Your Cultural Artifact:
|Denotation*surface-level meaning*Denotative details are surface-level and do not have analysis or deconstruction applied to them yet.-Ex: plot points, plot developments, conflicts, resolution, characters, setting, details like symbols, colors, Golden Quotes, things that stand out to you, What ideas/values are glorified/vilified, etc.?||Connotation*deeper level-meaning*A text’s connotation has applied deconstruction and analysis to surface-level denotative details.-So what?, What is at stake? Who is affected?, meaning of symbols, meaning of characters, What ideas do they represent?, social/cultural overtones, emotional meanings, indirect suggestions, connections to real-life, Are any group/figure(s)/ idea(s)/glorified or vilified?, How do you know?, Why does this matter?, What is the takeaway message(s) of the text?, So what?|
|Ex:-The color red is present throughout the text.-…-…-…-…-…||-This represents the passion that drives the protagonist’s every decision.-…-…-…-…-…|
1) Think of a potential cultural artifact that you could use as a primary source to explore in your Entertainment as Political essay.
*The trick is to narrow your focus as much as possible. So, if I was going to go with The Twilight Zone, for example, then I would select one individual episode to serve as my primary source.
2) On another sheet of paper, create a chart like the one above where you select a few important denotative details from your cultural artifact.
3) For each denotative detail that you list, consider its connotation–>respective indirect suggestion/implication, alongside any other suggestions as presented in the model chart above.
4) Write a working thesis that pertains to an area of interest found within your selected cultural artifact.
In the story entitled The Lorax by Dr. Seuss, the writer forwards a perspective of eco-criticism. Through this view, the ideal of industry is vilified by way of the antagonist, who is known as ‘The Onceler.’
Conversely, the ideal of nature conservation is celebrated, as embodied by the story’s protagonist known as ‘The Lorax.’
This message for the importance of nature conservation is just as significant today as it was back in 1971, when Dr. Seuss wrote this story.
Ideas for Cultural Artifacts: a short story, a TV/Netflix series episode, a picture book, a music video, a song’s lyrics, a novel, a play, an art piece, a film, an anime episode/manga issue, a graphic novel, a comedy sketch (satire), an advertisement, etc.
*Remember: Your thesis should make a claim about some aspect of your selected cultural artifact. This claim should be grounded on your unearthing of a connotative detail.