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redrose85
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English Conversation About COLLEGE LIFE - FINDING AN ERROR IN YOUR TEST SCORE

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My prof sent us a series of q's for the exam. It's going to be a full essay exam, and she is going to pick a few of the q's randomly. Here is one of them:

 

1. In the handout “Myth or Consequences: Ideological Fault Lines in The Simpsons, author Vincent Brook argues that the “subversive potential of The Simpsons is determined… by its unconventional narrative structure.” He continues, “More specifically, I see the problematic closure – what I call “open-ended disruption” – of many Simpson’s episodes as producing the show’s broadest ideological fault lines” (p. 176). Explain with reference to “Lisa and Malibu Stacey” (and other episodes you may be familiar with) how this “open-ended disruption” operates and why Brook argues it is subversive. Do you agree with his position? Explain.

 

Do any of you have ANY idea what this means? Open ended disruption?

 

The questions only get worse, and I am seriously contemplating focusing on my other exam instead and just showing up to this exam just to put words to paper to get some form of a grade.

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Wow, I can't help at all. I actually found the book that's being referenced on Google Books and tried reading the "Myth or Consequences" essay. Whoosh! That was the sound of it going over my head. I could only stand to read a page or two, the language is ridiculous. It reminded me of research papers I used to read that made things much more complicated than they actually are, mostly just to sound smart.

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OP, what exactly is it that you do not understand?

I am unfamiliar with Brook's essay but I get a sense that a lot of the answers you may have about your prof's question can be found in Brook's essay itself?

 

Anyways, it seems to me that Brook's locates the "subversive potential" of "The Simpsons" in its "unconventional narrative structure," particularly the way each episode ends in "open-ended disruption," rather than, say "resolution/denouement" of the text's central conflict/tension.

 

A "conventional" narrative structure may proceed from the "exposition" stage, then the "rising action," then onto the "climax," where the tensions/conflicts that had been built up during the "rising action" stage come to a head and then concludes with a "resolution" of the conflict/tension. I guess Brook is saying that "The Simpsons'" subversive quality derives from the fact that the comic veers away from this typical pattern. Of course, a more detailed reason for WHY Brook believes this should be extrapolated from his essay.

 

Hm... does that help at all?

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maybe the teacher wants you to say that you think that Vincent brook is full of crap, and that he's made up a lot of complicated language about a cartoon?

 

Well, maybe so, but I highly doubt it, UNLESS the prof made a very specific point about critiquing the pitfalls of Brook's argument during class.

 

Plus, "comic studies," as an extension of cultural studies has become pretty big in the humanities and I am assuming that the OP is taking some sort of literary/film/media studies course?

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