Childish Gambinos This Is America Paper

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“This Is America” by Childish Gambino Writing a Compare/Contrast Rhetorical Analysis Argument ASSIGNMENT GUIDELINES ● Your essay should be in 1000 word neighborhood. (HINT. Highlight the text to be counted, then click on TOOLS then WORD COUNT up in the toolbar. Please top it out at 1500. Low end is 950. GAMBINO ESSAY ASSIGNMENT Think about how the LYRICS to Gambino’s song are supported by the VISUALS in the video. Did the video change your perceptions of the argument present in the lyrics of the song? (Or not--what matters is that you have a claim + reasons = argument. In your analysis, you should choose at least three strategies the speaker uses in the song lyrics to make his rhetorical point, and then, also discuss at least three visual rhetorical choices made in the video that support this overall argument. The REQUIRED boxes below are to help you organize your evidence. Please fill them out, so I can see your evidence and how you then use it. With them, you need to develop your thesis and your essay. WHAT A STUDENT SAID ABOUT WRITING THIS ESSAY: “I gave myself ample time to think about the lyrics and video. This helped me to plan out my arguments and create an outline that allowed me to keep my paper organized. Using the evidence from previous assignments helped me immensely with my writing. I realize now these are critical to writing a well thought out essay. The evidence was invaluable and served as a very rough first draft in many instances. The more time I put into the research, evidence gathering, and analysis, the easier it was to write my essay.” --Dustin Furrer, Spring 2019 In Essay #1 you learned a very basic argument structure that will always hold you in good stead. In this essay, I want to make it a little harder: 1. Your audience must be someone who isn’t convinced you are right. 2. The thesis must be something that can be debated by reasonable people—not right or wrong, black or white, but something about which reasonable people can disagree. It must be a compare/contrast thesis, and it must be on the assigned topic for this paper. 3. It must include what is called an “objection” or “counterclaim.” Learn about that and this essay by watching this video:https://youtu.be/tAmgEa1B1vI 4. The complete assignment is at the bottom of the document, but the question you are answering is “Did the video change your perceptions of the argument present in the song?” And in what ways? “How might somebody else interpret your conclusion?” will be your objection or counter argument section. You will use specific textual from the lyrics AND visual evidence from the video. As I said, there are boxes at the bottom of the doc to guide you. The boxes are required as they provide an outline to your essay that helps me analyze your work. 5. Everyone should know by now the level of performance I expect: crystal clear organization is job one. Editing is essential. You should use rhetorical strategies in your OWN writing about rhetorical strategies! The rubric below is one I take seriously. 6. MY ADVICE: get a draft done early, so you can work with a tutor during the week. Remember, tutors can help with organization, paragraph organization, sentence completion, and motivation. 7. Last big tip: Remember “Burger Paragraphs” from high school? http://www.readingrockets.org/strategies/paragraph_hamburger That is for beginning readers. This is the college version: https://cooperseng101.files.wordpress.com/2010/08/triac1.doc I will be watching for this structure very closely. Writing a Compare/Contrast Rhetorical Analysis Argument Some notes for my WR 122 students on the Gambino essay... If I were doing this assignment, I’d start outlining something like this: EXAMPLE OF A SUCCESSFUL STUDENT ESSAY FROM A TRUCK DRIVER AND ACCOUNTING MAJOR EXAMPLE OF A SUCCESSFUL STUDENT ESSAY FROM A NURSING MAJOR EXAMPLE OF A SUCCESSFUL ESSAY FROM AN INTERNATIONAL STUDENT EXAMPLE OF A SUCCESSFUL ESSAY FROM A NURSING MAJOR STUDENT EXAMPLE OF A SUCCESSFUL STUDENT ESSAY FROM A SPECIAL EDUCATION TEACHER MAJOR 1. The overall essay question is: "How did the video change your perception of the argument present in the song lyrics?” HINT: The easiest answer is going to be YES because that automatically sets up a compare/contrast thesis. A NO answer kinduv goes nowhere, but you may see it differently and are free to do that if you want. HOW--the visuals changed my idea of the meaning of the song, so what strategies did that? For example, I can start setting up my thesis using a template like this: "Textual strategies a, b, and c led me to think X about the song; however, the visual strategies e, f, g made me realize it was actually more about Y." EXAMPLE: Glover's clever use of allusion, onomatopoeia, and repetition led me to believe the song was about drug dealing and gang violence; nevertheless, the video's use of imagery, irony, and ethos has swayed me to realize the song is about America's destructively hypnotic fascination with entertainment. ANOTHER EXAMPLE: Looking at the lyrics and music video separately made me come to different conclusions. The textual strategies of repetition and diction led me to think that this song was about how black people have to watch themselves, as their actions often meet a response that results in harsh consequences due to racial profiling; however, the visual strategies of using various camera angles and the appeal to emotion through visuals revealed that this song actually addresses gun violence and how Americans are distracted by entertainment from the real issues. Then I’ll need a short objection section: "Some people may think from the lyrics that A is true; however, a closer look at the visual strategy of B reveals something very different." 