Write a fully developed essay (2-3 pages), complete with a thesis and a conclusion, that analyzes the film Freaks (1932) as a representation of the intersection of TWO of the following features of identity: disability, class, race, nation, or gender. Choose TWO of these factors and discuss how the film reproduces or contests early 20th century assumptions (i.e. ideologies) about these features of identity. You may examine both content and/or style (the story & its visual/aural presentation) in your attempt to construct the argument.
Essays should take the following form: You should begin by introducing the film and your thesis (i.e. your claim about the film). The introductory paragraph should be no more than 2-3 sentences and should NOT summarize the plot of the film. The body of the essay should analyze how specific scenes in the film relate to or illustrate at least two of the features listed above. Explain the evidence in relation to its historical context (i.e. early 20th century America). That is, discuss what the film can teach us about the ideologies or power relations of American society in the early 20th century.
The best essays will contain a clear, persuasive argument backed up with strong reasons and specific evidence. It will also draw upon course texts to explain the meaning of the terminology and/or place the evidence in historical context. See the syllabus for a more complete list of criteria for grading.