English 2017 Study Guide - Final Guide: Janice Radway, Raymond Chandler, The Newgate Calendar

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Published on 21 Apr 2013
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Reading the Romance Part 1:
Medieval Romance (Romance as a genre)
Very broad
Most popular genre
Involved Knights, courtly ladies, quests, contests and battles, magic and religion
Romance as a narrative form
Written as long narrative prose and verses
Romance as a mode
Realism narrative: persuades us that the world is pretty much the same as were living
Satire narrative: plays up the negative aspects of the world where problems are magnified
Romance: seen as a beautiful version between realism and satire where the idealized version of our
world exists
Popular romance
Though new and modern there are roots from older romance traditions
Instead of journeys and quests for Knights and courtly ladies there are quests towards knowledge
and understanding
Romance as wish fulfillment
Romance provides a utopian solution to reals problems
Entertainment provides an escape from the real world
Christine Geraghty: 3 features of a typical romance
1. Central female protagonist
o Women who play the main role in romance are seen as the leading character/heroine
2. Public vs. Private spheres
o Publication and privatization of female and masculine spaces
3. Women's superior understanding and control of emotions
o Skills women excel in where men decrease because they cant understand or control their
Feminist critiques of Romance
Romance is seen as a false consciousness and popular culture is out to get the liberated women
Popular culture(romance included) is seen as a potential site where meanings are challenged and
where dominant ideologies can be disturbed
The 'Byronic Hero' of Romance
A character/figure used for self-revelation and self-concealment
The arrogant, moody, cunning, intelligent male lead character
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Janice Radway; Reading the Romance(1984)
Structuralist approach
o An approach that studies the underlying function of a story and follows the orders of
elements in the text
o Ideal Romance
Heroine is alone with no man and is bitter about it, act negatively towards male, man
then acts confused, heroine thinks that it is because sexual tension. Male then
retaliates by punishing the heroine, then treats her nicely they fall in love and
heroine's identity is restored
Ethnographic approach
o Scientific description of specific human cultures
o 'writing about people' and observing people in groups
Radway's critique od the 'ideal romance'
o That romance presents a highly idealized vision of a patriarchal world where men have
money and power and women must negotiate by emotions
Reading the Romance Part 2:
A reaction against perceived contradictions and absences of second wave feminism
Post-feminism is seen in media such as Bridget Jones's Diary and Sex and the City
Female characters like Bridget Jones and Carrie Bradshaw claim to be liberated and clearly enjoy
their sexuality but they are always searching for the one man that will make everything complete
Bridget Jones and Feminism
The simultaneous use of the rhetoric of female empowerment and sociopolitical responsibility and
the pursuit of a meaningful heterosexual relationship as the ultimate goal
Commercial television and the sitcom
The Advent of television
First TV broadcasts in 1928 with a slow early development due to depression and war, lack of
money for a TV set and industrial investments in radio
Television Comedy
1946-48: sports and drama dominated TV
1948: comedy/variety program
Texco Star Theater
o American comedy-variety show on T.V from 1948-56
o One of the first successful examples of American Television broadcasting
Vaudeville and Early TV
Theatrical genre of variety entertainment
Performances consisted of a series of unrelated acts grouped together on a common bill
Types of acts: musicians, comedians, live animals, female impersonators etc.
Ex: Burns and Allen
TV and the postwar suburbs
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Reorganization of social relationships (Suburban Paradox)
o Private haven vs. sense of community
o Strangers linked by demographic similarities
'Public' spectacles simulated in private spaces
Actors acknowledge 'audience'
Sets are designed to resemble theater stage
Fake laugh tracks
Privatization of public experiences
Ex: the George Burns and Grace Allen show
Formula of the domestic situation comedy
Comic structure
o Order ---> situation ---> order
o Narrative closure: having a definite and final ending
Ex: murder identified, male lead marries female lead
The Sitcom
Format was developed for radio and later went to television
The sitcom both celebrates and defines what is 'ordinary'
Situation comedies deal with ordinary, everyday circumstances and features surrogate families
Invites families at home to watch families at home- TV enters into the spaces where we live
Sitcom norm
o A hapless, childlike husband and father blessed with a patient motherly wife
o Ex: Homer Simpson, Phil Dunphy
I Love Lucy
Lucy and Richard Ricardo both singers living in Manhattan, Lucy as a frustrated housewife
Use of slapstick humor and music: Vaudeville elements
Betty Friedan: the Feminine Mystique
A book widely created for sparking the beginning of second wave humor in the USA
'The Love Economy'
Husband as earners, wives as spenders
Domestic women's power exercised in the home through emotional and sexual influences
o Persuasion, manipulation, giving and with holding sex
Crime and Detection Part 1:
Mystery vs. Horror
o Rational
o A hidden secret thing
o Irrational
o Quality of excitement and dread
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