For the love of Jodie Foster: star demystification and national configuration
History 365: United States from 1945 to Present
Gabriel Wettach’s, For the Love of Jodie Foster: Star Demystification and National Configuration closely examines actress Jodie Foster’s response to John Hinckley’s love letters and his obsession with her. Wettach delves deeper into Hinckley’s psyche and asserts he was more than a fan obsessed with a movie star. He factually supports Hinckley was truly in love with Jodie Foster and not the young Hollywood starlet’s movie persona.
The most important information in the article are direct quotes from Foster, Hinckley and a few people who knew him. For example, in the shadow of the assassination attempt on President Reagan, Hinckley wrote to Foster, “I’m asking you to please look into your heart and at least give me the chance with this historical deed ...view middle of the document...
” At his sentencing, Hinckley was granted the opportunity to make a statement. He declared that all he wanted was for Jodie Foster to return his love for her. Hinckley said, ‘‘My assassination attempt was an act of love. I’m sorry love has to be so painful.” Hinckley’s pains were enabled by an unrealistic star infatuated system. Wettach’s final line summarizes a national obsessed with stardom and reflects the behavior or millions: “Perhaps Hinckley does not need to apologize: he is not the only one who has had ideological fantasies about Foster, or any other star.”
The United States has always glamorized violence, sex and fame. The attempted assassination of President Reagan unfolded like a Shakespearean play and the oversaturation of media fueled Hinckley’s desires. If Gabriel Wettach’s assertions are accepted obsession and stardom must be reevaluated. The suggestion that “perhaps Hinckley does not need to apologize...” for having fantasies about Foster because many fantasies about stars is true. However, for Wettach to make such a claim leaves the proverbial door wide-open for an obsessed fan to justify violence.
John Hinckley Jr. may not have to apologize for falling in love with Jodie Foster. But, he must accept responsibility for wounding 4 people on March 30, 1981. Had Hinckley successfully killed President Reagan the fate of the United States and the world could have been changed forever—all in the name of love. Thankfully, Reagan was only wounded and Hinckley’s actions homogenized two major political parties and a large portion of the United States. Additionally, tighter gun control laws like the Brady Bill followed and information cross-tell between agencies began to occur more frequently.
[ 1 ]. Gabriel Wettach, For the Love of Jodie Foster: Star Demystification and National Configuration. Social Semiotics 18, no. 2 : 205-221.
[ 2 ]. Ibid., 210-211
[ 3 ]. Ibid., 215
[ 4 ]. Ibid., 218
[ 5 ]. Ibid., 218