Monday, September 15, 2014

3 questions

1. After reading the chapters from "Playing the Race Card," what do you think is the relationship between pathos and melodrama?

2. Is melodrama stable as a genre or continually evolving?

3. How does "Birth of a Nation" portray the victimization of white southerners?


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  2. Answer to Question 1:
    Pathos is an essential element in melodrama. Williams notes that “if the narrative trajectory is ultimately concerned with a retrieval and staging of virtue through adversity and suffering, then the operative mode is melodrama. “(15) Pathos on one hand, according to Williams, can arouse great sympathy for the suffering, which is a “key feature of all melodrama.” (16) On the other hand, Williams notes that pathos, together with action, “are the two most important means to the achievement of moral legibility.” She describes the victim-heroes in the sad-ending melodramas to “achieve recognition of their virtue through the more passive ‘deeds’ of suffering and/or self-sacrifice” (25) and that “the pathos of suffering not only ensures virtue, but also seems to entitle action.” (32)


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