Your task is to dig a little bit on one of these topics that came up in our brief conversation following Kling’s “Waiting for Mr. Mershing” and to answer this question: how is Halloween rhetorical? Post your findings on your blog today in class (or later if you don’t finish).
Here’s the infographic here about sexy costumes that shouldn’t be sexy.
- Why do people wear sexy costumes (or “sexy” costumes…)
- What does it suggest about people/American culture/society
- Are there sexy costumes for men? explore this…
- If you explore costumes in more general terms, consider why and how certain trends emerge.
- How come it’s okay for little kids to dress up as the devil, as a witch, as a tiny vampire. These are really dark things…how do we make them suitable for children–what’s the argument here?
Candy/Trick or Treating
- Where does this practice come from?
- What’s it all about?
- Has it changed at all?
- Is it really all about sweet things? What about the tricks?
Haunted houses/house decor/superstitions
- How are these things related?
- Why do we decorate our houses on holidays?
- Where do superstitions come from? how do they continue?
- Seriously, what’s the deal? Where does it come from?
- While were at it, what about other symbols of Halloween, like black cats?
- Why do we enjoy being scared?
- Why do we watch horror/slasher movies?
- What does this say about us (culture, society, humans)?
- Where did we get the idea of zombies? the term? why?
- Why do they eat braaaaaaaaaains?
- Go watch this scene from Romero’s Night of the Living Dead (1968) 1:15:26
- Maybe read this
- And this
- Why are vampires suddenly all the rage? Read this
- Where did our vampire obsession stem? what started it all? Watch this
- How has the vampire image changed or remained the same?
The Gross-out Factor
- Halloween parties featuring gross food items, like “severed fingers” and “brains” and “eye balls” and “baby guts” and deep-fried spiders (which some people somewhere actually eat).
- General indulgence in all things “icky”: spiders, snakes, bats — things we normally object to, we celebrate. Why? Why do we do this?
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