In Black Skins, White Masks (1952), Franz Fanon analyzes how both black and white people suffer because of ideas about race. Black people suffer, he writes, because they need to desperately prove they are equal to whites. White people suffer too because they have to live up to the supposed superior standards of whiteness. As we have discussed together in class, the French empire also functioned to create a power dynamic in which the French were most superior and non-French colonial subjects were inferior. Yet many of the characters in the films we have seen try to prove themselves in spite of the colonial system. Analyze how these dynamics play it out in the circumstances of three different films in your midterm paper. Do not describe what happened in the films. I have seen them. Instead analyze what happened by offering your own interpretations of they reflect these dynamics at play.
There is no need to use any online sources. When you submit your paper it will automatically be scanned via TurnItIn so it will identify anything lifted from the internet. Any academic dishonesty will immediately result in a zero.
You are welcome to schedule a time to talk about your paper with me (I am generally in my office (BSSC 302) between 11 and 1pm on Tuesdays and Thursdays) before you write or submit it.
Your paper should:
Be 3 pages double spaced
Be written in 12 pt Times New Roman with 1” margins
Consist of an introductory paragraph and a conclusion paragraph
Analyze characters from at least three films we have watched in class
Not spend time describing what happened in the films alone. Rather, you should be interpreting what happened. Ex: When the little boy followed Monsieur around Dakar with the mask, that represented how Monsieur could not escape what happened with Douiana.
A list of character names:
Sugar Cane Alley
Jose (main character)
M’Man Tine (Jose’s grandmother)
Medouze (older man)
Monsieur Saint-Louis (Jose’s teacher)
Leopold (Jose’s mixed-race friend)
Princesse Tam Tam
Alwina (main character)
Lucie (Max’s wife)
Dar (Alwina’s friend and later husband)
Maharajah (Lucie’s friend)
Pépé le Moko
Pépé (main character)
Régis (police officer)
Gaby (Pépé’s love interest)
Inès (Pépé’s longtime girlfriend)
Eliane (main character)
Camille (Eliane’s adopted daughter)
Days of Glory
Said (main character)