directed response essay

For this essay, I need you to compose a comparative analysis of the two films (Rebel Without a Cause 1955 & Imitation Of Life 1959) in order to answer the following: How do we understand the 1950s based on the impression these two films give us of the time period?

Consider through comparison and contrast how these two films work together to illustrate the 1950s. For instance, we might look at Rebel Without a Cause and An Imitation of Life as films that give us insight into the changing attitudes toward parenthood. Or we might look at societal attitudes toward female sexuality in the 1950s by examining Rebel Without a Cause and Gentlemen Prefer Blondes. Or analyze the demands of masculinity in On the Beach and Rebel Without a Cause.

Again, these are just examples.

You may choose to focus on a specific issue – race, gender, social life, etc. – perhaps drawing on the context presentations for guidance. However, it is important that this focus be sufficiently narrowed in order to cover the topic comprehensively.

All essays should adhere to the following criteria:

  • Meet 3.5-4 pages in length
  • Use proper MLA formatting/works cited page
  • Construct a clear and thought provoking thesis
  • Employ sufficient, relevant evidence from source materials (the films)
  • Avoid summary and focus on analysis
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