Allie Dawson got her BA in Philosophy from Ave Maria University, M.Litt in Shakespeare from Mary Baldwin University, and her love of fairy tales from Tolkien and Chesterton.
Cliches and How To Use Them
The most damning critique of any work of fiction is that it’s "cliched." Cliches are obvious detriments to the success of a work of fiction, but why? Can there be instances when the use of a cliche actually strengthens a work of fiction? Give careful definitions of terms such as "cliche," and track how an effective storytelling device, or special effect–like the "Vertigo effect" or "bullet time"–becomes a cliche, and whether it can be salvaged after endless imitation. As lazy as it is to pepper a story with overused cliches, ask, can the use of cliches be a good thing (in some instances)?
"Fanon" vs. "Canon": The Validity of Fan Theories as Regards "Canonical" Works of Fiction
Analyse "canon" vs. "fanon", and whether the latter has any validity as regards interpretations and criticism of the former. Are fan theories a legitimate way in which to explore the deeper facets of a certain work or franchise, or is it merely a socially acceptable way for adults to waste their time? Discuss how certain fan theories have influenced (or not) storylines in different franchises and creator’s rejections, adoptions, or subversions of popular fan theories (e.g., Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Lost, Doctor Who, etc.)
The Role of Coincidence in Victorian Literature
Even a small dose of coincidence is needed in a work as lengthy and comprehensive as the novel, but Victorian novels seem more comfortable using it than many modern writers. Some consider that a defect, or put up with it as the artifact of a bygone era: but it might it be more than that? First, examine what "coincidence" actually entails, is it really a bad thing? Second, consider specific cases, such as Dickens, Dracula and Dostoevsky, whose brilliantly constructed novels sometimes make liberal use of coincidence. Might coincidence be an integral component in the success of these novels?
The Detriments of a Shared
Since the success of Marvel’s "The Avengers" and the films connected with it, the series of crossover superhero films has become the next big thing. Analyze and discuss this phenomenon in connection with DC’s less than stellar efforts to establish much of the same (including possible missteps such as refusing to put the TV versions of their characters in their films), as well as compare with other properties of these companies that are distinct from their "cinematic universes" (e.g., the X-Men series, the Dark Knight Trilogy). Why was "The Avengers" a success, but "Age of Ultron" and "Batman v. Superman" met with middling or downright negative response? When does it work and when it is too much too soon? Is the complexity inherent in this concept ultimately worth it? With many suffering "superhero fatigue" from the glut of comic-book films in theaters, is this ultimately a concept worth pursuing in the future?
"Sci-Fi" vs. "Science Fiction"
Discuss the difference between what "sci-fi" and "science fiction": that is, what differentiates a Star Trek, Star Wars, or Stargate from Isaac Asimov or Philip K. Dick? Is one inherently a better art from than the other? Does inaccurate or fantastical science somehow negate a potential "science fiction" work and downgrade it to "sci-fi"? are these designations warranted, or even altogether accurate? Can cover the literary, film, and televised examples of each genre, and examine if one is more commonly found in one dramatic form than the other (e.g., is "sci-fi" more common to film and TV, and "science fiction" to the written word?).
"Jumping the Shark" vs. "Growing the Beard": An Analysis of the Rise and Decline of Popular Television Shows
"Growing the Beard" is the definitive moment when a series begins to become noticeably better in quality and "Jumping the Shark" is the opposite.
What is it that gives a certain TV show that first burst of success? What maintains that initial popularity, and what are the signs that a show has endured past its prime?
Focus on shows such as "Happy Days," "Firefly," "Battlestar Galactica," and "Star Trek: TNG".
artsWrite this topic
The Quiet Beatle: George Harrison's Unique Contributions to the Most Influential Rock Group
Though Ringo and George tend to be overshadowed by the contributions of Paul and John, George Harrison’s contributions to the group, while few in number, rank among the greatest songs of the Beatles’ repertoire. An analysis of representative examples like "While My Guitar gently Weeps, "Something," and "Here Comes the Sun," highlighting Harrison’s contributions to the development of pop and rock music.
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Clarifying Current Understandings of the Fairytale
Fairytales are often read in one of two diametrically opposed ways: either as a light and unrealistic story of princesses and "true love," or as disturbing Freudian journeys into the dark recesses of human consciousness and behavior. While both contain aspects of the truth, a more accurate reading reveals and understanding neither so superficial nor so disturbed.
|From The Get Down to Moulin Rouge: A Look at Baz Luhrmann's Writer-Heroes|
|Why Reread Books? The Pros and Cons of Rereading|
|Folk Music: A Timeless Genre|
|Graphics, Pixels, and the Art of Video Games|
|Star Trek and Society's Ridicule of its Early Fans|
|Killing Superheroes: What's Keeping New Superhero Invention?|
|Understanding the Art of Stop Motion|
|Does Ocarina of Time Still Hold Up By Today's Standards?|