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The Wizard Of Oz Essays and Research Papers

Instructions for The Wizard Of Oz College Essay Examples

Title: Stanley Kuburik's Fell Metal Jacket Not fit for family entertainment

Total Pages: 4 Words: 1516 References: 3 Citation Style: MLA Document Type: Essay

Essay Instructions: Evaluating Essay Topics
Evaluate a movie that you claim is or is not suitable as family entertainment.

Stanley Kubricks Full Metal Jacket is NOT family entertainment

You will want to choose a movie and evaluate whether or not you believe that it could be considered family entertainment, according to criteria that you establish. Choose a topic that you think could be seen in one of these ways:

• People may view it as family entertainment and you may disagree with that assumption
• Generally people would not think it appropriate for family entertainment and you believe it could be
• The subject is clearly advertised as suitable for family and you agree with that—and will defend that judgment according to your own criteria.

Some examples of the first bullet point might be a Disney or Pixar film.

Keep in mind that there can be a wide range of opinions about what is and is not suitable for family entertainment. For instance:

o I have a friend who regularly lets her 6-year-old son watch what might be considered violent adult movies, such as “Fight Club” or “No Country for Old Men.” Her rationale is that her son should be exposed to well-made films, regardless of the sex or violence. As long as the family watches together and is willing to talk openly about the content, she feels, it is suitable as “family” entertainment. Other parents would not want their children viewing such films at such a young age, believing that it does not reflect preferred “family values” or send good messages about human behavior.

o I have another friend who will not let her children view a Disney film, using “The Lion King” and “Bambi” as examples. She feels the portrayals of characters in both films are stereotypic (even racist in the case of the “The Lion King”), full of violence, and that both feature loss of parents, which frightens children.

o Another person I know feels that no child should ever watch “The Wizard of Oz,” a classic children’s film, because the film features a child running away from home and aligning herself with dubious male characters (I’m not making this up). References to drugs (poppy fields) and violent images (killing a witch, flying monkeys, etc.) are also cited in his review as reasons why this is not a good family film. He also feels that all “evil” characters in this film are people of “color”, even if that color is green.

What do you think?

You do not have to choose an obvious “family” form of entertainment; any film can be chosen as long as you can defend why you feel it meets the criteria for family entertainment. The “burden of proof” is on you to defend your choice.

Remember that you do not have to choose a topic which is obviously made for families—you can choose one for which you can make the argument that the topic could be family entertainment, according to the criteria that you establish. You can share my friend’s view that ANY film is suitable for any children as long as parents are there to discuss the topic with the family.

This is important: You will need to watch the TV show or film, or read the book, or play the video game before you make plans to write about it. Do NOT try to write this evaluation essay on memory alone—that doesn’t work because you need to be very specific in citing evidence from your subject itself to explain the criteria you will use to support your claim. You will literally need to “take notes” as you watch, read, or play.

Balance and counterargument
You will want to write a balanced and objective evaluation of your topic, so you need to acknowledge that not everybody will agree with: 1) the criteria you have established for what makes good family entertainment, or 2) your judgments about the subject you have chosen. Therefore, in your paper, you will need to present a counterargument and respond to that objection. This will give your evaluation “balance” so that it does not seem that you are writing an advertisement instead of a review. It will also demonstrate that you have viewed your topic critically and without undue prejudice.

While I want you to choose a topic that you think works well for this assignment, sometimes it is best NOT to choose a topic that you really like. I know that sounds odd, but often students just choose a movie that they have used many times and really like—then they find they cannot review it objectively because they just think it is GREAT and they are unwilling to look at it with a critical, discerning eye. Their evaluation thus falls flat and sounds more like an ad than a review. This happens frequently with movies, so take special care if you choose this form of media. It is best to choose a topic that you think could be controversial or invites different points of view—or one for which you are not quite sure how well it fits the standard of “suitable for family entertainment”. Choose an example for which you can discover something meaningful to write about—not one in which your judgment is a foregone conclusion.

“Research”: Reviews
You are required to use two research sources to help you: a) establish and defend your criteria, or b) help you develop the evidence you need to support your judgments. Notice you should NOT use a source just to help you summarize the contents of the subject.

For instance, you could read a published review on your topic to see what reviewers have said about it. Use the library research skills you just practiced to help you find an article in a magazine, newspaper or journal (NO BOOKS) in the OWENS COLLEGE LIBRARY DATABASES, such as Academic Search Complete or Newspaper Index, that will help you develop your ideas. You may also look up a review on one of the popular movie review websites, such as “Rotten Tomatoes,” that it linked under WEB LINKS on our course site. However, in addition to the website, you should ALSO use a magazine, newspaper or journal article. Don’t take shortcuts with the research; it will be obvious and your grade will be affected.

