Friday, June 13, 2008

Six Questions To Ask About A Story: #1

I'm presenting "BOOKS BETWEEN CULTURES" to the Waltham librarians today, and as I looked over my notes, I thought my Fire Escape visitors might appreciate knowing the six questions I encourage readers or filmgoers to ask when they're consuming a story. (I'll post one at a time randomly through the summer, so check for the label/tag "Six Critical Questions.")

With my strange between-cultures lenses in place, here's a question that pops into my head while I'm reading a story or watching a flick:

Question One: Are the multicultural characters in the story one-dimensional (ie., only allowed to be noble, good, wise, etc.)?

3 comments:

  1. Then please don't watch Sex and the City! I know that SatC was never the a great, PROGRESSIVE show, but there were lines in the movie that made me gasp. Jennifer Hudson's character was served as the 'mystical person of color' who swooped in a set everything right for the white person. Ewe. Horrid movie. (Pretty clothes and shoes, though.)

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  2. Really, Pooja? Yuk. Sounds like that "Mammy" stereotype coming around again, like the Oracle in the Matrix movies who baked cookies and dispensed all-knowing wisdom.

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  3. Pooja1:28 PM

    Or what has been referred to as the "magical negro" stereotype (see Wikipedia for more). Awful, awful, awful. None of the major reviews of the movie touch on this particularly, though the New Yorker calls the movie out on other questionable lines.

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