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TV Drama - Multi-character Approaches

Page history last edited by David Walter 6 months, 1 week ago




For Tuesday







Give concrete examples of the way in which Shamsie reassembles chronological events in this section in order to manufacture the drama of the episode. Include remarks on why she reorders time the way she does. Include how she uses Parvais’s personal memory factors into the episode. Why doesn’t Shamsie tell the story straight? Include comments on the pacing, the speeding up or delaying of events, through memories or descriptions, leading up to the finale that give us a sense of the action of a “thriller.”






This section is structured almost like a book of poems. The language avoids conversational normality, for a kind of internal lyricism, woven with news, public comments, and social media posts. 


Make clear the drama here. What is the character striving for, or fighting against? How does the ordering of the sections build the drama for us? How are these small subsections structured to give readers the sense that we are rushing to an end we need to find out about? How is the pacing working to drive to the finale of the book?


201. Antigone plot begins. Compare this opening with the opening of Antigone.






Karamat talks to himself in his thoughts a lot, and this inner narrative is broken by scenes with different interlocutors. In these scenes, what does each side want? How does the sequencing of them with K’s internal thinking and planning further the drama? What does this rhythm of the section reveal about K’s character?


Finally: Who is Terry Lone and does she have a correlative character from Antigone? Can you remember when she was introduced to us?



For Thursday

1. Read Mad Men Pilot - Draft Script.

Mad Men 1x1 - Smoke Gets in Your Eyes.pdf

2. Watch the Pilot episode and episode 2.

Bonus: History of Enovid



Due Friday at Midnight

Pre-draft for Essay #1


This is the essay assignment:


Choose a specific, manageable element from HOME FIRE that, for you, illustrates how Shamsie has harnessed material from ANTIGONE to create her fiction. It could be an aspect of characterization, such as an article of clothing, a name a character assumes, a habit s/he has, an observation s/he made. It could be a description or relation between characters, or a detail about the past. It could be a snippet of dialogue, or a pattern you notice running through the text. It could be the pacing or tempo of a scene, or the way a segment of the plot is structured.


Write a tight, no-nonsense essay that explores how this element you chose fits with Shamsies's fictional strategy. For this exercise: Do not give a grand introduction. Start right in with what you wish to examine, tell us where in the text it comes from. Don't give opinions about society or morals or history. Focus on how and why you think Shamsie chose to adapt this element from the source text by Sophocles in the way she did, to suit the engineering of her novel.


With this topic in mind, follow the instructions for the pre-draft assignment on bCourses.







Resources for reading/viewing of Mad Men:


Fortune Magazine: "Meet the Women Who Put Words in Don Draper's Mouth." (May 2015).

Meet Mad Men's 5 woman writers _ Fortune.pdf


New York Times: "The Women of Hollywood Speak Out." (2015).

The Women of Hollywood Speak Out - The New York Times.pdf


Recommended selections from THE FEMININE MYSTIQUE, by Betty Friedan. (1963).

The Feminine Mystique-from Ch1.pdf

The Feminine Mystique-from Ch3.pdf


Slate: Mad Men and Race: The series’ handling of race has been painfully accurate. (March 2012).

Mad Men and Race-Slate 2014.pdf


The Conversation: Why Mad Men’s treatment of black Americans is a problem (May 2014).

Mad Men's treatment of black Americans a problem-The Conversation.pdf


HuffPost: Hola, Mad Men ! Where Are the Latinos in Your Manhattan? (2014).

Hola, Mad Men ! Where Are the Latinos in Your Manhattan_.pdf




If you feel inspired to read on in Friedan, here is the full text of THE FEMININE MYSTIQUE (1963).

The Feminine Mystique-Full Text.pdf


Further relevant reading in the feminism of the day, from French philosopher Simone de Beauvoir, THE SECOND SEX (Fr: Le Deuxième sexe), pub. 1949.



Here is Helen Gurley Brown's 1962 bestseller, Sex and the Single Girl:

Helen Gurley Brown - Sex and the single girl (1962).pdf


A source text for Mad Men (as well as SEX AND THE CITY and GIRLS!), novel by Rona Jaffe, THE BEST OF EVERYTHING

The Best of Everything.pdf


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