Do not quote heavily from any single article review; there should be no more than two direct quotes in your paper and these should be very brief: a word, a phrase, or a sentence or two---no paragraphs. Be sure to keep track of the source for any review you use, because it will need to be CITED in your paper. I recommend saving the citation page as you did for your library exercise.

Writing Skills for the Evaluating essay
Your evaluating essay will require you to state an overall claim about your subject which you will defend according to criteria you have established. Once you establish your criteria, you will make judgments based on those criteria and back them up with supporting evidence (description, facts, etc.)

o Audience: Think about who might be interested in reading your evaluation (your targeted audience) and where your evaluation might appear—perhaps in a local magazine or newspaper, an online movie or book review, computer magazine or Internet review source. How can you convince your audience of the legitimacy of your claim; what type of criteria (standards of judgment) would they expect you to employ?

o Remember, your purpose is to EVALUATE a topic—not to describe it. You will judge it according to criteria (standards of judgment) that you establish. At the beginning of your essay, it is necessary to stake a claim—an overall evaluation you want to support concerning your topic—just as you began your argument essay with a claim. An evaluation is a type of argument, but has a specific organization according to criteria and judgments.

o You will also want to discuss your criteria at the beginning of your essay, either in your introduction or in a paragraph following your introduction: What makes good family entertainment? Why do you believe these standards are relevant (justify your criteria). What are the standards of judgment by which you would evaluate a family film, book, etc.?

Outlining the Evaluating Essay
Your evaluation must make an argument. It supports a claim you want to make about your chosen topic.

Introduction (1 or 2 paragraphs):
1. Presents the issue (think about why you are evaluating this particular item? Is there controversy about it; do people disagree on the use or importance of this topic?)
2. Give any needed background information about your topic that would help your reader become more familiar with your topic.
3. End your introduction with your evaluation argument claim: what will you attempt to persuade your audience to see or believe as a result of your evaluation? What is your overall argument or claim about the topic you are evaluating?

A claim makes an argument—a statement that you believe to be true and that you will attempt to persuade your audience to believe as well.

Body (several paragraphs!)
In the BODY of my paper, I would choose between 3-6 criteria by which to analyze and evaluate my topic, depending on what I think best supports my claim. In some cases, I may need more than one paragraph to present the evidence for each criteria/judgment.

Criterion #1
The first standard by which I will judge my topic. As your text says, you may need to defend this criterion. Would anyone disagree with applying this criterion to your topic?
o Judgment: How well does my subject match the criterion I am using to evaluate it in this paragraph?

o Show details and evidence from your subject to support your judgment or evaluation.

Criterion #2/judgment
The second standard by which I will judge my topic. As with #1, you may need to defend this criterion.

o Judgment: How well does my subject match the criterion I am using to evaluate it in this paragraph?

o Give details and examples from your topic to support your judgment or evaluation.

Etc. (use 4-5 criteria in separate body paragraphs, following the pattern above)

Support each of your criteria and the judgments you make with plenty of direct evidence from your topic: details, examples, description, even research. Write FULL paragraphs of support! In each paragraph, show that your topic (X) meets (“matches”) or does not meet the criteria I have established to support my thesis/claim.

Treatment of alternative or opposing views
A good evaluation should be balanced—that is, include both positive and negative judgments. This means I will have to think about possible objections readers might raise concerning my choice of criteria or the evidence I used to evaluate my topic—others might disagree and I have to acknowledge and respond to these other points of view. All good arguments consider a counterargument ---and respond to it!

Conclusion paragraph(s): 1
Reiterate my central argument, my overall evaluation, and draw a final conclusion about it.

Spend substantial time planning your outlines and points in your paragraphs. This will help you immensely when it’s time to start drafting.

• Organize your paper according to criteria you choose. For each criterion, you much express a judgment, meaning you must evaluate your topic according to that criterion.

• Use plenty of specific evidence (details, observations) from whatever you are evaluating to prove your point!

Remember that writing an evaluation is essentially writing an argument: you are attempting to persuade an audience to accept your claim about your topic. As you plan and draft your essay, be sure you are actually evaluating according to established criteria, not merely describing your topic.

There are faxes for this order.

Excerpt From Essay:

Title: American Heroes

Total Pages: 2 Words: 632 Works Cited: 0 Citation Style: MLA Document Type: Research Paper

Essay Instructions: ESSAY QUESTION: you will choose a recent film (made after 2002) that features an American hero, either male or female. Discuss whether or not the hero and his/her story conform to either Lawrence/Jewett or Ray’s description of the American hero myth. If so, explain how and if not, consider why the hero does not conform to these patterns. Do you agree or disagree with the arguments these authors make? Is there another myth theory more appropriate to the analysis of your hero, or does your hero and his/her story not qualify as myth at all? Explain your point of view, referring to the information in Lectures I and II.

