Remember that the following are only “prompts” meant to get you started on thinking about your essay. Do not think of these as questions you must answer. Once you have selected a topic based on a prompt, discard the prompt and write an independent paper.
1) Write an essay analyzing some ways in which Disney fairy tales films reproduce —-patriarchal stereotypes about the feminine life-cycle: the cycle of youth, middle-age, and old age/grandma stage. Keep in mind the point made by Elizabeth Bell that images of servants and animals in Disney films also reflect stereotypes of the female life-cycle (so you can discuss selected servant figures or select animal imagery as one of your examples).
2) Write an essay comparing and contrasting selected images of manhood in Disney Animation Features with reference to Aaron Devor’s theory of the “patriarchal gender schema.” Consider if each image is reinforcing and/or breaking down patriarchal notions of manhood.
3) Write an essay analyzing in what ways codes of race, ethnicity (i.e., national origin), and class combine with codes of gender (maleness or femaleness) to create inequalities between persons and groups on the Disney screen.
4) Write an essay comparing and contrasting body images and behavior patterns of selected Disney Animation characters in order to analyze which body types and behaviors win out or lose out in the story. Analyze not only how but also why these respective character types win out or lose out.
Your goal is to come up with a point of view of your own and argue for the validity of the viewpoint. So to do, you must two things. (a) You must explain and support your own viewpoint through drawing on selected quotations from the scholarly articles by Aaron Devor and Elizabeth Bell. Published articles lend authority and credibility to your own claims and, hence, are important grounds upon which to build your own argument in academic essays. (b) You must support your viewpoint with evidence—i.e., specific examples from the film scenes we have viewed and discussed in class.
Prepare a Preliminary Outline along the following lines:
1) Pick a prompt.
2) Make a list of the film scenes and characters you will discuss in your essay.
3) Write a few sentences explaining why you have picked these examples, what you find relevant and interesting about these examples, and how they all seem hang together and fit together.
4) Pick a few concrete details from these scenes that indicate what you feel you want to say about these scenes.
5) Pick two or three quotations from the articles that you think would fit and help you to build a case for what you want to say.
6) Write a rough thematic statement that connects the quotations and the examples you have picked.
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