Thursday, December 3, 2009

Essay 6: FINAL

This is an open-note, open book essay. You may use your notes, ask questions (as long as they do not distract your fellow writers), and look up terms.

As always, you must properly indicate where any and all information you use comes from. To cite a quote properly, you should use quotation marks, the author’s last name and the page number. For example, if I were to quote from an article on race and The Matrix, I would write something like this: as King and Leonard argue “People of color possess particular physical characteristics through which viewers read their race; they do not, however, possess racial identities, grounded in history or community” (36).

Remember: Your primary goal for an in-class essay test is in all cases is to demonstrate an active engagement with the material of the course(s).  Support you argument with specific details and examples from our readings in the cluster, our films and videos, and (if the prompt does not indicate otherwise) your own unique personal knowledge.

  1. I live in the Matrix—In Me++, William Mitchell defines contemporary life, and particularly urban life, as being defined by a series of networks and that these networks are potentially vulnerable. As he writes, “Traditionally, there was safety in numbers and in surrounding walls. Now urban security and resilience are grounded in patterns of connectivity.” Using any terms or theories you see fit, describe your networked life. Support your argument with specific details and examples from our readings in the cluster, our films (The Matrix, The Truman Show, Sleep Dealer and etc.) and your own unique personal knowledge.
  2. Sleep Dealer is obviously influenced by The Matrix (among other films). What connections do you see to The Matrix and like films? What differences do you see? What do these differences say about issues of race (i.e. Sleep Dealer is ostensibly a Mexican production--What elements or themes in the film mark it as “particularly Latino” or “particularly Mexican”?  What does Sleep Dealer have to say about the rural life versus urban life?
  3. Penis Envy—the father of psychology, Sigmund Freud argues that all women go through a period where they recognize that little boys have a penis and they do not. They also recognize, based on the roles of “mommy” and “daddy”, that men have more “power” than women. From this observation, according the Freud, girls begin to “envy” the fact that boys and men have a penis that leads to power. They then desire a penis of their own, but the only way they can have one in real life is to a) possess or control their father, b) possess or control a male mate, or c) have a male child to possess and control, or c) buy a lot of guns of their own and blow shit up (OK, that last one was not exactly Freud, but he would have said it if he was alive today). Considering the films that you have seen in the cluster and (not “or”) drawing on your own experience of films, television, and life in general does Hollywood portray women as suffering from “penis envy”?
 You should post your essay to your class blog with the title ESSAY 6 and submit TWO hard-copies to Dr. Smith's box in E103.
Good Luck!

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