final draft

timer Asked: Feb 18th, 2018

Question Description

*you din't need write a new paper, just edit based on my major paper that i upload

*A successful essay will:

  • Formulate a complex claim based on careful reading of the texts, taking into account stakes and different points of view
  • Examine connections between the primary texts
  • Provide evidence thoughtfully to support ideas.
  • Articulate how the evidence supports your claim.

in class, we have examined how alternative timelines were imagined in the play/film Zoot Suitand the film Killer of Sheep. Using the critical lens presented in Jodi Melamed’s Represent and Destroy, we explored how history and narrative interact with each other. We also learned about the historical and poltical context of Los Angeles by reading Laura Pulido and Mike Davis. Of varied genres, these texts have helped us close gaps in our understanding of history by allowing us to reflect on what constitutes histories and narratives.

For this assignment, your task is comparatively analyze the primary texts (ZS, KS, Twilight) we have read so far this quarter using Melamed’s, Pulido’s, and/or Davis’ concepts[1] as a lens. This means you will craft a complex claim about the two texts, focusing on a major theme that runs throughout both texts. Much like our last assignment, you will support your claim using textual evidence (quotes, etc.) and analyzing that evidence to show how the citation supports your claim.

For example, thinking about Melamed’s argument about sympathy, did you feel that one text especially seemed to evoke sympathy in the reader? Did another novel interact differently with sympathy? How did the two novels’ approach to sympathy garner different effects?

A successful essay will:

  • Formulate a complex claim based on careful reading of the texts, taking into account stakes and different points of view
  • Examine connections between the primary texts
  • Provide evidence thoughtfully to support ideas.
  • Articulate how the evidence supports your claim.

Audience: You’re writing an academic article for publication, but you can assume that your audience has read the texts you’ve chosen. Thus, your stakes will be about how to read the film and novel together.

Organization: It is up to you to decide how to structure your argument, but generally speaking, your analysis will be most sophisticated if you integrate evidence from the two texts into a single argument rather than discussing each text in succession.

  • Your paper should be 5–6 double-spaced pages with 1-inch margins
  • In 12-point, Times New Roman font
  • Header with your last name and page number in the top right-hand corner
  • MLA style citation and Works Cited