2. What are some textual strategies? Look at your notes from the first Gambino Analysis—that is what it was for. Examples might be: TEXTUAL STRATEGIES (things in the lyrics that you READ but aren’t in the video in the same way) ● The effect of powerful repetition ● Verbal imagery ● Symbolism (“This is America” starts right off telling you this is going to be symbolic) ● Appeal to emotion—pathos (be specific about which emotions—pity, love, anger, sexuality, etc.) ● Irony (very important in this song—irony is a kind of sarcasm) irony about WHAT? And used specifically HOW?) ● Appeal to personal credibility of Gambino (ethos) ● Appeal to logic ● Rhyme ● Rhythm ● Alliteration VISUAL STRATEGIES (things in the video that you SEE but aren’t in the text in the same way) ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● Effect of various camera angles—each angle does something different Visual imagery that references historical events—to what purpose? Appeal to emotion through visuals (examples are shock, outrage, disgust, empathy, rage, etc.) Visual symbolism Visual irony Visual ethos (personal credibility through visuals of Gambino and crew—race, facial expressions, what the dancers do, that convince you his message is worth listening to) Visual logic or lack of it (sequences fitting together to help you make visual sense of the message) Juxtaposition (when two scenes are placed next to each other to suggest extra meaning Visual irony (seems like one thing but is ironically or sarcastically or bitterly meaning another thing— lots of this strategy in this video) You only need three from each column, so you will look back at your two analyses to find your best stuff. You will work hard answering the “So what?” question for each piece of evidence you use. “So what? What does that mean? Why is that important?” 3. Brainstorm similarities and differences. Make two lists: one list of similarities, and another of differences. If you are a visual person, a Venn diagram can facilitate this process. Simply create two overlapping circles, one for each of the topics that you are comparing. Traits that differ are noted separately, within those that they share are written in the overlapping space. This is a helpful visual aid, because it organizes similarities and differences clearly. All you have to do is glance at your Venn diagram to get a sense of the things that you could write about. If you prefer to focus on one subject at a time, jot your lists down on a blank sheet of paper and flip it over to the other side for the other subject. Remember to keep characteristics of the different subjects somewhat parallel. This will make it easier to structure a good argument. Hone in on your main argument. A good compare-and-contrast essay goes beyond a simple listing of similarities and differences to make a meaningful statement about a larger topic. When you look at the lists you’ve made, what strikes you as significant? What do these similarities and differences say about the topic? That will be your main argument. 4. Decide on your organizational structure. There are many possibilities for structuring a compare-and-contrast essay. You could write about one subject in detail, and then switch to the other. ● Compare/contrast essay strategies; https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uiOuaGPPF1A ● More compare/contrast: http://www.sjsu.edu/writingcenter/docs/handouts/Organization_CompareContrast.pdf Let’s say you are comparing and contrasting women and men. You could write two paragraphs about qualities that are common to women (they tend to be more compassionate, they are good multitaskers) along with some that they share with men (they are capable of sacrificing self for the good of others.) Then you would focus on men in the next section. (Men usually have superior physical strength and technical skills). Yes, these are highly debatable points, which is what an argument is all about. You can also go point by point throughout the essay. In this case, your first body paragraph might state: “While men may not always show compassion for the problems of others, they are usually more likely to actually do something to fix these problems.” You could also on similarities first, and then differences. In this case, your first body paragraph(s) might read: “The male and female brain are alike and both men and women perform better when they feel appreciated and valued.” Choose a structure that makes sense for your argument. What might a good objection be for this argument (equality of sexes, for one!)? How would you answer back? That’s your objection or refutation piece. 5. Write an outline. Craft an outline that fits the structure you have chosen. Traditionally, an essay consists of an introductory paragraph with the three or more part thesis at the end of it, body paragraphs, and a conclusion. Consider including six body paragraphs to give balance to your two subjects. The six required boxes actually are an outline. There are a LOT of examples of outlining on the web; just do a Google Image search for compare/contrast argument. Here is one, but it doesn’t include the objection or refutation: Here is another that includes the objection/refutation: The point is, there are a lot of graphic organizers. Do a Google Image search for one that works for you. 6. Fill in supporting evidence. As you begin to write your essay, back up your assertions with evidence from the song and the video. With any information that you include, make sure to create BURGER or TRIAC paragraphs, so you will be sure to explain why it matters in the context of your larger argument. 7. Craft your essay with strong transitional words. Transitional words give your essay a nice flow from one statement to the next. When comparing, use words like “both,” “likewise” and “similarly.” Words such as “nonetheless,” “on the other hand,” and “whereas” are ideal for forming a contrast. 8. Proofread and revise carefully. Once you have finished, read your essay several times to check spelling, grammar, and punctuation. Make use of spell check and grammar check tools in your word processing program. If possible, get a tutor to cast a fresh pair of eyes on it to find mistakes you might have missed. We often have difficulty reading our own work objectively and can miss silly mistakes. COP COPY THESE BOXES BELOW ONTO YOUR ESSAY GOOGLE DOC AND FILL THEM OUT IN DETAIL. I NEED TO SEE YOUR BRAIN WORKING. Analyzing “This Is America” by Donald Glover a.k.a. Childish Gambino Final Analysis/Essay Additional notes, hints, templates and ideas for this Gambino Essay (clicketyclick!) Song Lyrics Strategy 1 with text evidence Video Strategy 1 with video evidence Strategy 2 with text evidence Strategy 2 with video evidence Strategy 3 with text evidence Strategy 3 with video evidence Gajanan, Mahita. “Childish Gambino's 'This Is America': Breaking Down Symbols.” Time, Time.com, 7 May 2018, time.com/5267890/childish-gambino-this-isamerica-meaning/ Analyzing “This Is America” by Donald Glover a.k.a. Childish Gambino – Part III Visual Analysis A Glover’s video for “This is America” is shockingly graphic, so you might not want your kids around when you view it. Therefore, the violence and imagery in the visual representation of his song begs the question, what is his rhetorical purpose? Examine the screen shot from early in the video and the corresponding song lyrics to assess the argument present. Write in complete sentences, and answer all the questions. Why Why does Glover include this image so quickly? How does the violence of this image provide a stark contrast to the established tone at the beginning of the video? What is the rhetorical purpose of this shift in tone? This image is included in the video as symbolism to what happens to African Americans in the United States. The violence in the video makes the viewer aware and conscious of what picture is portrayed about America in the video. The Rhetorical purpose of the shift in tone is to allow the speaker to communicate that the video would not have a cheerful tone but rather an aggressive one. Think about the use of color here? What associations would a viewer have with the color of the victim’s clothing? What does this imply? White color is mostly associated with purity or peace. The white cloths of the victim act as symbolism of the innocence that many of the gunned down African American have. Also the use of white clothes on the victim act as symbolism to what guns have done to the American peace; Gun violence has distorted the American peace.It is also representative of guns being treated with care and priority while black bodies don't get the same dignity. Why does the director of the video choose to cover the victim’s face in this manner? What connotations does this image have? What is the rhetorical purpose of this imagery? What is the intended effect on the viewer? The covering of the victims face enables the viewer to make their own interpretation of who the person is. Having no face simply means that the victim in such scenarios could be anyone. Putting a face to the victim (a popular musician) makes people think that the song addresses violence against famous artists in the entertainment society rather than all African Americans. The viewer is able to relate the victim to any person they know or one they have heard about; they are able to fill in the blanks with an idea they have on what the scene is about. Notice the symbolic significance of this screen shot from “This is America.” Where is the speaker’s s attention after the shooting? What does he seem to disregard? After the shooting, the speaker’s attention shifts to the gun and the care is given rather than the body lying on the ground. The speaker uses this scene to show the African Americans are treated after they are shot. No one concentrate on the justice of the dead but rather the weapon used in the act. What could be the significance of the red cloth held in this screen shot? What argument is this implying about America and its focus? The use of the Red cloth symbolizes the Republican party states that value the passing of gun ownership laws rather than the black lives. The republican party has been criticized over and over the gun laws, they push for rather than fighting for those African Americans who have lost life in their states. Think about setting of the video. Why might this desolate parking garage be the chosen atmosphere for the writer and director’s artistic purposes? How does this setting contribute to the overall effect of the video? The garage act as symbolism of “this is America”, with the painting and most of the beams being white, the symbolism is that the country is formed on a very strong ideology that only supports the white supremacy. Name ____Jiaying Zhang_________________________ Examine this screen shot from “This is America.” What is the rhetorical purpose of such graphic imagery and what impact is it intended to have on the audience? In 2015, 22-year-old Dylann Roof shot and killed nine parishioners at the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston, South Carolina. How might this incident have contributed to the artistic choices of the writer and director of the video? The incorporation of a scene where the speaker using a gun to shoot down a choir made of African American