Both literature and film explore controversial issues in interesting and provocative ways. Margaret Atwood used her novel The Handmaid’s Tale to paint a harrowing world in which fundamentalism dictates the law-a world she clearly felt would have devastating effects on race, gender, and sexuality. Although Atwood’s novel is fictional, some critics argue that despite our Constitutional rightsto free press, free speech, free thoughts, and free religion, our actual laws do not abide by those very freedoms. Similarly, directors use film to explore such discrepancies in our culture-whether they be inequities in race, gender, and sexuality or inequities in class, justice, or other aspects of society. Many directors hope that by educating the public about these issues, they will set in motion a movement for change.
For this essay you will pick a movie from the list below. View it and take notes. Decide what you think the director’s purpose was in creating the film. How does this film explore race gender, and sexuality? Does it defy stereotypes? Display the dangers of stereotypes? Does it take a comical, serious, or sardonic approach to the dilemma? Your opinion of the film’s purpose in relation to this modern dilemma will be the main idea of your paper. Break down your thesis in two ways, or two developing ideas. Each developing paragraph will explore each DI by offering two examples from the film and then one example from the book. Thus, there will be a direct connection between Atwood’s book and your selected film. Sample Thesis statement with developing ideas: (this movie may not be used)
Your introduction should begin with some background information about Margaret’s Atwood’s book. Then your paragraph will transition into your thesis statement. The movie Like Water for Chocolate explores the stifling expectations of Mexican women at the turn of the twentieth century (MI). Not only were women’s choices of marriage and career severely limited (DI#1), but these women were often coerced into such roles through either manipulation or violence. Thus, their only real choices were to live in a male-dominated world or to reject their culture and their country though escape or even death (DI#2). You would then close your introduction with an insightful connection between these two works (the book and the film) and society today.
Your analysis should focus on how and why the dilemma is presented in the way in which it was. Some films like The Birdcageare funny while Boys Don’t Cry is clearly serious. Although Atwood’s book is serious-even dark, you do not have to pick a serious film. Explore how effectiveness of the director’s tone (attitude toward the subject matter) in his/her presentation of it.