First assignment – 1000 words (4 pages of double-spaced text)
Second assignment – 2000 words (8 pages of double-spaced text)
Paper topics are divided by the weekly topics that we look at
Reality vs. Representation
Key Question in the Course
o What is real and what is a representation? (And how do we know the difference?)
Shakespeare’s plays are full of men impersonating women, and women
impersonating men. There is always a question of who is who and everyone is
hiding their identity
In our time (living so much online), we have to know what is real and what is a
representation. I.e. Sometimes, images taken at a specific time can seem as
though something is unnatural, but it is selective and cultural
Representation: What does philosopher Plato teach us?
o Plato (429-347BC) says… image prisoners chained in a cave, they never seen sunlight
o They are convinced that the shadows on the cave walls are reality (but they are only poor
representations of reality)
When there is smoke, there has to be fire. If there are shadows, there must be
some sort of form. However, shadows are only form and not the reality.
We as people may look at the media and see it as reality; however, it is actually
just a representation of reality. Thus, we are like cavemen who believe that
representations are real. In fact, these are actually distortions of reality
o VIDEO: The Cave: an adaptation of Plato’s
After sometime adjusting to the light, the prisoner will experience the life
outside. This is nothing that he could imagine
The prisoner shares his perception of the world, but the prisoner cannot
recognize their old friends. The old prisoner is a grotesque shadow, and
to the prisoners they cannot image what it is like outside
Are we only seeing “shadows” in place of reality?
o Poses the fundamental question – how do we signify our experiences with others?
It is hard to tell people what happened, and we have a challenge of imagining
and excitement about the experience
We do not want our own ideologies to be shaken up
Television is invested in selling commercials and entertaining us. Therefore,
everything is very much exaggerated. We, then, believe this as reality and take
As prisoners, they do not even see the origin of the form
We accept it as transparent
o Post Modern Culture
Show the real world of Hollywood, showing the backstage of what is going on
behind the screen
Adaptation with Nicholas Cage
Comments on the mechanism of these cultures
What does Keanu Reeves teach us?
o Matrix – is this reality?
o VIDEO: The Matrix – What is real extended Clip