This essay discusses Extra Credit for ENGL301.Background: We have been discussing the uses and contributions of theory to the study of film. Many of the theories we covered were originally deployed for the analysis of literature.
Background: We have been discussing the uses and contributions of theory to the study of film. Many of the theories we covered were originally deploy for the analysis of literature. Given both film studies and literary studies deal with art and narrative, it is appropriate for such crossovers to occur. And, although many theoretical frames enjoy wide use throughout academia, others remain marginal or underutilized.
In fact, some theories remain mostly speculative and full of potential; their definitions and suitability are constantly interrogated. One such contested theory could be the Southern Grotesque.
Although it has accreted many layers over the years, perhaps the first and the best articulation of what Southern Grotesque is and how it relates to fiction comes from Flannery O’Connor’s essay, “Some Aspects of the Grotesque in Southern Fiction” (1960). In it, she not only outlines those aspects but also reveals her convictions about the nature of writing fiction in a particular context as a Southerner.
Task: Using O’Connor’s essay, derive a basic, theoretical framework for what constitutes Southern Gothic/Southern fiction and use it to analyze one of the following films:
O Brother, Where Art Thou? (2000) (Netflix)
Mud (2012) (iTunes)
O’Connor’s essay is accessible here: http://www.en.utexas.edu/Classes/Bremen/e316k/316kprivate/scans/grotesque.html
Grading: Based on how well student identifies elements of the theory and applies those to the chosen film. Must be at least 1000 words long and use MLA appropriately.