You might find the following articles on the recent superhero phenomenon in cinema useful:

Paper Requirements:

- It must be at least 750 words but no more than 1000, double-spaced and in 14” font. (2 PAGES)

- Please check to make sure spelling and grammar are correct. If there are more than one or two errors it will negatively affect my grade. (Note: the spell check and grammar check on your computer are not always reliable!)

- Be sure to state precisely in the introductory paragraph what the focus of your essay will be. Because the paper is short, it must be clear and concise.

This is the information about Lawrence/Jewett or Ray’s description of the American hero myth.

(If you need links for the Video, please ask me I will provide one.)

The American Hero Myth in Cinema

As you read the lecture notes, please view the clips located in the left menu of the course shell under “clips to accompany lecture II” when you are prompted to do so

I. The “American Monomyth”:

In their 2002 book, The American Monomyth in a New Century, John Lawrence and Robert Jewett open with a discussion of the 1999 film The Matrix, starring Keanu Reeves. They argue that the protagonist, Neo, is typical of the American formula for superheroes: a lonely, selfless, sexless being who rescues his community from an outside evil.

(View the three clips from the film)

In the first clip, Reeves (as his “everyman” persona, John Anderson) is being interviewed by an agent from the government who accuses him of computer hacking under the alias Neo. Like a typical American superhero, he is a loner and without a past.

In the second clip, Neo and Trinity fight the agents of the Matrix. Note that both characters are androgynous; though they seem to care for one another, there is no sexual tension apparent between them.

The third clip shows Neo on the phone to the Matrix. He warns that he will lead the community to fight for freedom from its laws.

According to Lawrence and Jewett, the American Monomyth is a variation on Campbell’s. While Campbell finds the origins of the hero’s journey in initiation rites involving a departure, a series of trials and victories, and finally a return to the community, Lawrence and Jewett trace the American monomyth to the captivity narratives found in early American literature. In these narratives, an American “Eden” is threatened by outsiders; typically, a white woman is kidnapped from the safety of the community by Indians and taken into the wilderness. The woman represents the purity of the “civilized” community, and must be rescued and returned. In later versions of the story, small Eden-like communities are threatened by outside forces, and the disruption calls into question civil institutions. Because the rule of law cannot protect the community from violation, the myth dictates that a hero must act before Eden can be restored. Unlike the hero in Campbell’s monomyth, however, in the American monomyth the hero generally does not return to the community but, in order to devote himself to its protection, must stand forever outside of it.

The authors argue that during the troubled decade of the 1930s, the myth of an American Eden under threat was behind the creation of the superhero. In an America burdened by the Depression and facing the establishment of dictatorships in Europe and Asia, Tarzan, The Shadow, Buck Rogers, Dick Tracy and Superman all appeared to save the day. Typically anonymous, the crusading superhero relied upon force to achieve his goals, but his use of violence always resulted in minimal injury and criminals were handed over to the authorities. The counterpart to the hero who used superhuman strength and wits to protect the community was what the authors refer to as the ‘non-violent domestic redeemer’. This figure, usually a woman, followed the superhero’s renunciation of sexuality, selflessness and miraculous powers, but redeemed the community by being a model of goodness, love and understanding. The authors maintain that this version of the superhero can be traced to the tension between a belief in the perfectibility of society and an imperfect reality. Nineteenth century figures of Protestant piety, such as Dickens' Little Nell, provided the model for the type. In televison and cinema, the “domestic redeemer” can be seen in characters like Heidi, Dorothy from The Wizard of Oz, and more recently, Pa and Laura Ingalls from Little House on the Prairie and Monica in the TV show Touched by an Angel.

The problem with the superhero mythology, according to Lawrence and Jewett, is that the inclination to look to superheroes working ‘outside the system’ to solve society’s problems reveals a lack of faith in democracy. Once the ordinary person is transformed into a superhero, he or she is incapable of democratic citizenship. In addition, the authors complain that some films featuring superheroic characters, like Star Wars, glorify elites and embody aristocratic values that are antithetical to our system of government.

