Writing assignment 2

Your second paper is a rather different beast than your first.

TOPIC: This paper is more of a philosophical/critical-thinking analysis of a (or two) film(s). The basic question you will be seeking to answer is this: what is revenge?

PROCEDURE: Take 2 different views on revenge as expressed in one film or in two different films and explicate their similarities and differences. This paper is, then, part of the genre a “compare and contrast” papers–but it needs to focus narrowly on revenge. As on your first paper, I am looking for careful attention to detail and a strong argument. Being able to do good writing about film means knowing how to use telling details that you have thought deeply about. Be careful. Write slowly. Think hard about the films. In the end, your paper should seem to make the films speak more clearly and subtly.

DETAILS OF TOPIC: There are 2 things you need to think about while developing your paper.

  1. How do you find a “view” on revenge? The easiest way is to take a character (or group) as representative of a view, which they articulate in their words and demonstrate in their actions. Then find a character that represents an alternative view. Another, more difficult (and more interesting?) of this is to look for points of view expressed through cinematographical technique. In this case, a director, screenwriter, or others might be said to be expressing a view on revenge. Or it might be better just to say that “a film” does (if you think a film has one message it is trying to get across).  You might be able to find more than one view in a single film, or you could place one film against another. A word of caution here. Do not need to assume that a film or a character has a coherent and logically consistent view on revenge. In fact, you might find that a single character can express both the views on revenge you are trying to compare. After all, well-written characters often develop over the course of a story, changing their minds and ethics.
  2. What constitutes a “view” of revenge? You should think broadly about how you might define revenge. Here’s some questions you can consider. This list is neither exhaustive nor should you feel you need to touch on all of these. These questions are only suggestions:
    • How is revenge structured? In other words, what constitutes vengeance? What individual acts must it contain (and must not contain)?
    • Is there any one single thing that makes revenge revenge?
    • What is distinctive about revenge?
    • What makes something revenge-killing and not murder?
    • Is revenge just? Always, never, or sometimes?
    • What is the goal of revenge?
    • Why does someone take revenge?
    • What makes someone take revenge?
    • What problems does it solve? What does it leave unsolved?
    • What problems does it cause?
    • How does revenge function in a community? Does it bring it together or tear it apart?
    • Is revenge realistic?
    • What emotions go into it?
    • Is there anything peculiar to revenge in film, as opposed to life?
    • How do different revenge stories relate to one another?

BASIC REQUIREMENTS: Similar in length to your last paper (1200-1500 words, double-spaced). You do not have to incorporate image in this one, but can if it is useful for your argument. If you do, cite them the same way, with time-stamps.

GRADING: See writing assignment 1 post (point 4)



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