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Transcript of Midterm Papers
For your midterm papers ... First, a quick review of introductions and thesis statements: Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone--the film adaptation of the best-selling novel-- tells the story of Harry's first year as a wizard. Harry, who was sent to live amongst muggles after his parents' murder, must adapt to the witching world while also battling against the villainous Voldermort. Early in the film and after Harry learns he is a wizard, he hopes on the train to Hogwarts. While riding Harry meets Ron and then later Hermione, and all three will soon become his best friends. As Ron enters Harry's car, the magical music ends and is replaced by the sounds of the train and the boys talking. But then as Harry opens a chocolate frog, the music begins again and as the frog escapes through a window so too does the music speed up and build anxiety. As Harry looks down to see his newly minted Dumbledore card, the music becomes solemn, hitting minor chords. The minor chords coupled with the shot-reverse shot between Harry and the Dumbledore card, including Dumbledore's absence, foreshadows both the centrality and fleeting nature of their relationship. For example, if this is your thesis: "
The minor chords coupled with the shot-reverse shot between Harry and the Dumbledore card, including Dumbledore's absence, foreshadows both the centrality and fleeting nature of their relationship." Next, you want to outline your paper. You do this by breaking down your thesis statement step by step. Topic Sentence #2:
"The repeated shot-reverse shot between Harry and the Dumbledore card then signals an important relationship between the two. Topic Sentence #1:
"After Ron and Harry's banter, the minor chords signal the importance of Harry's new card." Topic Sentence #3:
"However, Dumbledore's sudden absence from the card--after all it is a magic card--coupled with the minor chords signals both the fraught nature and the eventual and tragic end of their relationship. Conclusion: Here is where you talk about the larger implications of your argument. For example, in my HP example, I might discuss the ways in which this particular moment sets up a well-founded anxiety about Harry and Dumbledore's relationship, including Dumbledore's regular disappearing acts (both in general and in the narrative ... like he is always running off places and finding horcruxes and not telling anyone. But also sometimes he just is capable of disappearing into thin air). I might also think about what this sequence means within the context of Harry and Ron's friendship (and their larger story). This way of writing/arguing applies to both midterm options as you work to explain how meaning is made (in each) via form. What is the difference between plot, story, narrative?
Also, difference between classical narrative and alternative narrative (avant garde, new waves, etc). Where does Run Lola Run fit? The Artist? Y Tu Mama Tambien?
Character development. How do characters function within narratives?
Think about (in general) how form constructs relationships of power ... per your reading (go over last section of reading) ... Just a couple more things from your reading: