AGENDA Exam 3: Terms Presentation: Terms List 4 Discussion: QHQ M Butterfly Introduction to Essay #4 Helen Lock "Transformation of the Trickster." Lecture: Tricksters and Trickster Tales In-class writing: Evaluating Song as a Trickster Character
EXAM 3: VOCAB AND TERMSAnswer all 25 questions; there are questions on the back.Extra credit to anyone who can identify one or both of the authors of these two examples that I used to demonstrate figurative language. ―All the world’s a stage‖ The apparition of these faces in the crowd; Petals on a wet, black bough.
M BUTTERFLY: THE LOVE What about Song’s persona did Gallimard fall in love with? When Song says that women in Chinese opera are played by men because only men know how women should act, does this mean that Asian men are the cause of Asian women stereotypes? Is Song also in love with Gallimard?
THE DECEPTION Why was Rene so easily deceived by Song? Why did Gallimard question why Song did not get naked? Why was Gallimard so blinded by love? Why didn’t Rene Gallimard realize that Song was a male even after the hints throughout the movie like not allowing him to see Song Liling’s body even after saying that she gave him her shame? Is Rene in denial over Songs gender?
THE SECRET OPERATION Did Song target Gallimard specifically from the beginning, or was it by chance that he fell in love with him? Why did Gallimard leak such valuable information to Song? Why didn’t Gallimard think about the consequences before he dispelled his secrets to Song? Does Comrade Chin believe Song’s behavior is just to get information? Why did Song LiLing come to France?
THE REVEAL• Did it seem that Song was trying to protect Rene during the hearing or was it something else?• Why did Song testify against Rene even though he still had feelings for him?• How come Gallimard was not angry with Song after finding out his secret?• Why does Rene Gallimard react more to the fact that Song was a man rather than that Song had used him?• After Rene found out that Song was really a man, why did the ―love‖ Rene have for Song, change?• Why did people find it funny when Song tried to seduce Rene after revealing he was a man?• Are people attracted to the constructed idea of what a woman or man should be? Do people make this decision consciously and chose to suppress their true feelings and beliefs?
AND THEN? At the end of the movie, why does Rene Gallimard kill himself? What happened to Song? Is it possible he too may have killed himself or moved on with his life? What happens to Rene Gallimard’s wife, Helga? What happens to Gallimard’s other affair, Renee?
INTRODUCTION TO ESSAY #4: THE RESEARCH ESSAY.ObjectivesTo Lean to Write a Clear and Cohesive Research PaperTo Learn Rhetorical Strategies: Definition, Division and Classification, Process Analysis, and Persuasive Argument.To Learn to do Library ResearchTo Learn MLA Documentation Style
INTRODUCTION TO ESSAY #4: THE RESEARCH ESSAY.Trickster characters have existed in stories from most cultures since the earliest times. The long- lasting appeal of this archetype (recurring symbol of a recurring model) emphasizes the cultural need to acknowledge that all is not what it seems to be, that we need to be on the lookout for those who would fool us. It is not hard to account for the appeal of tricksters—they are fun in their radical assault on the status quo, yet their trickery also strikes a deeper chord for most people.
As societies have evolved, the cultural function of the tricksterhas been reinvented: who or what are they in a modern society?When and why do they appear?Helen Lock, in her essay ―Transformations of the Trickster,‖writes, Contentious issues include the status of the archaic archetypal tricksters (were they mortal or divine? can a god be a trickster?), the relation of tricksters to gender and to ethnicity, and the vexed question of whether modern tricksters exist at all. In one sense it does seem entirely appropriate that these embodiments of ambiguity (no dispute there, at least) should remain so elusive. However, it is still important to address these tricky questions, because the trickster performs such fundamental cultural work: in understanding the trickster better, we better understand ourselves, and the perhaps subconscious aspects of ourselves that respond to the trickster’s unsettling and transformative behavior.
TOPIC: For this essay, consider trickster tales and trickster or trickster-like characters from our reading. Do they, as Lock asserts, help us ―better understand ourselves, and the perhaps subconscious aspects of ourselves that respond to the trickster’s unsettling and transformative behavior‖? How? Or, do these trickster tales and trickster or trickster-like characters serve another purpose? Which?
• Due Dates: Last day of class: finals week• Submission Requirements: Please submit a hard copy.• Format Requirement: MLA-style formatting and citations• Length: Your finished text should be between 1250 and 1750 words, excluding the Works Cited page.Research Requirements• Works Cited Page• A Works Cited page names all of the sources that were used in an essay or research paper; it credits the source or sources for the information you present, evaluate, analyze, and synthesize to support your thesis. A Works Cited page also serves as a reference to the sources that were used so that a reader or writer can quickly refer to the original text.• The Works Cited page for this research project must contain at least three secondary source entries. Two of these must be either a book or article from a scholarly journal; the other may be a website or an article from a popular magazine, such as Time, National Geographic, or the LA Times. Remember, you can also draw on your own experiences and knowledge to discuss, explain, and analyze the texts you choose to support your assertion.
Ways to Begin:Consider the answers to the following questions:• What is a trickster? • Can you provide multiple definitions? Can you find one (or several) that supports your assertion? Can you modify a definition based on what you believe to be an evolution of the trickster character?• What is a trickster tale? • Can you provide multiple definitions? Can you find one that supports your assertion? Can you modify a definition based on what you believe to be an evolution of the trickster tale?
