Write 900-1,400 words essay on the prompt below.
You want to display specific knowledge of the texts/movies below with your answers.
Avoid summary or generalization by working closely with specifics.
List timecode with scene references.
To receive full credit for your answer, when you first mention a movie make sure you give the full title, director(s) last name, and date in this format:
“Citizen Kane” (Welles, 1941).
ESSAY TWO : IMAGINARY CITIES
This semester we have been building out our tool box of visual literacy skills. We have looked at media both in terms of technique and interpretation with the representation of the city as the central connective element.
Brecht & Weill’s The Seven Deadly Sins presents a satire of America written in 1933 which we watch in a 1993 video art production directed by Peter Sellars. This “sung ballet” tells of two Annas leaving the their family in the country because of their necessity to make their fortunes in the cities. The work features depictions of an unnamed city (for Faulheit/Sloth), Memphis, Los Angeles, Philadelphia, Boston, Baltimore and San Francisco.
Tennessee Williams’ Ten Blocks on the Camino Real is another work of the “imaginary city.” It purports to take place in one small city (The Camino Real) in a South American country, however it all may really be a dream space, or the land of fiction (complete with famous literary characters), a depiction of hell (as per the epigram), an allegory of prison life, or possibly a parody/satire of the USA itself.
Like Brecht & Weill’s The Seven Deadly Sins, Williams’ Ten Blocks on the Camino Real (which we watch in a 1966 TV production) is a difficult, challenging, modern artwork, sometime abstract or obscure or ambiguous, that deals starkly with both the poetical, and the profane. Both works are radical and unusual, and as such they require effort and a certain open-minded willingness to push past initial discomfort and confusion and engage in an intellectually rigorous fashion.
Write a five paragraph, single spaced essay, with an additional work cited page (MLA style) at the end.
Your essay should follow this outline:
PARAGRAPH ONE – INTRODUCTION – introduce Brecht & Weill’s The Seven Deadly Sins as directed by Peter Sellars and Tennessee Williams’ Ten Blocks on the Camino Real as you frame a connective through line argument about both works with a clear “if ______________, then _________________, and so ___________________” thesis at the conclusion of the paragraph.
PARAGRAPH TWO – start with a strong topic sentence – unpack the representations of the cities in Brecht & Weill’s The Seven Deadly Sins — the unnamed city (for Faulheit/Sloth), Memphis, Los Angeles, Philadelphia, Boston, Baltimore and San Francisco in Brecht & Weill’s The Seven Deadly Sins. Despite being a work of grotesquery, what truth does this abrasive satire suggest in each city? Collectively what do all seven cities suggest about the USA? what does director Peter Sellars add to Brecht/Weill and what are his effects?
PARAGRAPH THREE – start with a strong topic sentence – unpack what the (location of) Camino Real might be, and enter the debate if it is allegorical, and why or why not. Continue by examining what Ten Blocks on the Camino Real (the one-act play) says about the city and cities.
PARAGRAPH FOUR – start with a strong topic sentence – connect (“add up”) your interpretations of Brecht & Weill’s The Seven Deadly Sins with your interpretations of William’s Ten Blocks on the Camino Real – how are they similar works and how are they different? explore them both as visual media works, and as literary texts – what do they each contribute to the idea of “the imaginary city”?
PARAGRAPH FIVE – CONCLUSION – reach an original conclusion about Brecht & Weill’s The Seven Deadly Sins and William’s Ten Blocks on the Camino Real – are they relevant works, why or why not? – what can both works tell us about urban life? how are real cities different than imaginary ones?
WORK CITED PAGE – MLA STYLE