Ultural Studies Paper 750words Materials Provided

Subject: CLT110 Text, Image, Culture

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Assessment 1

Text Analysis (25%)

Words: 750

Applying three or four of the basic concepts described in Module 2 (e.g. narrative, genre, discourse, intertextuality, reading practices), discuss how Cultural Studies uses textual analysis to explore the construction of meaning(s).

Choose ONE of the following texts for your analysis.

Text 1
What you need, Rumpole, is a break.

My wife Hilda, known to me only as She Who Must Be Obeyed, was, of course, perfectly correct. I did need a break, a bit of luck, like not all my cases being listed before Judge Roger Bullingham, the Mad Bull of the Old Bailey, and not being led by an ineffective Q.C. named Moreton Colefax, not being prosecuted by Soapy Sam Ballard, the Savonarola of our Chambers, and not having as a client in my current little murder a short-sighted Kilburn greengrocer who admitted placing his hands about his wifes throat to reason with her. When this happened she dropped dead and he concealed her body, for some time, in a large freezer in the stock-room, that is, until he lost his nerve and called in the Old Bill.

Of course, I need a break, Hilda. Anyone would think the Bulls the only judge left down the Bailey.

Not that sort of break. I mean a winter break. Now, for ?236 each, we could have seven nights on Spains Sunshine Coast, with sea-view, poolside barbecue, sports facilities and excursions, including cocktails aboard the hotels old-time Pirate Galleon! Dodos been to Marbella, Rumpole, and we never have a winter holiday.

Oh, yes, I said. I can see your old school-friend, Dodo Mackintosh, with a cutlass between her teeth shinning up the ratlines to board the Pirate Galleon for a complimentary cocktail.

Ill book up, Hilda said.

Not yet, I told her, and thought to avoid further argument with a perfectly safe bet. Well go, I promised, if I win R. v. Gimlett. Well go as a celebration. Hilda appeared, for the moment, to be satisfied and I knew that never, in the whole Rumpole career, had there been such a certain loser as the case of the gentle greengrocer from Kilburn.

From Rumpole and the Winter Break, in John Mortimer (1987), Rumpoles Last Case. Penguin: London. pp.184-185.

Text 2
This film is a con. Thus ran the opening of Spare Ribs review of Ridley Scotts Alien on its initial release back in 1979. With the exception of this film, in which Sigourney Weaver stars as Ripley, when feminist writers have addressed the action cinema at all during the 1980s, it has only been to dismiss the genre as macho and reactionary in familiar terms. However, the emergence of a series of diverse action-based films centred on female protagonists has begun to generate a debate as to the political status of these films and their heroines. Thelma and Louise, a road movie also directed by Ridley Scott, was the surprise hit of the summer of 1991, both in America and in European countries such as Britain and France. The success of the film generated a series of articles, reviews and other commentaries which diversely praised, expressed concern or fascination at its gun-toting heroines. Some saw Thelma and Louise as a feminist reworking of a male genre, the road movie, with women taking the place of the male buddies familiar to viewers of popular Hollywood cinema. For others, the film represented an interrogation of male myths about female sexuality, an admirable commentary on rape and sexual violence. Ive already spoken of the way in which Thelma and Louise has been appropriated by some women as a lesbian film. Elsewhere Thelma and Louise has been characterised as a betrayal, a narrative that cannot follow through on its own logic. Far from being about empowering women, in this view the image of women-with-guns is considered to be one which renders the protagonists symbolically male. Whatever view we take, Thelma and Louise and associated female heroines have generated, at the beginning of the 1990s, an academic and journalistic debate analogous to that sparked by the muscular male stars of the 1980s. The film has also been consumed in an historical moment marked by the public re-emergence of familiar questions to do with sexuality, violence and relations of power between men and women, in the publicity surrounding the nomination of judge Clarence Thomas to the Supreme Court and the Kennedy rape case in the United States.

From Chapter 7 Action Heroines in the 1980s, in Yvonne Tasker (1993), Spectacular Bodies: Gender, Genre and Action Cinema. Routledge, London and New York. pp. 134-135.