II. The American Hero and the Reconciliation of Opposing Values

Another perhaps more nuanced perspective on the American hero is offered by Robert Ray in his book, A Certain Tendency of the Hollywood Cinema: 1930 ??" 1980. Ray uses myth theory to analyze the “certain tendency” he identifies, which includes the creation of a particular type of American hero whose roots can be found in American culture. He agrees with Lawrence and Jewett that the 1930’s was the most important period for the articulation of this type of hero in cinema. During this time the major studios were formed and most film genres began to evolve. The average weekly cinema audience consisted of half the US population and an average of 476 films were made each year (as opposed to 256 per year after 1945). Ray calls these classic Hollywood films the “single most important body of films in the history of cinema”. Their influence was so great that films departing from their formal and thematic paradigms risked being unpopular and even incomprehensible to the general public.

Though he doesn’t use the term ‘mythology’, Ray argues that certain beliefs rooted in American history contributed to the development of the ‘tendency’ in Hollywood cinema. America’s sense of it’s own exceptionalism, its image of itself as a model for other nations, was combined with a distrust of institutions, a glorification of the individual and an ambivalence towards collective political action as a means to solve problems. A love of the freedom of the frontier was countered by a fear of the wilderness, expressed through the early American captivity narratives Jewett and Lawrence also discuss. Hollywood cinema’s ‘tendency’ from 1930 to 1980 was to reinforce an ideology maintaining that these contradictory values can co-exist, that there is no need to choose between them.

Thematically, Hollywood cinema resolved incompatible values through the transformation of sociological, political and economic dilemmas into personal melodramas. These stories often featured two types of heroes, each representing opposing values: the ‘official hero’ and the ‘outlaw hero’. The official hero, modeled after ‘founding father’ figures in American history, represented the belief in the benefits of a civilization founded in democratic institutions. The official hero is comfortable with political institutions, believes in a nation of laws, and does not fear marriage or domestic life. On the other hand, the outlaw hero is often anxious about civilized life and afraid of personal commitment either to a set of ideals or to a woman. He is the ‘good bad boy’, seeming to act in his own self-interest but still willing to help others, as long as he can retain his freedom. Distrusting laws and institutions, he prefers to act on ‘gut instinct’ according to his own idea of morality. Ray argues that the reconciliation between these two types of heroes, each representing conflicting sets of values, allows Americans to relieve the anxiety created by the tension between them by denying the need to choose one set over the other.

The film that most clearly demonstrates this reconciliatory pattern, according to Ray, is the 1953 western Shane. (View the clips from the film [1-5, 7 and 8] and try to identify the two types of heroes before reading/listening further). At the beginning of the film Shane appears from some unknown place and homesteader Joe Starrett offers him water. After Shane helps him face down some cattle ranchers who threaten to chase him off his land, Starrett offers Shane a temporary job on his farm. In the scene at the bar, Shane is challenged by some ranchers, who don’t know yet that he is a gunfighter. Later in the film, the leader of the ranchers, Jack Wilson, kills an innocent man and Shane, now revealing himself in his buckskin clothes, comes in to save the homesteaders from the villain who threatens their fledgling settlement. At the end, Shane rides off into the sunset, leaving young Joey to pine for his new hero.

Like a typical outlaw hero, Shane has neither a full name nor clearly defined past, though there are hints that he once operated outside the law. Riding in from somewhere on the prairie, he temporarily settles in with Joe Starrett, the ‘official hero’, and his family. The two join forces to civilize the land, first by working the farm and then by resisting the ranchers, who are opposed to statehood for the territory because it would mean more settlements. At the end, though, because he is at heart an individualist and a free spirit, Shane must leave the family. Typical of the reconciliatory pattern, the outlaw and the official hero must work together to achieve the American dream of nation. However it is clear that the outlaw hero is favored; not only is Shane more physically attractive than Joe Starrett, but he is played by a better-known star (Alan Ladd). Even Starrett’s son idolizes him more than he does his father, but like the American audience Joey never has to choose between the two heroes. According to the ideology, it is possible to have both freedom from society’s restrictions and the benefits of civilization at the same time.

Ray maintains that classic Hollywood cinema was able to effectively communicate this ideology because its narrative form is modeled on the 19th century realist novel. In the realist novel, through an abundance of seemingly true-to-life details the reader is led to believe in the truth of what the omniscient narrator is relating. According to some literary critics, this ‘realism’ is only an illusion, one that supports the status quo and resists the development of opposing worldviews. Similarly, classic Hollywood film used particular strategies such as editing, close-ups and other film techniques to encourage the viewer to identify with certain characters and to believe in the reality of the world the film presented. In the chapter on Casablanca that you will read, Ray does a close analysis of a scene from the film, illustrating how the filmmakers used these strategies to encourage viewers to identify with the hero, Rick.

