Monday, January 27, 2014

3 Questions

1) In chapter one of "Playing the Race Card", Williams points out the concept of agnition,the result of a clash between conflicting viewpoints, in melodrama. Is melodrama or even melodramatic effect possible to achieve in a piece of media if the overt one side versus another notion of agnition is not introduced?

2) To what level of detriment does the contradicting notions of African Americans posing a real competent and legitimate threat to society and African Americans being incompetent, unorganized, and child like have on the "Anti-Tom" works of media such as Birth of a Nation and Thomas Dixon's novels?

3) Does the use black face and depiction of slavery in Mickey’s Mellerdrammer have a different meaning and message when viewed through the lens of a 1933 audience as opposed to a present day audience?

1 comment:

  1. 1. I believe that melodramatic effect is possible to achieve without introducing the notion of agnition. For example, a virtue-hero is often misunderstood until a final revelation near the end of a story. That virtue-hero can encounter struggle and conflict without having an enemy or specific opposing force acting upon him, making the story void of agnation. The notion of agnation implies a force which acts in opposition to another character or group, but I consider any work which has a prolonged revelation of a virtuous, heroic character to be melodramatic.

    3. In 1933, most audiences viewed black face as merely actors acting "black". In 1933, little progress had been made in the African-American community and overall perception of black people in reality was not too different from the black people portrayed in show. A present-day audience, however, would interpret black face much differently. Because such progress has been made in terms of civil rights, any type of production or media demeaning black people would garner much backlash. Many African-Americans would consider a present-day production featuring black face to be offensives and quite honestly, most people watching would probably feel very uncomfortable. Ultimately, the reason the perception has changed so much is because of modernity.


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