Surname 1 YU HAN C LIT 240 Feb 6th. Racism in Anti-Racism Era Anti-racist movements and eras were witnessed in the U.S. in the 20th century especially after the World War II and in most of the second half of the century spilling into the 21st century. Through film, directors present different themes and observations regarding the movements that have existed, the contemporary issues observed, and effects on the general agenda of anti-racism. According to Melamed, the anti-racism time periods have advanced from racial liberalism (1940s to mid-1960s) to liberal multiculturalism (1960s to 1990s), and neoliberal multiculturalism (1990s to present) (p. 1). Zoot Suit (1981) and Killer of Sheep (1978) are two films that present significant similarities in presenting the characteristics of the anti-racism time periods. While Zoot Suit focuses mainly on how the minority especially people of Hispanic heritage suffered from direct oppression during the riot period, Killer of Sheep details the intrinsic struggles of African Americans in their economic and social development. The racial identities of the main characters in the two films represent the disadvantaged races and subgroups whose development had been undermined by the system. By starting with primarily looking at the plots of the two stories, familiar racial stories are identified in them. First, the racial stereotype of crime attached to men of Latino descent is seen in Zoot Suit. The film which tells a story of wrongful conviction of a Hispanic gang presents the past and current stereotypes stemming from the reality of racial identity in the 1940s. On the other hand, the Killer of Sheep is a story of struggle and an attempt to escape poverty. This film highlights the placing of minority races specifically African-Americans on the lower scale of the economic Surname 2 spectrum. Therefore, the films are similar in the representation of stereotypes and identities of the minorities stemming from the pre-war era. The two films present the theme of self-expression but in different ways. Self-expression here is used to show the minority races in the way they strive to empower or express themselves in the public domain. In Zoot Suit, the Chicano gangs were famous for their fashion statement of the zoot suits. In the film, the expression of the minority is seen through the fashion statement as well as crime. This film differs from Killer of Sheep in which action happens slowly. In Zoot Suit, the film alludes to the Sleepy Lagoon Murder Case (1942) at a time when the Chicano culture had started to find ways to express themselves through the rebellious culture of gangs and fashion. The form of racial expression in Killer of Sheep significantly differs from that of Zoot Suit mainly because it presents the economic and daily life expression of the African-American people as opposed to the expression in popular culture. In this film, nothing much changes and the daily lives of the characters are documented through the dilemmas, they find themselves in and the decisions they make. In this case, the protagonist Stan is not progressive, and the film primarily shows stagnation in development and expression as well. Although Zoot Suit does not necessarily show the minority gaining power through expression, it is progressive and shows an active means of expression as opposed to Killer of Sheep where events happen slowly. Both films also show the systemic injustices to the minority races. According to Melamed, after the racial break, official anti-racism make it possible to look like anti-racist while all along furthering the neoliberalism capitalism based on white supremacy and racialized bodies (p. 7). This observation is seen in both films mainly through the types of struggles portrayed. With the racial break came new ways of capitalism that seem to support racial justice but instead Surname 3 propagate it within the systems. In Zoot Suit, for instance, the gang is arrested for a murder they are not connected to. In the trial, the judge is apparently prejudiced and believes that they are intended to prove a higher cultural lesson. Here, it is evident that the criminal justice system, although allowing fair representation and seemingly fair trial process, is inclined towards punishing this particular Chicano gang due to the racial stereotypes existent at the moment. Similarly, in Killer of Sheep, the struggles of Stan, an African American man, and his family are seen through the depiction of urban poverty existing in the neighborhood of the African American community. The film which pieces together vignettes linking and telling a story of poverty shows the unwilling government to address the poverty issues through the provision of jobs and social amenities. The physical appearance of the facilities depicted in the film shows the low-quality housing, lack of resources in the slaughterhouse, and the apparent urge to kill a man for a fortune. That way, while Zoot Suit brings out injustices in the justice system and the stereotyping that had gone into the justice system, Killer of Sheep shows the negligence of the state to the minorities in their neighborhoods. All in all, the representations are consistent with the modern day racial agenda in the United States. The portrayal of racial fantasy is also a common issue in both texts. As witnessed today, it may seem that the country is past racism as the racial covenants have been long done away with and segregation no longer occurs in a significant way. However, Melamed argues that in the post-war era, racism did not end but changed to a more silent and ignored way (p. 10). The silence is deafening since the assumption that racism does not exist in the modern world evokes ignorance. In both films, the directors present the characters as appearing in their daily activities which are not directly interrupted or directed by racism and racial identities. Surname 4 In Zoot Suit, the Chicanos go on with their lives of celebration, dance, and fashion without depicting racism. However, upon arrest and trial, the intrinsic racism in the society comes out. Similarly, in Killer of Sheep, the lives of the children go ahead as they play and are evidently blind to the social and economic conditions surrounding them. The adults identify the disadvantages they have in the society but are somehow okay with them. Stan says that although he is poor, he cannot be too poor because he gives things to the Salvation Army (Killer of Sheep). The acceptance of the disadvantaged state of the community propagates the idea of racial fantasy whereby even the victims feel that nothing is wrong yet it is evident that the lack of amenities and opportunities keeps them poor. The element of sympathy as discussed by Melamed is seen in both films for the injustices and the disadvantages that the characters face. Sympathy in both films is evoked in the audience and directed to the minority races seen in the respective films. In Zoot Suit, one cannot help but sympathize with the gang. More particularly, the conscience of Henry which is portrayed by El Pachuco is seen to torment him mainly because he finds himself in a helpless situation whereby the system had him (Zoot Suit). By viewing this film, different emotions of both anger and sympathy are evoked. The mood of the film changes from a colorful, delightful one to a somber mood. That way, the placement of the audience in the midst of the duel allows them to understand the dynamics of being part of the disadvantaged. On the other hand, the theme of death and break-down in the working-class family is seen. This film presents sympathy more strongly that Zoot Suit in that the mood from the beginning to the end of the film remains austere but not somber. Therefore, through the wry jokes and moments contained in some of the vignettes, one cannot help but see the sympathy of the director. The theme of death portrays sympathy for the main characters and is seen in the way Surname 5 Stan is a shell of a functional being who works in a slaughterhouse mopping the floor and preparing knives for the next kill and the one after that. Sympathy is further evoked in the scenes of the children. For instance, in the scenes detailing the activities of the children the tone maintained is intimate (Killer of Sheep). Stan looks tired and as a person who almost gives up in life due to the struggles thus evoking sympathy. That way, Killer of Sheep seems to capitalize on the sympathy of the audience by presenting the dire situations that the characters find themselves in. The unity of both films is seen in the morality portrayed in both. The main lesson is, of course, that racism is an intricate part of the American society especially the systems of governance as seen in both films. First, in Zoot Suit, it is evident that although gangs are seen as the evil of the society, racism rises far much above that evil. The arrest and detention of the gang are seen as the eradication of a social menace, but at a closer look, the injustice in the justice system is the worse evil in the society. Therefore, this presents the typical story of the hunter becoming the hunted, only at an unfair way to propagate the idea of racism in the society. The message here is loud and clear that the systems of governance may be the greater evil in the society since they perpetuate injustice and intolerance. A very similar portrayal of the community is seen in Killer of Sheep whereby the main character Stan is portrayed as both the butcher and the butchered. The significance of presenting Stan as a butcher is seen in the way he is as helpless and hopeless as the sheep he slaughters in the slaughterhouse. The closing scene of the film which shows sheep heading for slaughter through a narrow gate presents the mix of hope and despair as essentially, Stan and his community mostly appear as the sheep which is being led to the slaughterhouse. Eventually, the killer of sheep is seen as the system that encourages poverty for the African Americans. Surname 6 Zoot Suit and Killer of Sheep both address racism in American society but the former approaches the issue directly through the injustice system while the latter details economic disadvantage of the minority rooting from racialized systems. These films show the narration of racial fantasy which not only propagates racism but also makes it more dangerous. The films highlight the systemic racism in the American society whereby although open racism has been done away with, the intrinsic practices in the system propagate racial agendas. Racial liberalism, liberal multiculturalism, and neoliberal multiculturalism have allowed the movement to antiracist periods but incorporated racialized systems that advance the racist ideologies in the modern society. Surname 7 Works Cited Killer of Sheep. Directed by Charles Burnett, performances by Henry G. Sanders, Kaycee Moore, Charles Bracy, and Angela Burnett, Milestone Films, 2007. Melamed, Jodi. “Represent and Destroy: Producing Discourses of Certainty with Official AntiRacism.” University of Minnesota Press, 24, 2011, pp. 1-50. Zoot Suit. Directed by Luis Valdez, performances by Daniel Valdez and Edward James Olmos, Universal Pictures, 1981.

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