people symbolizes the shooting in 2015. Glover acts as Dylann Roof and the choir as the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston, South Carolina. Again, this section of the video starts with a church choir singing an upbeat tune. However, the violence is unexpected and shocking. What is the rhetorical purpose of such a graphic change in tone? The director of the video uses the shooting on the video when the tone of the music changes. He incorporates the sudden shooting with the change in the music tone to bring back the real message of the song and what really happens to African Americans in the US; the 2015 shooting being one of the incidences that do happen. After this scene, Glover repeats the refrain, “This is America/ Don't catch you slippin' up/ Don't catch you slippin' up/Look what I'm whippin' up.” How does this refrain work together with the visual imagery to create an argument? The refrain together with imagery creates emphasis that in America one should be aware and alert of the violence that happen. As an African American, the events and acts of violence that happen should make them aware that at any given time, anything could happen leading to their death. In the forefront of this screenshot from the video for “This is America,” the speaker and young people dance and seem oblivious to the chaos and crime in the background? What argument might the speaker be making about America through this visual image? The director uses Juxtapositin in these scenes. The speaker argues that what the people see about the African American in television and media is the complete opposite of what really happens to them. The media might cover about their talent in sports, music, and dancing but the real issues to be covered are in the background. People often concentrate with the wrong things when interpreting the lives of the African American; they never look at how many people are suffering because of discrimination and racial segregation. Why do you think the speaker is bare-chested? How does this choice contribute to the overall rhetorical purpose of the piece? The purpose of Glover being shirtless was to put himself just as an ordinary person and not as a celebrity. Being shirtless helps the viewer concentrate more on the skin color rather than the designer clothes he is wearing as a celebrity in the song. He is representing the African American as a whole and not as a rich man or a poor man. Look at the facial expressions of the people in the forefront of this image. Why is this ironic? The facial expressions of people in the front line dancing with the speaker show that they are enjoying themselves. This is contrary to the overall message of the song being displayed in their background. Although there are things about the black community that are fun to watch and enjoyable to do, there are real issues about their oppression in the background. The last scene from the video shows the speaker running down a dark corridor chased by a group. What does this image state about the speaker’s emotions? How does this contribute to the purpose of the song and video? The expression being brought forth by the speaker is that the situation or environment he is in is scary. In the end, together with showing the this face, the speaker running away symbolizes the day to day life of an African American who runs from oppression and slavery to a safe place. Compare this picture to the other facial expressions we have seen in the earlier parts of the video? How is this image in sharp contrast to the others? In contrast to other images, this image Glover acts in the true representation of an African American. Other images the speaker elaborates what happens to a black person in the United States but with the final image, he shows the true feelings and emotions on how it feels to be an African American in the United States. This is the final image Glover leaves for his audience? What is the rhetorical purpose of this choice? Does it achieve the desired effect? The rhetorical purpose of the image left glover brings out the message of the video that for a black man, it is very difficult and scary to be in the United States. After so many years of fighting for equal rights and representation, there are things that still in “America” that are unsafe.
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Attached.

Running head: CONTRABAND SONG

1

This Is America
Student’s Name:
Course Name:
Professor’s Name:
Date:

CONTRABAND SONG

2
“This is America”: contraband song

Thesis one
The contraband song, which had been released in the year 2014 by Migos looked a bit
controversial in terms of understanding the real meaning to me. This is indorsed to the motive that
the utilization of the symbol made me think that it was all about the good relationship which had
been existing between the black people and the whites (Migos. Childish Gambino/this is America.
(2014). The application of the repetition has led to the strengthening of the information being
passed to the audience hence leading to the real understanding of the songs that it was all about
being participative in the entertainment activities between the white people and the black man. It
revealed that there was a good relationship between people. The utilization of the symbolism
applied various issues that made the song look like as if there is joy in the song presentation.
However, the fact remains to irony to me. This is because despite a broad understanding of the
people that the real meaning of the song was joy between the people it turns out to be iron.
Through the utilization of the visual and the video context, it turned out to be diff...


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