Category Archives: Viewpoints


Do research to create a working definition of the term dystopia. Then view a film that deals with either a utopian vision, such as Animal Farm(2000), or a dystopian vision such as 1984(1984) or Fahreheit 451(2000). Write a review of the film for a mass-circulation online news audience. Include in your review the following features: a synopsis of the plot; an explanation of how the film reflects a universal theme or archetypal pattern; and an evaluation of the effectiveness and quality of its cinematic(and other related media) techniques and their impact on viewers. Exchange draft reviews with a partner and ask for suggestions to improve your style and content.

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Universal Themes and Patterns

Choose a universal theme or archetypal pattern and create a list of works of literature, movies, television programs, songs, videos, comics, magazines, illustrations, and advertisements that make use of your chosen theme or pattern. Then use text, sound, illustrations, photographs, and other visual images to create a multimedia presentation showing the enduring presence and impact of this universal theme or archetypal pattern in society.

Focus Questions
The Monomyth
Like a Russian Folktake?”
Psychoanalysis: separation, transition and re-integration

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Story Activity

Read a story.

Write a post in which you first summarize the story. Next describe your responses to the characters and events at various points. Then develop two open-ended questions you are interested in discussing. Work with others in the class to develop a structured discussion around the group’s questions. Afterword add one or two paragraphs to your post, incorporating new insights or interpretations from your discussion.

Help with “structured discussion”? Use the comment form at the bottom of your post or the forums.

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