Reacting With Shock

I could say so much…oh, SO much!… in response to today’s daily prompt
word, “shock,” but I’m going to limit myself to just a few examples from, or reactions to things in, the media.

I wonder, for instance, how many kids reading Laura Ingalls Wilder’s “Little House” books before the tv series aired were shocked to read, “Far worst of all, the fever had settled in Mary’s eyes, and Mary was blind.”

In the “Leave It To Beaver” episode, “Substitute Father,” which I saw not too long ago, Beaver’s teacher, Miss Landers, reacts with shock when she hears him use a curse word. What that word might have been, I don’t know. Back in 1961, when this episode was originally broadcast, such language was not allowed on television or radio. A bell rings, drowning out Beaver’s voice. This might not happen nowadays.

Many tv viewers, and, going further back, radio listeners, have been shocked by the sudden death of a beloved character. [Of course it is a sudden death; if it weren’t sudden, and completely unexpected, how could it be shocking?]

And finally, how often has someone on a tv show opened the door in response to a knock or a ring, only to be shocked at the sight of the person on the other side? Quite frequently, this is somebody he or she never expected, nor, in many cases wanted, to see again. I like it better when they don’t KNOW there’s someone outside until they open the door to go out. For one thing, I find that to be much more dramatic. For another, when somebody knocks or rings, it’s just good sense to ask, “Who is it?” before opening the door.
I’m just saying.

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