Later developments in American culture impacted but did not essentially change the paradigm. Ray explains that cinema does not reflect historical events themselves but rather the way society interprets these events, and this interpretation is shaped in part by its myths. As pointed out in the first lecture, myths do not change easily, because they form the basis of society’s understanding of itself. However, with the advent of television, the social upheaval produced by the anti-war and civil rights movements, and new approaches to filmmaking, the hero paradigm did shift somewhat. These social and cultural changes encouraged Americans to begin to challenge previously unquestioned beliefs about their country and the way it was presented in classic Hollywood cinema. The film industry responded to these changes in part by altering its cinematic heroes.

Because society was politically polarized during the 1970’s as a result of the Vietnam War and the Watergate crisis, Hollywood made films that superficially divided the outlaw (Left Cycle) from the official (Right Cycle) hero. (View film clip of Dirty Harry) Harry Callahan (Clint Eastwood), an example of the official (Right) hero, appealed to conservative audiences tired of what they saw as anti-American demonstrations and race riots. Eastwood’s Callahan makes short work of urban (often black) criminals and long-haired, “hippie” psychopaths. “Left” heroes, like Jack Nicholson’s character in One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, challenged a system always ready to crush anyone that didn’t conform. Yet each “cycle” contained ingredients of the other; the Left’s ‘outlaw heroes’ were often part of strong communities, and the Right translated the formerly domestic official hero into loners more isolated than the outlaws themselves, willing to break laws to keep society in order. Thus the ideological paradigm was still sustained, as both Left and Right heroes supported Americans’ belief that contradictory values could co-exist without the need to choose between them.

The last film Ray analyzes is Martin Scorcese’s 1976 film Taxi Driver. He argues that this film comes closest to directly disrupting and challenging the hero paradigm through its depiction of a deranged anti-hero, a New York City taxi driver named Travis Bickle. Travis (played by Robert DeNiro) rants about the filth and crime plaguing the city, characteristics typically associated with the Right hero. He befriends a young prostitute, Iris (Jodie Foster), whom he fantasizes about rescuing from her pimp boyfriend. Yet things begin to unwind when Travis suddenly appears at a political rally for a candidate Travis has taken an inexplicable dislike to. Dressed in army fatigues with his hair cut into a Mohawk, Travis attempts to assassinate the politician. He then goes after Iris’ pimp, played by Harvey Keitel, and the film explodes into such violence that the final scene had to be edited to avoid an X rating (view clip ??" this is the unedited version).

In this scene, Scorcese makes pointed references to American foundational myths, in particular the captivity narratives Lawrence and Jewett discuss. When Travis confronts Sport (Keitel), both characters’ appearances make subtle references to American Indians: Travis with his Mohawk and Sport with his ponytail and necklaces. Yet both also, in a twisted way, play the part of the white male protector, as Sport guards his home in order to keep out dangerous strangers, and Travis, in his army fatigues, attempts to rescue the helpless girl. The extreme violence of the final scene exposes the veiled truth behind the glorification of the conquering hero and the idea of using violence as a means to redemption.

Because Ray’s book ends in 1980, we don’t know what he would make of how the myth has evolved over the past 30 years. Unlike Lawrence and Jewett, Ray also completely omits discussion of heroes that are not white males, and whether or not the same paradigm would apply. For your first paper assignment you will view and analyze a more recent cinematic version of the American hero, taking into consideration both Lawrence/Jewett’s and Ray’s arguments. You will find the instructions for this assignment on our home page, under “Announcements”. First, however, you should view Casablanca, read the excerpts from Ray located in doc sharing, then post to the thread (remember you must post twice this week). Finally, write the paper and upload it into the dropbox according to instructions.

Use another 1 page to answer these two question: Half page for NO.1 question, the other half for NO.2 question.

1. In Robert Ray’s chapter on Casablanca, he explains how the film exemplifies the reconciliatory pattern at the heart of the American hero myth. What are some of the tensions in American culture the film expresses through the figures of Rick and Laszlo?

Can you think of any other films (old or new) in which conflicting values are brought to the surface in a similar way (ie through the relationship between ‘outlaw’ and ‘official’ heroes)? How are these tensions resolved?

This is a new seperate question.

Information link:

2.According to Robert Segal, Campbell's monomyth theory is based on several faulty assumptions. However, his formulation of the hero's journey has served as the basis for many popular Hollywood films, including the Star Wars series and most Disney movies.
If these stories are to be understood as rooted in myth, might the other theories of myth outlined in the lecture also provide an explanation for their popularity?
Using any popular film as an example, discuss whether or not the story corresponds to the hero's journey, and whether any myth theories other than Campbell's might be useful in analyzing their appeal. Make an attempt to respond to each other if possible (though this week's thread only requires one posting).
Customer is requesting that (dmusings) completes this order.

