The themes that Lune Station brought us this week are clearly sensitive, just like the one I chose today. I wondered if I was going to talk about the movie or the book – and, at the end of the day, I chose the movie (totally Eddie Redmayne’s excelent acting fault).
Today we’ll make a curious voyage through Stephen Hawking’s life, a British theorical physicist and cosmologist, internationally renown for his contribuition to science, being one of the most acknowledged scientists of the century.
Are you ready for another journey?
I hope so, because the doors are closing and the train is already leaving – so fasten your seatbelts and read with attention.
About the Movie – The Theory of Everything
The Theory of Everything is a drama and romance British biographycal movie, directed by James Marsh and written by Anthony McCarten. The movie was inspired on the book Travelling to Infinity: My Life with Stephen by Jane Hawking, that describes her relationship with the theorical physicist Stephen Hawking and the challenge with the amyotrophic lateral sclerosis disease.
The Theory of Everything was released on big screens in 2014/2015. The plot shows the fights, challenges and, still, the love of the romance Stephen had with Jane Hawking – not showing his brilliant scientifical life, but his battle to get where he did with his family and the disease that would hardly warn when it was the moment of not being in this world anymore.
On the time of his diagnosis, when he was 21 years old, Hawking got the news he wouldn’t go over 23 – but he wasn’t just a challenge for the very disease, but for science itself.
Stephen Hawking’s Private Life
The movie might not talk about his numerous scientifical productions, but it shows well how his 25 years marriage with Jane helped him survive, apart from also contribuiting with science.
There is, though, moments of the memories by his ex-wife on the book with the same name, that served as a source for the movie, and Hawking’s autobiography, “My Brief History”.
On the movie, one of the main reasons why Stephen discovered his disease is the fall he suffers in front of the University campus – but, in reality, Hawking says in his book that: “On Christmas, when I went skating on the lake in St. Albans, I fell and couldn’t get up. My mother noticed those problems and took me to the family doctor” (translated from Portuguese by Artemis).
That means there was a fall, but not on the way it’s shown in the movie. The diagnosis, yes, is faithful to the real story – which also includes the doctor giving Stepen 2 years of life.
The movie itself, as I said before, shows the more human side of Hawking, and everyone around him, than his unstoppable genius. On the movie, that shows his relationship with Jane – who took care of him the most part of his life – shows that both of them, since the beginning, had problems with the society they lived back then.
On the movies, the cronology ended up a little distorted. Jane, when interested in Stephen, already knows about his disease – as she tells in the book.
Who watches the movie, believes that she, after starting a relationship with the scientist, discovers his health condition through their friends. The truth is that both of them already knew each other before that, because they studied on the same primary school. Anyway, she knew him before and after his disease, not the way the movie shows us.
On my opinion, that makes the movie show a kind and strong side from the character, on which she didn’t take the happening (discovering the disease) already on its way – but that she dealt with it and accepted since the beginning, along with Hawking.
“When I got on the first year on St. Albans’ school, at seven, on the first years of the decade of 1950, there was, for a brief period, a boy with hair fallen on his forehead and golden brown who used to sit by the wall on the next classroom”, Jane says on the book.
“We never talked, but I am sure that this first memory is trustworthy, because Stephen was a student from that school at that time, before going to a preparatory instituition, some kilometers away”(Translated from Portuguese by Artemis)
Jane already knew who Stephen was and had already felt attraction for him. She says in one of her book’s parts how she felt the first time she saw him:
“We had barely walked a hundred meters, when we say something weird on the other side of the street: there, walking in an uncertain manner on the opposite way, there was a young man, with a clumsy walk, head down, the face protected from the world under an undisciplined straight brown hair. Imerse on his own thoughts, he didn’t even look right nor left, didn’t even acknowledged the group of students on the other side of the street. It was an eccentric phenomena for those monotonous and puritans girls of St. Albans”, she says about the first time she saw the physicist on her youth.
“(…) we kept on our way until the city, but I couldn’t enjow the stroll anymore, because, without being able to exactly explain the reason, I felt uncomfortable with the young man I had just seen. Maybe there was something in his eccentricity that fascinated me, because of my very conventional existence. Maybe I had some weird premonition that I would see him again. Whatever it was, that scene in itself got profoundly engraved on my mind.”(Translated from Portuguese by Artemis)
As I read some reports on them, I ended up understanding the way the movie made Jane: she was young, intelligent and with a long way ahead of her, and really didn’t reserve herself or saw Stephen as someone “different” or that really had some disease and would end up depending on her.
Still, she was aware that he worried. She didn’t need much to realize that Stephen couldn’t really think on the idea of getting head on a stable and long relationship, after all, his diagnosis haunted him.
However, Stephen and Jane Hawking took flight, they got to a serious relationship only after the proposal that Jane describes too as a “whisper in a humid and dark saturday night”.
Indeed, Hawking’s condition only got worse: he is well known for his equalized voice he started to use after going through tracheostomy process, which almost got him in a coma and had his equipment shut – among other things.
But never making him give up – and obviously it would’ve been a lot more difficult if he was alone – Hawking had Jane to support him during moments like this, showing that with the famous phrase from the movie that “while there’s life, there’s hope”.
To end today’s post, the society we live in is filled with problems, judgements and mostly prejudices – but that doesn’t mean that, for being different or having something that “affects” your physical or mental state, you can’t or you’re not capable.
Jane was crucified by many for ending up giving in to tiredness in a very critical moment for her husband and divorcing him, but, still, all the years they had together – which were more than 20 – none of them says they regret it: they took care of each other the way they could, giving each other strength the way they could.
Hawking shouldn’t live more than 2 years when he got his diagnosis and, still, he died in 2018, when he was 76 years old, defying his own disease.
Don’t let something people think it’s different or they see as a hardship to get in the way of living how you deserve.
You have people that love and support you – and to them you owe attention; only them.
We, from the Sisterhood of the Moon, challenge ourselves every day with the little we can, how about you? How do you feel currently about everything? Leave your comment! Tell us what you think and if you need to share something, we’ll always be here to listen: don’t miss the opportunity!