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Ecocriticism excerpt

Ecocriticism excerpt, part 2
  • You must PASS the Ecocriticism paper BEFORE being able to turn in the next papers.
  • If you do not pass, follow the Re-write criteria for redoing a paper.
  • See the rubric for Theory papers
  • See a Writing Consultant for further help.
  • Be careful of Plagiarism; there is NOT ever an excuse for plagiarizing.

What is Ecocriticism

  • Ecocriticism concerns anaylzing a film's use of ecology as more than a frame for the setting of a story.
  • Does the use of ecology in the film bring to light real world ecological concerns, or does it reiterate that Nature is merely a prop within which we can set a scene.
  • One aspect of anaylzing a film is to ask if the story significantly changes if the setting were to change radically.
  • By example, The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings need the various environments of middle earth. Those ecologies are integral the story, from the forests and mountains, to the meadows and swamps.
  • However, most cop films can be placed in any city--rare is the cop film that NEEDS the environment of a specific city.
  • The problem with having a changeable environment is that such a story re-iterates to the audience that the environment, that ecology, is useless, a second hand thought, a mere device for the over importance of the human characters.
  • Since most environmentalists see human-centric thinking as the cause of destruction to the environment, having an earth-centered story (like Tolkien's) reiterates the importance of the relationship between people and their lands.
  • "Ecocriticism as a movement was born out of a trembling desire to better a suffering environment, and to improve how the environment is treated by its human constituents; this idea, or movement, was not accomplished through science, but through writing and literary work. So, how might we formally define Ecocriticism itself? Marland refers to Ecocriticism as an umbrella term:
  • '…a range of critical approaches that explore the representation in literature (and other cultural forms) of the relationship between the human and the non-human, largely from the perspective of anxieties around humanity’s destructive impact of the biosphere (Ecocriticism, 1507).'"Nick DeMott

Who Created This?

  • No One.

Writing ecocriticism

  • Look at scenes in the film; do any stand out as being needful of that environment? Is the environment, itself, something that affects the story line or the characters?
  • Do NOT be distracted by "importance." Just because characters think the environment (setting) is important, such as New York in Avengers, does not mean its an environment that alters and affects the story. `
  • As a severe short-cut to thinking about environments in films, question if a setting in a scene could be replaced by any other, or many other, settings.
  • For this assignment, it is equally worthy to find that every setting could be replaced (thus no real environmental discussion is displayed in the film) as it is to find many scenes that incorporate and rely on their environs.
  • If you can find no eco-critical stance in the film, you'll have to suggest in the analysis paragraphs how the film could have added them; be specific.