Excerpt From Essay:


Leadbelly once told Alan Lomax, ?It take a man that have the blues to sing the blues,? and that statement ? which is certainly a truth of the blues ? leads to a number of things worth thinking about and exploring.

For one thing, the other side of Leadbelly?s statement must also be true: One must have or have had the blues to hear the blues and understand them. Although the blues, as a musical genre, was born in the heart of the Mississippi Delta, the blues as an emotional fact of life are universal and part of every person?s experience. As a consequence, when people of all stations, backgrounds, nationalities, ages, and races encountered this music called the blues, they found that it spoke to them and helped them to understand their blues in ways that were profound and meaningful. As a result, the blues found their way into most of the music that was made in America and traveled around the world as American music gained an international audience.

Most country songs are blues songs. Hank Williams and Johnny Cash were as much blues singers as Son House and Robert Johnson. Gospel is rooted in the blues. Jazz and blues are so intertwined that it is difficult to talk about one without talking about the other. Rock and roll is the blues. As Little Richard once said, ?The blues had a baby and we called it rock and roll.? It is hard not to hear the blues somewhere in the background of almost any song that is written, sung, or listened to today.

What makes the blues so important is not that they are about feeling blue ? although many are ? it is that they are about entering into that place where one feels alone and cut-off and apart with no defense or recourse other than, perhaps, to listen to or sing a blues song. There were always sad songs and some blues are sad songs, but the blues go beyond just being sad. Eric Clapton?s ?Layla? is a blues song (about being in love with your best friend?s wife) and so is ?Cocaine,? although neither is particularly sad. On Clapton?s last major tour, he would close with ?Over The Rainbow? from The Wizard of Oz and it became a blues song, not because of something done musically ? he usually sang the song a cappella ? but because Clapton sings from that place where the blues are most deeply felt.

However, despite the now universal application of the blues, it remains a musical genre that grew out of the American experience and there is a powerful tie between the blues and that experience. The blues didn?t come from France, England, Egypt or China?although people in all of those countries understand and can even sing the blues. The blues were born in America and continue to articulate the experiences of Americans lost and lonely with greater force and clarity than any other means of expression that we know of.


Search out at least four blues songs that you believe are meaningful and important in telling us something unique and important about the American experience. All four songs should concern a single subject or topic and, when taken collectively, should tell us something important about that topic and the American experience. As an example, Nina Simone?s ?Strange Fruit,? ?Four Women,? ?Old Jim Crow,? and ?Mississippi Goddamn? (all on Four Women: The Nina Simone Phillips Recordings) tell us something important about being black in the American South (and if you haven?t listened to Nina Simone, you should). As another example, Liz Phair?s ?F*ck And Run? (on Exile In Guyville) and Janis Ian?s ?At Seventeen? (on Between The Lines) are songs about what it is like to be a girl who doesn?t believe that she will ever find love in America. Both Phair and Ian tell us something important about what the American experience is for such girls and also about how American values affect the lives of some young women in our society.

The songs don?t have to be traditional blues songs (they could be country or rock and roll or jazz or even mainstream pop songs). However if they are not traditional blues songs, you should be able to explain why you think they qualify as blues. The songs also don?t all necessarily have to be on Rhapsody, although it would obviously help so that your classmates could listen to those songs that are unfamiliar to them.

Make a list of the songs you select and their artists and include this list at the start of your paper. Your paper should be an explanation (700 words minimum) that then focuses on the following:

What do these songs tell us about some important aspect of the American experience? Try not select topics that are too general and broad (As example: ?Love.? Although ?Love? is the focus of many blues songs, it is too general a topic. ?The Pain of Being Young and Unloved in Contemporary America? would be more workable.). Compare and contrast the songs that you pick. Let the reader know how each song contributes to your argument and why you think they are meaningful examples.

Then tell the reader why the songs and topic you have selected tell us something that?s important for us to hear or know about. What do we learn about the American experience from these songs?

It is, of course, advisable to cite outside sources for support and frame your argument in the form of a formal essay (Look over ?Presenting Arguments,? ? Tips On Writing Papers,? and ?Critical Thinking? in the Syllabus).

Characterizing Paper Grades

"A" Papers

An "A" paper shows an obvious understanding of the topic, reveals a comprehension of that topic that is comprehensive and detailed, and reflects a thoughtful consideration both of the thesis that is selected and the conclusions that are reached. The argument that is presented should be distinctive and original. It should be well organized, logical, and clearly supported by evidence. Its conclusions should be arrived at after considering opposing viewpoints and able to withstand serious challenges.

Structurally, it presents its argument clearly, develops it logically, and leads to conclusions that are well supported by evidence. In terms of style, it is easy to read, engaging, and holds the readers interest throughout. The writing should be economical and precise.

