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Lecture

18lecture1780colorpurplefilm09SU.pdf


Department
Economics
Course Code
ECON 4400
Professor
All

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Lecture18
1
SchoolofArtsandLetters
AtkinsonFacultyofLiberalandProfessionalStudies
Summer2009
AK/HUMA17806.0AStoriesinDiverseMedia
Announcements:
Assignment#2isduetodayby12midnight.PleaseseeLecture16forthelatest
Uploadinformation.
Reminder:OurfinalexamissetforFriday,August212009,at7pm10pminroom
137SouthintheRossBuilding.Theexamisworth20%ofyourfinalgrade.Forthose
whowillnotbeinTorontoforthatdate,youshouldbemakingarrangementswith
DistanceEducationforanoffsiteexamat
http://www.atkinson.yorku.ca/disted/offsiteExam/index.htm.Youareresponsible
formakingthesealternatearrangements.
Thisexamismandatoryand
itisyourresponsibilitytoattendandtoarriveattherighttimeandplace.
FinalExamFormat:
Youareonlyresponsibleformaterialwehavecoveredsincethemidtermtest(starting
withHenryJames'TheTurnoftheScrew).Theexamwillbecomprisedofthreesections:
Firstsection:Shortanswersandidentifications
Defineconcepts,characters,objects,places,ortitlesfromthereadings,viewings,
andlectures
Identify9of12foratotalof36marks(eachisworth4marks)
Secondsection:Sightpassages
Discuss3sightpassagesbyidentifyingthetitleandauthoroftheworkaswellasthe
speakerand/orcharactersinthepassage(ifapplicable).Explainthesignificanceof
thepassageintermsofthetextasawholeandanythemesthatmightbepresent
Identify3ofthe5sightpassagesforatotalof30marks(eachisworth10marks)
Thirdsection:Essayquestion
Answer1of3questionsinessayformatforatotalof34marks
Inthisessayyouwillbecomparing3storygroupswherebyastorygroupconsistsof
1sourcetextand1adaptation.
Thisquestionwillaskyoutodiscussaparticularconceptorissuerelatedtothe
readings,viewings,andlecturematerial
Youwillneedtowriteincompletesentencesandparagraphform—nopointform—
butyouwillnotberequiredtohaveaformalthesisstatement

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Lecture18
2
DiscussionRooms:
YoualsohaveuntilFriday,August22atmidnighttoparticipateinthediscussion
rooms.DiscussionthreadsstartedonorafterSaturday,August23,willnotcount
aspartofyourparticipationgrade,somakesuretopostatleastthreeanswersto
thequestionsofyourchoicebeforethefinalexam.
TheColorPurple:FromNoveltoFilm
LastweekIendedthelecturebydiscussingthegenreofepistolaryfictionand
howitinformsWalker'snovel,TheColorPurple.I'mgoingtostartthisweek'slectureby
finishingupthisdiscussionandbytalkingaboutanothergenre:romance.Iwillalso
discusstheendingofthenovelandtheimportanceofnamingbeforemovingontothe
film.
Aswelearnedlastweek,Walker'schoicetowriteherstoryintheformofletters,
calledanepistolarynovel,isanimportantdecisionbecauseithasaneffectonhowthe
readerexperiencestheeventsandcharactersinthenarrative.Anotherimportant
aspectofepistolaryfictionisthatitimpliesacertainamountofrealism.Usuallysuch
novelsattempttobeas"truetolife"aspossible.WhenTheColorPurplefirstcameout
in1982,criticsweredividedonitsmeritsandithadalottodowithideasabout
"realism."Mostcriticsadmiredthebook.ThiswasWalker'sthirdnovelandunlikeher
othertwo,thisonegainedimmediateandwidespreadpublicacceptance.Thetextwon
boththePulitzerPrizeandtheAmericanBookAwardfor198283.Butatthesametime,
severalcriticsalsodisparagedthetext.Theyclaimedthatitwasn'trealisticenough;that
theendingwastoomuchofafairytale;thatNettie'slettersintrudedtoomuchintothe

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Lecture18
3
centerofthenovel,creatinganunbalancedwork;andthattheletterstoGodwerealso
unrealistic—theytookawaytheusualconcretizingeffectoflettersthatcreatesthe
illusionofreallife,thebackandforthcorrespondencebetweentwoseemingly"real"
people.Ineachofthesecriticisms,onecanseethatthereareexpectationsthatgo
handinhandwithcertaingenres.Inthiscase,thetraditionofforminganoveloutof
letterwritingimpliesa"realistic"tale.
Butstillothercriticshavearguedthatthesecriteria,basedontheconventionsof
epistolaryfiction,areproblematicandshouldnotbemappedontothenovel.Infact,
somehavesuggestedthatthenovelisclosertoanotherrelatedgenrethatalsotookthe
novelbystorm,butwasinitiallyfoundinplays.Thisgenreisromance:atypeof
narrativethatcanbedefinedasafictionalstoryinverseorprosethatrelates
improbableadventuresofidealizedcharactersissomeremoteorenchantedsetting.
SeeLectureSummary,Slide2.
Someofthisshouldsoundalittlefamiliaraswe'vediscussedafewofthe
romanticconventionsShawsubvertedinPygmalion.Aswenoted,Shaw'sresistanceto
the"happyending"thatwoulduniteElizaDoolittlewithHenryHigginsunderminesthe
drivetowardclosureinthetypicalmarriageplotofcomedyromances.Walker,too,
somehavesuggested,isusingtheromancegenretosubvertthesocialcodesthatit
dictates.I'dliketolookattwowaysshedoesthisandthinkaboutwhatsubvertingsuch
conventionsbringstoourunderstandingofthenovel.
OneofShaw'sprimarymodelsforsuchdramaticconventionsisShakespeare.
Shakespeare'sromancesaretypicallysetinthecountry,inaruralspacemeantto
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