A new "Carousel" controversy (Slap= Kiss) theory explained!
Dear Musicals.Net Posters,
Most "Carousel" fans are familiar with that moment during which Louise says something like "When he slapped my hand, it felt as though he had KISSED it instead. Mother? Do you believe that it's possible for someone to hit you, good and hard, and for it not to hurt?", and during which Julie answers "Yes, Darling, I believe that it IS possible for somebody to hit you, good and hard, and for it not to hurt."
This scene is usually controversial, because many people believe that the musical is condoning wife-beating, etc. Many people think that Louise and Julie are insane to believe that a slap can feel like a kiss, and/ or like nothing at all.
I recently watched the movie rendition of "Carousel" (1956), and I have a new theory:
Right before Louise has the aforementioned conversation with her mother, Billy speaks, as an angel/ ghost to Louise, and although she can see him, it's only because he WANTS her to see him; he is essentially a supernatural Billy, who is trying to finally make good, for the sake of Louise!
When he slaps her, he is showing his frustration with her inability to understand him.
One must remember that Billy's wife Julie "knows everything", and that she "never changes." Therefore, she senses the fact that Billy is/ has been there, and that his spirit must have been trying to earn a second chance.
So, when she agrees that the supernatural phenomenon that Louise experienced IS possible, she is NOT condoning the bad behavior of any living person; she is acknowledging the existence of the supernatural (Billy WAS "someone" to Louise, because she could see him, but he WASN'T a real, living person when he slapped Louise), even though she chooses NOT to explain THAT fact to Louise.
The aforementioned theory is further supported by the fact that during "What's The Use Of Wond'rin'", Julie never actually SAYS anything about physical violence being cool, etc.. We have no evidence that she ENJOYED the slap that Billy gave to her; we only know that she doesn't believe in fighting violence with violence.
What are your opinions about the aforementioned theory?
Thank you in advance for your replies.