short horror film called “ white bear ” L a w
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Paper 1: On Cancel Culture and “White Bear”
Length, formatting: 700 words minimum, MLA formatted: 12-point, double-spaced, Times New Roman font, with appropriate heading and page numbers (see this video for how to format your paper in MLA using MS Word: ignore the stuff about “page break” from 2:06-3:00; just focus on doing your heading and page #s correctly): https://us-lti.bbcollab.com/recording/35aab1980f0c49379ea76ad18b484808
Your main focus for this paper will be explaining how you see “White Bear” criticizing us for the kind of behavior we typically associate with cancel culture or online shaming (repeated, public, etc.). So, in what ways do you see the film doing this? How do you see the fate of the characters in “White Bear” working as a METAPHOR for the fate of the people we cancel or shame online? (And by we, of course, I mean society.) Why do you think the filmmakers felt compelled to write and produce this film? What are the problems the filmmakers would seem to have with cancel culture, then? What are they trying to teach us about all that stuff, why is it a bad thing, etc. Or think about it like this: it’s like you watch it and say “ok, I can tell this film is trying to teach me something about cancel culture and internet shaming,” and so now you simply explain what exactly you think it’s trying to teach in that respect. Furthermore, as you develop your main point(s), you will identify/explain any specific scenes or parts of the film that can we single out and analyze to help us better understand those lessons it’s trying to teach us about how we (mis)treat each other, why people act the way they act, etc.
More specific suggestions for paragraph structure:
Paragraph 1 (introduction and thesis statement): immediately orient the reader to the topic at hand. First couple sentences should make it clear that the broader topic of the paper is cancel culture. Then, in the next couple sentences, get to the most important part of this introductory paragraph: your thesis statement (or your overall main point/purpose of the paper), which will be something about how you see cancel culture being addressed/criticized in “White Bear.” (Some advice: sometimes it’s a good idea for you to draft your body paragraphs first, then go back and see if you are able to compose your thesis statement as a 1-2 sentence summary of whatever your main point (s) ended up being in the rest of your paper. Another way of framing your thesis is simply to say something like this: In this paper, I will argue that the Black Mirror episode, “White Bear,” criticizes cancel culture by showing us an horrifying metaphor for this phenomenon, which we see in the fate of the main character, Victoria, during the film’s twist ending.
Body Paragraphs: In Paragraph 2, provide a solid definition of cancel culture that references
In Paragraph 3 and beyond, you will develop an analysis of “White Bear” in which you focus on one main scene or quote or passage from the story that you feel is telling/teaching us something important about cancel culture.
Each body paragraph should begin with a topic sentence that captures the main point of that paragraph. Each of your topic sentences should be some point/opinion/observation about cancel culture that prepares the reader for your analysis of a specific scene/part/passage/situation from the story. Include references to “White Bear” in each of these paragraphs, whether by quoting directly, summarizing, or paraphrasing.
Final body paragraph and then concluding paragraph): in the second-to-last paragraph, you should focus your own, more general perspective on the issue (cancel culture/online shaming); still, whatever point(s) you make here should be still serve to expand on related issues from “White Bear” that you mentioned earlier. Conclusions in college papers often differ from conclusions you’ve written before in one major way: for college papers of this length, you do NOT need to re-state anything in the final paragraph, you don’t need to remind the reader of what they jest read. Here, you need to actually CONCLUDE something about the ideas you’ve been discussing and points you’ve been making. What’s the bigger picture relevance here? Why should we care about cancel culture, why should we take it so seriously? Etc. Those are the kinds of things you build towards in a conclusion.
Lastly: include an MLA-formatted Works Cited page; just copy/paste the following:
Mishan, Ligaya. “The Long and Tortured History of Cancel Culture.” The New York Times Style Magazine, 3 December 2020, pp. 1-8.