You must write at least 400 words applying evidence from the theoretical readings (see document “Key Passages from Sigmund Freud’s Writings” and supplemental videos) to the film Ordinary People. Your response to a peer on Friday should be at least 150 words and include additional textual evidence. Your response is not so much an evaluation of what your peer wrote; rather, it should further elaborate on and develop your peer’s interpretation.
When citing the Freud passages, cite the source of the passages not “Key Passages from Sigmund Freud’s Writings” since this is not an official document, rather it’s my own compilation of passages from Freud.
Avoid Plot Summary: Part of mastering college-level literary analysis is avoiding a response that focuses on summarizing the plot. Since you are writing to an audience that has already seen the film a focus on plot summary is not necessary.
Analyze Evidence: Instead of relying on plot summary you will support your interpretation by using and analyzing evidence (for instance, you should comment on a specific scenes or moments in the film). When you support your analysis with the theoretical texts make sure you cite the page number: for instance, after the quotation put the page number in parenthesis (60). Avoid writing out “on page 60″. Make sure you provide adequate context for the quotes you’re using: in other words, avoid dropping quotes in a seemingly random way.
Write Like a Mini-Essay: Avoid responding to the prompts in the form of bullet points or in a mechanical, step-by-step way. Instead, respond to the prompts as if it was a short essay. Use multiple paragraphs (at least three) to organize your response.
Title Your Post: After you finish writing your response make sure to write an original title that captures the main idea you are focusing on. You want to avoid having a generic title like ‘Discussion of Ordinary People”.
After giving your general impression of the film
Respond to the Following Thematics
• The Over-Determination of the Symptom: For Freud, unconscious psychical symptoms (what Freud would call “the id”) disturibing individuals are over-determined: that is, while there may be a traumatic event that triggered the formation of symptoms like anxiety, the events are part of a repressed network of ideas and “feelings” (often dating back to childhood) that must be worked-through and disentangled in analysis. How is Conrad’s trauma over-determined by unconscious relations of ideas and feelings? [See quote #3 in “Key Passages” for descriiption of the determination of the symptom]
• Transference: “Transference” is one of the key concepts of psychoanalysis. It refers to a psychical process of projection that happens unconsciously, but it is also the term for much of what goes on in analysis. Describe the process of psychoanalysis in the film. How would you describe a key moment of transference in the film? [See Freud’s “Key Passages” where you’ll find passages on transference]
• The Ego and Super-Ego: For Freud, a key goal of psychoanalysis was to make the ego more independent of the super-ego, which Freud characterized as an often cruel and punishing agency in the individual’s psyche. Who is a super-egoic presence in the film and what unconscious/unstated ideas are expressed by this person.
Answer & Explanation
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