Essay Assignment # 3
For your third paper, you will write an analytical essay where you use one of the assumptions concerning romance from the book ReMix: Reading + Composing Culture to discuss a film. In regards to romance, the book lists the following four assumptions:
1) Love conquers all
2) Chemistry = love
3) My true love is my soul mate
4) True love is forever
The book discusses these as positive ideas about romance, ideas that are embraced by our culture, but it also discusses some of the negative consequences that form around these assumptions, such as a loss of individuality, a feeling of a drug induced high, or the feeling of a single person that they are at odds with society.
To accomplish your analysis you will have to do a number of things. First, you should watch the film you have chosen at least two times. The first time you should watch with all of the assumptions in mind, and when you are done, you should decide which assumption you wish to focus on. The second time through, you should note the scenes you will use in your essay. As you watch, record the time signature for these key scenes. By doing this, you can easily return to these scenes for a third and perhaps even a fourth viewing, which is often required if you wish to use a quote from the film.. To begin your essay, you will be required to give a brief summary of the assumption.. This should be accomplished early in the essayin the introduction. Once you have summarized the assumption, you want to create an analytical thesis, such as: In the first episode of the hit television show Sex in the City, the bulk of the episode focuses on the idea that love is a chemical attraction, but the real values of the show can be found in the idea that true love is finding one’s soul mate.’
Once you have your thesis, you will want to do a quick summary of the film’s plot. This should be no longer than a short paragraph. The rest of the essay is an attempt to demonstrate that this thesis is true. To do so, you will need to name, describe, and explain a number of scenes. For the Sex in the City essay, I might begin with a discussion of the opening scene. Carrie Bradshaw, a relationship columnist, is writing an essay about Elizabeth, a young reporter who has recently moved from London and fallen in love with a New York City business tycoon. After two weeks, they start looking for an apartment to share, but after setting up a dinner date with his parents, the tycoon dumps her and will not return her calls. This brief summary of the scene sets the stage for the explanation of how it supports my thesis. This explanation is the bulk of the work you would need to do. Here, I would describe the way Carrie begins her column with Once upon a time, and then I would discuss how this puts the episode in the fairy tale genre. I might give a brief comparison to other fairy tales such as Cinderella’ and Sleeping Beauty and their happily ever after endings. However, I would finish by pointing out that this story of Elizabeth doesn’t end this way. Instead she is dumped, setting up a debate between two opposing ideaslove as a physical attraction verses love as a soul mate. I would then go on to do this same sort of analysis with several key scenes, such as the discussion between the women at Miranda’s birthday party, Carrie’s experiment with having sex like a man, Miranda’s eventual attraction to Skipper, and the final encounter between Carrie and Mr. Big. Each of the scenes would need the same treatmentnaming, describing and an explanation of how it demonstrates my thesis, all leading to a conclusion.
For this paper, you can write about one of the following movies: The Notebook, Fifty First Dates, Love and Basketball, Five Hundered Days of Summer, The Wedding Crashers, Knocked Up, Cruel Intentions, Brokeback Mountain, Chasing Amy, When Harry Met Sally, Sleepless in Seattle, Intolerable Cruelty, Pretty Woman, Adam’s Rib, Casablanca, The African Queen, It Happened One Night, or Love Actually. If you wish to write on something not from this list, you need to come and talk to me. Tell me what you want to write about and how you intend to write about it, and we will see if it is a workable idea. In this essay, you will cite two sourcesCatherine Latterell for your discussion of the assumption and the film you are writing about. If you find something from the other reading assignments that seems useful to your discussion, feel free to add it as a third source. Doing these citations will help prepare you for the kind of work done in English 100.
MLA format. Consult the Tentative Schedule of Assignments for the due dates regarding this assignment.