Paper #2: Analyzing a Visual Text for Messages about Gender
Write a paper in which you engage in a close textual analysis of a visual text such as a TV series, film, music video, political ad or series of ads, commercial advertisement, artistic piece, etc. The purpose of your close textual analysis is to develop a paper that thoroughly answers this question: What messages or ideas about gender are embedded within this text beyond the most obvious stated, intended messages?
For the purposes of this assignment we are referring to these visual media as “visual texts” so as to emphasize that it is necessary to “read into” them in order to develop an intelligent, original analysis. Quite often, when a writer/producer/artist/etc. creates something, they embed ideas within it beyond the most obvious elements of the text. These ideas are sometimes intentionally placed so as to add more complex or nuanced meaning.
In some cases, these messages/ideas are intentionally placed so as to provoke thought by the viewer.
In some situations, the creator did not necessarily intend for an implied message/idea to be displayed, but they unconsciously included something that reflects messages/ideas they take for granted or those that are held by many within the society.
To engage in a true close textual analysis, you must be able to find these sub-textual messages within the visual text chosen. In other words, you are looking for meaning that is not directly stated. It may be somewhat “hidden” or might be only implied.
To help you get started in your analysis, look for details within the plot, the portrayal of characters, dialogue, sound and visual cues, and/or even framing preferences that might send messages about gender.
For this assignment, YOU MAY NOT DO ANY RESEARCH beyond viewing your chosen visual text itself. Instead, you must develop your paper based on your own ideas. Therefore, you should choose a visual text about which you feel you can develop an intelligent analysis. As mentioned with the previous paper, there are two primary reasons for this “no research” requirement: I haven’t yet taught you how to properly credit other people’s ideas (so you’ll end up committing plagiarism if you use research information at this point), plus I really want to see you develop an original analysis rather than repeat what others have already said.
Please DO NOT use the T.V show (family guy or scandal). I would preferable like for the film (movie) Fifty shades of gray to be used.
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