Overall, an "A" paper indicates that very careful, meticulous, and conscientious attention was given to the opinion and ideas that are presented and reveals a high level of thought and comprehension in the formation and development of the argument.

Excerpt From Essay:

Title: Leni Riefenstahl Ethics

Total Pages: 8 Words: 2111 Sources: 0 Citation Style: MLA Document Type: Research Paper

Essay Instructions: I have listed the instructor''s requirements as well as my ideas and the general flow of the paper as I would like it to be written. If you have any questions please email me. I have thus far submitted the thesis statment and a working bibliography to my instructor and I have included both for your viewing.

Rough Draft Ideas for Leni Riefenstahl Research Paper:

Basic Instructions: 8-10 pages typed text, typed double spaced, one inch margins all around, MLA style documentation, at least nine sources with no more than two from the internet, All direct quotes, paraphrases and summaries must be documented parenthetically in MLA style. Remember your audience; who should know about your information and why? Establish audience and purpose in introduction and keep your discussion geared toward them. Your research paper should be comprised of mostly your own words but be sure to support your ideas with quotes, paraphrases and summaries. Include basic outline, text, works cited.

Working Titles: Leni Riefenstahl: Her Unethical Art and The Catastrophic Consequences or One Woman?s Lack of Integrity Lead to Horror for Millions or The Powerful of Art ???

The underlying theme of this paper is ?living with integrity? or in this case, how one woman?s lack of integrity affected the world. When does social responsibility outweigh censorship? Integrity is the central theme.

Thesis statement: One female film actor/director?s lack of integrity allowed her art to unleash evil upon the world in the form of Nazi propaganda. Leni Riefenstahl?s choices literally meant the difference between life and death to millions of people during World War II. ***thesis statement I submitted earlier for this paper. Needs to be incorporated into one of the first two paragraphs of the paper.

Paper must include: must have at least nine direct quotes(a delicious sentence or two from each source that best expresses the author?s ideas that support your thesis) and several summaries of their ideas regarding the following:
**Thinkers may be religious leaders, political figures, humanitarians, philosophers, poets
***Compare and contrast some of the ideas of past and present thinkers in the paper.

1.Examine three thinkers from the past and interpret what they would have to say about the subject of integrity and Riefenstahl?s role in nazi Germany?(Ex: Thomas Jefferson, Jesus Christ, biblical quotes, Aristotle, Plato, Hobbes, Hume, Machiavelli, Confuscious, etc???)

2. Examine three thinkers from the recent past and interpret what they would have to say about integrity and Riefenstahl?s role in history??(Ex: Ghandi, John F. Kennedy, Jr., Mother Theresa, The Pope, ???famous concentration camp survivor??, former Israeli leader Sharon??, Famous Rabbi???, Dali Lama, Rosa Parks, Martin Luther King, Jr., etc.)

3. Examine three pop cultural figures (real or fiction) of today and interpret what they would have to say about integrity and Leni Riefenstahl?May quote song lyrics and fictional characters????..(ex: **quote from The Godfather, **quote from the Wizard of Oz, John Lennon, Jim Morrison, James Taylor, Superman, Wonder Woman, ??quote from famous film villain??, **nothing too obscure**???quote from a famous film hero???, ??quote from literary character??, quote from Oprah Winfrey, Rudolph Guiliani during 9/11,etc.)

Basic Flow of This Paper:

Opening paragraphs/ thesis statement/introduction to Leni and issue of art with integrity. Who is the audience: everyone needs to understand the media?s power so as to be able to filter out the good from the bad?. understand history so prevent future disasters of the same sort?.we are all affected by art images?.does art imitate life or does life imitate art?

Brief life history of Leni up to point she became nazi propaganda film maker.**set up a little background so as to better understand her and the time period. *** she was a famous movie actress in Germany prior to becoming a director of nazi films

***don?t lose sight that the primary focus of the paper is not a life history of leni but the result of her actions and her unethical choices for personal gain.

Her fascination with Hitler**she sought him out initially and continued to remain in contact with him even after her films were made. She denies this, but documented evidence exists. Her personal relationship with Hitler. Her role as a propagandist film maker and the films she made for Hitler. Her role in the Nazi party.

The power of her films?they greatly increased Hitler?s popularity and elevated him to godlike status among hundreds of thousands of Germans. Brilliant director. Created many new film making, sound and lighting techniques still seen in today?s films. Made Hitler a movie star. Portrayed him as brilliant and a savior to Germany?s future. Brief overview of propaganda films she made. Did she truly believe that image of Hitler that she created?

