by Tamela Hancock Murray
In 1995 I watched the movie Cold Comfort Farm. A British comedy, the story was not without charm, though I wouldn’t recommend this parody of literature for everyone. Early on, Aunt Ada, who seemed to be a bit crazy, said, “I saw something nasty in the wood shed.”
Throughout the movie, I waited to find out what Aunt Ada saw. I waited. And waited. But the question was never answered, at least not for the viewer. I tried to find out if the novel solved the mystery and was unsuccessful in that quest, making me believe the book did not reveal the answer, either.
In my mind, the story broke its contract with the viewer. Since whatever Aunt Ada saw had a great effect on her, I think the nasty something should have been revealed.
Apparently I am not alone. Even now, the Internet is rife with posts about the mystery.
Do you think all plot questions posed in a book or movie should be answered?
Can you think of another example where a big question was not answered? Were you bothered by this, or not?