Final exam I once gave

ENGLISH 101 final exam

Choose ONE of the following questions, and write a well-organized, mechanically sound essay in response.

1. In “Symptoms,” Judith Williamson writes that “the tension between plot and image is what gives film an enormous capacity for containing contradictions” (28). Explain what she means by this, and demonstrate how it informs her argument in either one of the essays dealing with Top Gun or Fatal Attraction.

2. In “Symptoms,” Judith Williamson writes that “genre is a means through which an audience brings knowledge to a film: thrillers, westerns, horror films, comedies, etc., provide frameworks in which the audience’s capacity to recognize certain stock elements of plot, theme and image creates the potential for great subtlety of meaning where these conventions may be stretched, played with or subverted” (29). Explain what she means by this, and demonstrate how it informs her argument in either one of the essays dealing with Top Gun or Fatal Attraction.

3. In “Symptoms,” Judith Williamson writes that “anyone interested in the fantasies and fears of our culture should pay close attention to successful films, for their success means precisely that they have touched on the fantasies and fears of a great many people” (27). Explain what she means by this, and demonstrate how it informs her argument in either one of the essays dealing with Top Gun or Fatal Attraction.

4. In “Symptoms,” Judith Williamson writes that “we have to take seriously the complexities of film language and not assume that things we don’t like or understand don’t make sense” (30). Explain why this is important, and how this mission fulfilled by one of her essays dealing with either Top Gun or Fatal Attraction.

You have until 10:00 AM. You may leave as soon as you are finished.
A reminder: if you have not turned in all three essays, a midterm, and this final by 5:00 PM today, you will fail this course.

Thanks, and enjoy your summer.

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