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Thursday, October 20

October 20, 2016
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Spongebob: Today we added our final two archetypes, both predominantly female:

11. The Waif (variations: The Princess; The Orphan)
12. The Free Spirit (variations: The Comedienne; The Trailblazer)

The difference between these two archetypes is best measured via Disney princesses (though that’s certainly not the only source of examples). Waifs tend to be old-school Disney: characters like Snow White, Cinderella and Sleeping Beauty, who are dependent on other characters, male and female, to help them out of their predicaments. Some princesses (Snow White and Cinderalla) are examples of both variations. It is this archetype that Cheetah Girls famously rebuked in this early Noughties hit:

The newer breed of Disney princesses, on the other hand (that is, since 1989’s The Little Mermaid) have tended to be Free Spirits — mostly Trailblazers. They are determined to make their own way, even when it conflicts with the expectations of society. This trailblazing probably reached its peak in Mulan, where the heroine not only shows she’s as tough and smart as any man, but actually saves Imperial China in the process.

(Quick sidebar about the other variation, The Comedienne. The best example is Lucille Ball’s character Lucy Ricardo, who defied convention not by confronting it directly, but by making people laugh. Although Lucille Ball, the actress and behind-the-scenes mover and shaker, certainly was a trailblazing individual. Read about how she got her show made HER WAY sometime. Not many women successfully wielded that much power in the entertainment industry of the 1950s.)

Our earlier descriptions of Jung’s anima and animus would make sense if we viewed the anima (the more feminine, passive, maybe even weaker side of men) as better represented in literature, since most writers have been male. Representation of the animus (the tougher, more analytical side of women) would have taken longer to be represented, since female authors are a fairly recent proposition, at least en masse. (However, this is an advance that has been, I think we could say, internalized by male writers, as well as females. Many of Disney’s proto-feminist princess films have been written by men; even Mulan, which has something like 30 screenwriting/story credits, is the result of a majority of male voices.)

That brings us to our assignment for next Tuesday: reconsidering Twilight, or Ann Perkins from Parks and Rec. Choose one (you can do both, but you have to do one) and answer this question: is Bella, or Ann, a Waif, or a Free Spirit?

To give one example of a more specific line of questioning, is your choice a waif which represents backlash against the preponderance of Free Spirits in our culture, or is she actually a Free Spirit herself? Please use examples from the books, films or TV shows!!

I am requesting a one-page response, hand- or typewritten. Answer the question completely.

Critical Reading: Your filters assignment, Part C (historical filter) was handed back and we briefly went over the different categories of quality/success that you may have fallen into. Generally, these were much better than Part B. Please do see me at your convenience to discuss this assignment if you have any questions.

Your research on Bentham’s panopticon was checked, and then we proceeded to talk about it quite extensively. The last 15 minutes of class you were asked to write a response aligning Bentham’s panopticon with the Foucault reading – what connections can be drawn, and why it might make sense to consider them both simultaneously.

There is no homework for Tuesday. Next week, we will be watching Rear Window, which will serve as the base work for your first paper, which will be assigned shortly. Watching the film more than once – as many times as you can – really will be in your best interests, so if you can find the film elsewhere, you are highly encouraged to watch it before next week and after.

Siren: LAVA rehearsal #1.

Style: In class we discussed the Poe poetry. Here is a picture of the mail:

[I’ll add this as soon as I can!]

For Tuesday: write one solid narrative poem in the style of Poe. Make it creepy/disturbing if you like, since Halloween is just around the corner. You don’t have to, though – your choice. The usual content restrictions apply.

Reading for Writers: Today you got back into your groups to discuss your books a bit more, and then we reorganized into groups that included at least one person from each book assignment. Your objective is to come up with a timeline of events, pulling information about the Glass family from all three books. Nobody finished; you’ll have time in class on Tuesday.

A permission slip was handed out for The Royal Tenenbaums. Please get this signed, one way or another, by Tuesday.

Survey: Poetry: I gave back the scansion quizzes and your metered poems. We talked about counterintuitivity, and brainstormed some examples. This was part of a larger process of trying to generate ideas for poems. We saw three examples, which should help you if you get stuck in the weeks ahead:

  1. Starting with a counterintuitive idea that goes against the received wisdom of the world.
  2. Starting with a tenor, which might be expressed as a question. (The slips you picked from the jar.)
  3. Starting with a striking image, which you wrote down on a notecard, and then attaching a tenor to it later.

Your sonnets are due Tuesday. Follow the guidelines: you can break all the rules later, after you’ve followed them first.

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