• Which, from our reading, are clearly identifiable as trickster tales?• Can you include others, or parts of others, that are not so easily identifiable?• What makes them trickster tales?• Which, from our reading, are trickster or trickster-like characters? What characteristics make them tricksters?• Morrison: ―Recitatif‖• Hughes: ―Passing‖ and ―Passing‖• Hughes: ―Who’s Passing for Who?‖• Chesnutt: ―The Passing of Grandison‖• Feinberg: Stone Butch Blues• Hwang: M Butterfly
ABOUT TRICKSTERSSouthern slave trickster tales focus on outwitting theplantation masters; in this way, they deviously attackedthe very system to which they were condemned: ―Theylearned what justice was, and they learned, as slaves,they had none. But they were able to make up storiesand even laugh in the face of their tragic predicament‖(Hamilton, A Ring of Tricksters 9).
JEAN HARDY PROVIDES THIS DEFINITION OF THIS ARCHETYPE:The archetype of the Trickster…is the existence of the unexpectedas it appears in every human society, sometimes fullyacknowledged, sometimes feared and hidden. He is the oppositeof order – but then he is opposite of everything: he can turn into ashe…He is the Green Man, the Jester, the clown, the witch or thewizard, Mercury, a shape shifter … the Fool with the potential attimes for becoming a Savior. He upsets normality and hierarchicorder…He can change the expected world, and therefore be anagent of transformation. (1)
POSSIBLE TRAITS OF THETRICKSTER• Deceitful: The trickster uses trickery to bring about change.• Self-Serving: The trickster often feels that he or she has been wronged and is therefore justified in taking action to bring about change and/or to defeat ―the enemy.‖• Shape Shifter: The trickster may change forms, sex, and so forth as an element of surprise to his victim. The change may also be psychological instead of (or in addition to) a visual change.
Cultural Hero:The trickster may be idealized as a cultural hero when, as the agentof transformation, he or she overturns a cruel or unfair leader orpolitical/social system or reverses the fortunes of the more powerfulparty. Prometheus, Raven, and Maui steal fire from the gods and giveit to humans. According to Helen Lock, this characteristic separatesthe fool from the trickster. ―The true trickster’s trickery calls intoquestion fundamental assumptions about the way the world isorganized, and reveals the possibility of transforming them (even iffor ignoble [shameful] ends)‖ (6). Michael J. Carroll includes culturalhero as an attribute as well; he characterizes the trickster as ―atransformer who makes the world habitable for humans by ridding itof monsters or who provides those things [such as fire] that makehuman society possible (―Levi-Strauss, Freud, and the Trickster‖305). Hardy characterizes the trickster as the source of unexpectedchanges in a world where change is not always comfortable and as asymbol of the uncertain world in which we live.
• Solitary creature – Many tricksters are solitary animals (or humans), working alone rather than with a partner or within a group – to undertake change. Michael P. Carroll notes that ―Ravens are usually sighted singly or at most in pairs; coyotes forage independently…; hares have long been noted for their solitariness…Spiders generally associate with members of their own species on only two occasions: when they are born and when they mate‖ (―Trickster as Selfish Buffoon‖ 115).• Physically, intellectually, or socially weak creature: The trickster is often portrayed as a much weaker character than his prey, and yet through cleverness and trickery, he is able to overcome all obstacles and prevail. In some cases the trickster may appear to be weaker physically in order to confuse his prey (false frailty).
• Special tools: The trickster may have special tools or abilities that enable him to perform his acts. Often these tools include magic and/or supernatural powers. An example would be the Chinese Monkey who keeps a needle behind his ear; when he removes the needle and recites a request, the needle may turn into any tool or implement that is required for a particular story.• Teacher: The trickster is a purveyor of life lessons through the stories, from manners to ethics. The teacher often forces the reader to examine the status quo and often, ―to break out of old stereotypes, whether they’ve been imposed by ourselves, our families, our culture, or circumstances (―The Trickster‖ 3).
IN CLASS WRITING: SONG AS ATRICKSTER CHARACTER: How can we envision Song as a Trickster character? Which of the definitions does she fit? What are her goals as a trickster? How many people and how many ways is she fooling people? What is her motivation? What are the outcomes? Does Song help us ―better understand ourselves, and the perhaps subconscious aspects of ourselves that respond to the trickster’s unsettling and transformative behavior‖? How? Or does she/he serve another purpose? Which?
HOMEWORKReading: Review primary texts you might use in your essay.Writing: Finish and post in-class writing.Blog Shot: Discuss one or more characters in terms of one of the traitswe discussed in class today. For example, Jess Goldberg as a ―shapeshifter‖ or ―cultural hero‖; Grandison as ―intellectually weak‖; or Songas ―physically weak‖; maybe even the Iowans as ―teachers.‖ Any ofthem might be discussed as ―agents of change.‖Or discuss ―Grandison,‖ ―Recitatif,‖ and ―Who’s Passing as Who‖ asTrickster tales in the African American tradition.Studying: TermsNext Class: We will meet in Library Lobby at 11:00 am sharp onWednesday for a library orientation and an opportunity to do researchfor your paper. Please do not be late.
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