Reaction Paper 2
This paper will turn to 1950s America as displayed “on the big screen.” You will provide a balanced comparison/contrast between two films, analyzing race, class and gender dynamics in each. In doing so, I would like for you to really connect the America on Film book to these films. In particular, you will use America on Film to learn about the historical/social context in which films were created, and how they reflected certain ideologies and anxieties of the 1950s.
You will perform a comparison/contrast between two films: (1) Salt of the Earth and (2) Some Like It Hot or Rebel Without A Cause.
Next, in the usual format (Introduction, 3 Body paragraphs, and Conclusion), address the following prompts:
- Discuss the racial dynamics in both films. What races and ethnic groups are represented in these films? How do the characters’ racial identities impact their power and relationships with each other?
- Both films focus on the struggles of class. How important is class for the main characters in each film? What are the characters’ goals regarding class? What do each film’s characters achieve at the end of the film? Has their class status changed at all?
- In the current unit we’ve been talking about gender, both femininities and masculinities. How are the female characters in both films portrayed? How are they treated by the other characters in the films?
Each Reaction Paper should be 900-1200 words (3-4 pages double-spaced).
Citations: Be sure to cite secondary sources in-text; use MLA formatting, and include a bibliography at the end (it doesn’t have to be on a separate sheet).
- In-text example (direct quote): It has been argued that “Americans have come to understand that the Constitution is a living document, one that can be and has been changed to encompass a wider meaning of equality” (Benshoff and Griffin 6).
- Author name given prior to direct quote: Benshoff and Griffin have argued that “Americans have come to understand that the Constitution is a living document, one that can be and has been changed encompass a wider meaning of equality” (6).
- In-text example (paraphrase) -> From an historical perspective, it’s clear that the Constitution is a “living document” whose meanings have changed over time (Benshoff and Griffin 6).
Paper 2 (just one draft this time) will be due on Tuesday, April 12.
For each day late, 10 points will be deducted from each draft grade.
For each Paper, I will grade you on your effective, thorough answering of each paragraph prompt (Race, Class and Gender), plus Intro/Conclusion, in the 3-4 pages allotted. Your content (argument/evidence) is most important; grammar/style is secondary, though you must write clearly enough that I understand the argument.