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English 2017 Midterm: Lectures after test 1

Course Code
English 2017
Nigel Joseph
Study Guide

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(Lectures after test 1)
LECTURE 12 – Monday October 26th, 2015
-Justifiable materialism: pushed and pushed till he snaps and then he gets the
-Stuart Hall by ideology he means mental frameworks, the languages, concepts
and categories, imagery of though and the systems of representation, which
different classes and social groups deploy in order to make sense of, define and
figure out how society works
-David Macey Ideology both derives and masks real social relations and thus
legitimizes class domination by making it appear natural and ahistorical
-A set of ways of behaving or thinking that quietly normalizes, and draws the
reader, watcher and listener into agreement with these ways without him or her
rendering themselves
-A film like this makes it seem natural and common sense to prefer American
customs and habits to Russian ones
-National ideology of excellence of the American society
How does ideology connect to desire?
-Features of popular culture satisfy our desires with a peculiar immediacy and
intensity and it seems that much of our pleasure comes from our response to the
ideology that underpins the representation or practice involved
-Ideology secures or identification at a deep level because it is linked to primary
-Identification is what draws us into the film
-It is a psychological process whereby the subject assimilates an aspects,
property, or an attribute of another that the subject adheres to the model that the
other provides
-Refers to a pleasurable overlapping of our identity which that of a fantasized
-It is important that the ideological work is done at the beginning
Movie in class:
-John Wick appears to be an average American
-Lost wife to illness and is grieving
-Puppy is delivered so he can love someone else
-Drawn into the situation
-no need to establish why the Russians are villains
-They are established this way without even speaking
-The puppy represents the last gift from the wife
-Villains of a specific character
-Manichaeism – villains are irredeemably evil
-He was an ex hit man who gave it up for the love of his life
-He is a taciturn – trait shared by all American heroes
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-Expert with firearms and knives, but is gentle with women, animals and those
who seek help
-Vigilante – takes justice into his own hands
-Society is represented as weak
Film: The equalizer
LECTURE 14 – Monday November 2nd, 2015
-Ideology of action blockbusters
-Western films
The faceoff between hero and villain
isolated town
overlap between western and the modern action blockbuster
-Villains depicted as utterly evil
-Averageness contradicted by uniqueness, the ideology of the American
ordinariness that conceals extraordinariness
-Working class values
-Family: morality and stability are always linked to the family, with one children
-Patriarchal system, women should be in the home and not competing with men
-Manichaeism: good vs evil as a stark binary opposition: the villains are evil
(traditional enemies)
-Vigilantism and individualism: the hero must take the law into his own hands
-Justified violence
-Taciturnity (actions speak louder than words)
Film: High Noon
-3 men sent to jail are coming to kill him
-Trying to get towns people to help him, but they wont, they are peace loving
-He is a taciturn, a trait shared by all American heroes: expert with firearms and
knives and is unarmed in combat: but he is gentle with women, animals, and
those who seek help
-John Wick and The Equalizer are in many ways in direct descendent from the
Western film
-John Wick and Robert McCall are both widowers, taciturn, defining
-They are exceptional in specific ways: physical skills, observational skills, willing
to take risks for duty and save innocent people
-Sacrifice themselves for the community in this respect, despite their rugged
appearance and occasionally profane language
-Pleasurable bitterness at unrecognized merit
-Both men are vigilantes
-Democracy doesn't work – people just talking and yelling at eachother
-Law cannot be solely trusted
America’s individual hero – the cowboy
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Can be valued to society only because he is completely autonomous
to the individual who stands outside it
Serving society
One is able to stand alone
Will Wright: the main character (western hero)
1. The hero enters a social group
2. Hero unknown to society
3. Hero revealed to have an ability
4. Society recognizes a difference between themselves and the hero
5. Society doesn't completely accept hero
6. Conflict of interest between villain and society
7. The villains are stronger than society – society is weak
8. Strong friendship or respect between the hero and the villain
9. Hero avoids involvement in conflict
10. Villains endanger a friend of the hero
11.Hero fights villain
12.Hero defeats villain
13.Society is safe
14.Society accept hero
15.The hero lose or gives up his special status (Will Wright, “The structure of myth in
the western film”)
-Stair down
-Doc Holiday
-Identified as heroic
-Hero being forced into violence
-Violence is the only solution
-Seen in the western and the modern block buster
-Popular does feed into attitudes about violence
-Doc Holiday and Ringo clearly respect eachother (reminds me of me)
People who talk and think are untrustworthy
-Mutual respect
LECTURE 15 – Wednesday November 4nd, 2015
-It seems likely that more people are obsessed with achieving an idea of physical
perfection than ever before, and that popular culture has had a great deal to do
with this shift
-Popular culture is regularly blamed for people being overly concerned with their
appearance, for people pursuing risky weight loss program
-Appearance is in challenge
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