Developed a personal relationship with Hitler and consulted with him daily for many months in his home. Was the only woman he ever discussed politics with. She was hated by the other high ranking nazis due to being female. Women had very limited roles in the nazi plan---breeding Aryan children and supporting their husbands. Leni made great strides for women?s rights at the time. Hitler thought she was brilliant and forced his comrades to treat her with respect of pay the price.

She received money, fame, social prestige, privileges, and a relationship with a powerful leader by making films for the Nazi party. Continued to be supported by the Nazi party even after she witnessed first hand the horrors of the war on the frontlines in Poland and the camps of Krakow. She continues to deny that she ever supported the nazi party even though there is evidence otherwise. Has been accused by former concentration camp survivors of using forced labor prisoners as extras in her later movies---she denies, there is no documented evidence of this but eyewitnesses confirm. She denies that she ever knew of the atrocities that were carried out by the nazis contrary to documented evidence even from the nazi archives. Was she so blinded by the rewards (fame, money, power)that she sold out her personal integrity?

Leni contends that she has been unjustly punished all of these years because she was a brilliant film maker. She believes that she should only be judged by the art she produced and not by the content or the consequences of the art.

What social responsibility do artists bear? Should they be held accountable for the public?s reactions/actions in response to their art or are they only responsible for the art itself?

Are today?s artists held socially responsible? How does art and the media influence our lives and our children? ***list two current positive influences and two negative.(antismoking campaign, public service announcements, responsible news coverage, tabloid TV, advertising industry, homophobic lyrics, misogynic lyrics, hate, violence, negative body images etc.) **give specific examples

Who decides what is socially acceptable? There is a fine line between social responsibility and censorship. Dangers of censorship vs. social irresponsibility. First Ammendment vs. public safety, etc?..

******Some where in this area of the paper insert the required sections on past thinkers and their thoughts on the subject discussed earlier**

Leni did not personally kill anyone but her brilliance and movie popularity helped to catapult the nazi party and Hitler to power and at least six million innocent people were murdered in horrific ways. What responsibility, if any, does she hold to those that suffered at the hands of Hitler?

How might history had been altered had she refused to allow her art to be used for nazi propaganda? She did have a choice. Leni still refuses to accept any responsibility for the effects of her films.

Brief history of Leni after the war?classification as a nazi sympathizer/denazification?.blacklisted from film world?all assets were seized?..became photographer?lives in Germany today?

Making decisions based upon integrity can and does have lasting and dramatic effects on your surroundings.?????? One woman?s selfish choice for personal gains meant the sacrifice of millions of lives.??? She also paid a price?..

Need to understand the past so it does not get repeated??Are Osamma Bin Ladin?s propagandists having the same effect that Riefenstahl did? What about Sadam Hussein?s regime?

All images that come into contact with our children affects their thoughts about themselves and the world??.

Working Bibliography/Works Cited: **materials that I have gathered thus far 10/26/02


Adams, Laurie. Art on Trial: From Whistler to Rothko, New York, NY, Walker, 1976.
Baird, Jay W. The Mythical World of Nazi Propaganda, 1934-1944. University of Minnesota Press.1974.
Bolton, Richard. Culture Wars: Documents from the Recent Controversies in the Arts, New York, NY, New Press, 1992.
Childs, Elizabeth C. Suspended License: Censorship and the Visual Arts, Seattle, WA, University of Washington Press, 1997.
Fox, Richard M., and Joseph P. DeMarco. Moral Reasoning, Second Edition, A Philosophic Approach to Applied Ethics. 2001.
Hinz, Berthold. The Art Of The Third Reich. English translation by Carl Hanser Verlag. Random House. 1979. pages 174-183.
McKale, Donald, M. Hitler?s Shadow War. Cooper Square Press. 2002.
Riefenstahl, Leni. A Memoir. St. Martin?s Press. 1987.
Rosenstand, Nina. The Moral of the Story, Third Edition, An Introduction to Ethics. Mayfield Publishing. 2000.
Rutherford, Ward. Hitler?s Propaganda Machine. Bison Books, London. 1978.
Siegmund, Anna Marie. The Women of The Third Reich. Bison Books, London. 2000.
Taschen, Angelika, ed. Leni Riefenstahl, Five Lives, A Biography in Pictures. 2000.

Triumph of The Will. Produced and directed by Leni Riefenstahl. 1934.
Hitler?s Women: Leni Riefenstahl. The History Channel. Discovery Entertainment. 2001.

Internet Sources:

?The Five Lives of Leni Riefenstahl?. BBC News Online/Entertainment. October 23, 2000.
?Leni Riefenstahl.? The German-Hollywood Connection. 2000. (

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