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Power voice and gender in Buffy the Vampire Slayer.docx

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ENGL 1040

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March 10th (Lecture 9) Buffy the Vampire slayer (Hush) Language = power "Hush": Language and communication Episode shows how language actually gets in the way of communication, that language is actually an imperfect vehicle for communication Psychology professor --> talking about the ways in which spoken language cannot express some things/ideas Language is only one of our primary system of meaning (gestures, clothing etc.) Example --> when the guy can't say he loves the girl but then kisses her later on abruptly because he thought the vampire dude got her Also Buffy and her boyfriend --> able to kiss only when language is removed Opening scene where they are talking in the dream ---> sentences don't make sense, not logical. But they still seem to understand each other. When she wakes up they are completely at odds with each others communication. Miscommunication Petroleum scene --> opening conversation when he is asking her about her dream "Did I feature at all in this dream?" "Just a cameo" "Feature role" Theatre and film --> language of behind the scenes "Not saying a word" --> she says she's not saying a word but by doing so she actually reveals what happened in her dream --> reinforces what he thinks Witch group --> Feminist setting. Shows problems with communication Making fun of academics studying Buffy (starting when Buffy lays on desk and teacher is over her and entire class is watching her) This scene is making fun of feminist group Showing a group of privilege young women making feminist arguments on the surface but in fact reproducing the __ they wish to critique Revert to gender stereotypes --> bake sale and dance (women bake and plan social events) They actively silence the least powerful woman in the group (speaks with a stutter, different body type --- by inviting her to speak - put someone who already feels a lack of power in the centre of attention so that she feels she can't speak) Reproducing the very thing it is trying to fight (feminists) University, television, resistant institutions -- the power of silencing those who already don't have power Scene were the creepy dudes cut out a guys heart --> The gentleman represented as "gentlemen" and upperclass --> dressed in suit, have medical bags Embodying institutional authority (that you very rarely question) Even represent professionalism and politeness --> constantly smiling and thanking each other Actions don't match their surface Control everybody by stealing their voice Control over language and social power go hand in hand Body type Represent certain kinds of body types as being desirable as young women How men are represented (all super buff and fit w
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