselves out in the space of CTU because that is the only space presented. The line-of work featured on 24 is meant to seem so consuming that its characters literally have no time for a “home life”. 

Looking at Homeland, one could easily argue that Carrie’s line-of work is just as consuming, yet we still get to look into her own domestic space. Here, the state of Carrie’s apartment gives us insight into her own character: it’s a mess. The fact that she is unable to separate her work from her home–evident by the transformation of her home into a surveillance headquarters of sorts for Brody’s family–shows us how obsessive she can be. And, as mentioned in class, the ease with which people freely enter into her domestic space emphasizes the show’s larger theme of invasion of privacy, on multiple levels. 

Presenting tv viewers with visuals of domestic spaces on screen adds an element of realism to tv dramas. Even when shows are centered on workplaces, it’s comforting to see characters go home because it is a ritual also shared by tv viewers. Sure, Carrie’s job as a CIA agent might border on fantasy for the average viewer, but she still has to go home at the end of the day like the rest of us. Going back to 24, it’s interesting to then note that the show’s creators favored “time realism” over perhaps more traditional depictions of characters. 

Within Homeland, The term “domestic” can also be viewed on a larger scale when considering the domestic space of America as a country, in opposition to the foreign terrorist threat. Looking at it that way, how does Homeland portray domesticity outside of the traditional settings of a private home space? Does it, at all? Perhaps I need to see more episodes of the series to note any possible patterns, but maybe juxtapositions of scenes of America with scenes from the Middle East might reveal more telling trends.

2 Responses to “Domestic Spaces”

  1. evanharold November 25, 2012 at 9:06 pm #

    I’m glad you brought up America as a domestic space. The very premise of the show questions what it means to call America home, to see other Americans as compatriots, and to question outsiders. While it may be a bit reactive to make the enemy a literal war hero, Brody is not what people think when they think of terrorists (though here lies the effectiveness of terrorism). Similarly, Carrie is not what American society expects when it thinks of women in the domestic space. She hops in her house, throws some stuff around, wipes her vagina with a rag, walks by (if I remember correctly) around 200 posters that say “JAZZ” on them (get it? Mood disorder! Chaos! Jazz! Women! Emotions!), and leaves. There’s no husband, no food, and no geographical cohesion. The Brody house is relatively easy to map out, but even after catching up on Homeland, I’m not really sure about the layout of Carrie’s domestic space. Brody destabilizes citizenship; Carrie domesticity.

  2. fereiramaria13 November 25, 2012 at 10:25 pm #

    I think the idea of the country as a domestic space is great. I’m really looking forward to catching up with the rest of Homeland (someday) to see how they go into the significance of that connection. Does domesticity end up mapping onto the country in some way? The pilot, at least, kept the connection to a home front and center. What does Brody or Carrie’s domestic space tell us about the homeland?

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