Fantasy Rhetoric: Summary and Analysis of Katherine Fowkes’s Fantasy Films A Rhetoric Analysis consists of a multitude of attributes some larger than others and some not specifically require. Among those are certain attributes that are what provides the foundation of any Rhetoric work, Logos, Pathos, and Ethos or persuasive appeal. My job is to show you the other attributes consisting of the context of the argument, the authors’ attitude, and the tone of the overall work. So first I will have to fill you in to Katherine Fowkes’s work. Katherine A. Fowkes in Schirmer Encyclopedia of Film, Vol. she explains the notion of fantasy in traditional application of film through her chapter Fantasy Films. She defines its context in this chapter by “films featuring characters, events, or setting that are improbable or impossible in the world as we know it (Fowkes 187). ” She states that fantasy is more specific to the entirety of the movies as opposed to such an as single isolated event. Science fiction and horror genre are argued to be part of a separate genre. Where-as if one were to consider fantasy as a mode science fiction and horror would fall in a sub-genre of it.
Genre of fantasy when in the thought of horror and science fiction as facets of it, still are different and distinct purviews. Such as fantasy although most film has some logical bases they have no bounds and wizards or flying carpets exist. Science fiction on the other hand adheres to a set of rules, guidelines, or barriers that adhering to some kind of plausible scenario denying anything without those criteria met. Fowkes then goes on to mention that much of the time genres blend in films, like when a science fiction film tries to incorporate horror into it.
Aliens might be a good example of this idea or The Wizard of Oz where fantasy meets musical. Through the ages of fantasy on film filmmaker have try to escalate stories through different means. In the early stages filmmakers used trick photography, stop-motion animation, and in-depth sets to help cultivate an environment of fantasy. Upon the development of sound in 1927 new opportunities arose to bring new life to the then dying silent film era still using the tricks from the past, but with new senses to use.
By the 1950’s science fiction began to take off as the current event of the day lend to new stories of space travel, atomic energy mishaps and the monsters that ensued. With sound also came the advent of musicals many of which were delightful fantasies by the likes of Disney and bring the fairy tales and children’s books to life on the screen. Now art also had a place to be expressed through the outlet of fantasy films, by the likes of Dali and Brunuel disorienting pieces. During the 1970’s and beyond the science fiction reclaimed a spot in fantasy with the likes of E.
T. and Star Wars and blend though was involve of the fantasy and science fiction as there was no explanation of Yoda’s magical qualities or E. T. ’s healing powers. When CGI came it was able to bring the audience to a new level of fantasy pushing the bound of what the imagination could provide with the likes of The Matrix, The Abyss or films made completely of CGI like Toy Story. Fowkes thinks that though fantasy theory ideology is most commonly associated with literature, it also can be applied to cinema.
The modes of fantasy would be referenced as “uncanny”, “fantastic”, and “marvelous. ” Uncanny is in reference to the idea of the “experience of feelings of awe and hesitation provoked by strange, improbable events (Fowkes 192). ” If this impossible occurrence or thing can be explain by rational or psychological means then it is deemed uncanny. “Fantastic comes into play only during the hesitation and uncertainty experience by the character and/or the reader/viewer when faced with an impossible occurrence (Fowkes 192). “Marvelous” pertains to self-containing story where the reader/viewer doesn’t have to ascertain validity to the story or question its reality like the world of J. R. R. Tolkiens’s The Lord of the Rings or How the Grinch Stole Christmas. From a psychological standpoint one can infer a certain links are attempted between the viewer and character. One such example could be Spider-Man a normal everyday person then granted super powers to handle conflicts and create an easy resolution against all odds, after all who wouldn’t want a happy ending with no mess.
Some cater to the norms of society instilling determination and good morals with achieve great things as in Frodo’s quest to destroy the ring in The Lord of the Rings Trilogy, or Harry’s battle and clear cut good vs. evil scenario in the Harry Potter films. The psychoanalytical approach in concern to the fantasy film must be thought from what the filmmakers are trying to show and what the viewer is to get out of it. Like the lessoning of fear in death to put ease of dying thought and create an idea of after-death from such films as Ghost and Truly-Madly Deeply.
All in all Fowkes tries to put for the idea that fantasy films are a way to give life to ones fantasy thereby achieving the impossible with a logical end. I will now start my analysis of this author beginning with context of her argument. “Katherine A. Fowkes is Professor of Media and Popular Culture Studies in the Nido R. Qubein School of Communication at High Point University (“The Fantasy Film-Katherine A Fowkes-Google Books”). ” Which leads me to believe that in terms of media analytical work she as an expert in media and pop culture and can handle explain the relation of fantasy.
Fowkes does seem to heavily learn towards a goal of clarifying the idea that fantasy is multi-faceted and not a clear cut as it may seem. She tries to touch a certain audience one that is familiar with the many different doors that fantasy can offer and has. This is not specifically for just any audience but ones with a more sophisticated taste, put forth as this comment illustrate “Eschewing narrative coherence (Fowkes 189). ” Her purpose seems to be that of an informative roots, but with somewhat of clarification through the process.
Fowkes backs her purpose with a multitude of sources, but more importantly encourages the reader to investigate further with more work of other authors in the same category of study. This is a way to show Ethos and a very strong way as well what better way to convince an audience of your honesty then to bring more works to provide comparison and goodwill. Fowkes seems to have an attitude of defense of the validity of fantasy and the ways it has been altered.
In one such example she goes as far as to mention “Hollywood’s “dream factory” (Fowkes 187)” almost in a nonsensical manner as to infer that it something generic at its very core. She uses man connotative words to illustrate fantasy, defining it as a “mode (Fowkes 187)” instead of a genre inferring a multitude of sub-categories. It seems though as Fowkes has an almost special place in her media heart for fantasy as all of her work describes it in a positive viewpoint with a light-hearted feeling about her work; in regards to The Wizard of OZ “a musical but also a dream fantasy with a fairy-tail bent (Fowkes 188). In specifics to Fowkes tone there are subtleties that must be addressed. Her word choice cast for the more refined formal in essence, vivid, and intellectual. The sentence structure is complex “The children’s film Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory (1971), for example, would seem to have little in common with Conan the Barbarian (1982), yet both are considered fantasy because of their fantastical characters and events (Fowkes 187), “demonstrates “long “simple” sentences with many modifiers (Bennem 145)” giving a more formal feel.
She also gives metaphors such as “fatansy as a vehicle for wish fulfillment (Fowkes 192)” to help resonant the ideas she want to present. These metaphors help emphasize the Pathos of her Rhetoric such as when she describes Being John Malkovich as “delightfully warped (Fowkes 188). ” Organizationally there is a flow to the paper starting with an explanation of fatansy, going more into depth by talking of genre, leading into the history of it in cinema, and ending with theory and ideology.
In her final aspect of the appeals she applies Logos in the first page describing the different viewpoints of people in concern to fantasy in an almost authorities undertone. This is also a form of visualization where the reader is shown some emphasis of the author’s true intention of question the meaning, “speculative fiction (Fowkes 187). ” Fowkes accomplished a Rhetoric piece of work in Fantasy Films. I was able to show she made the backbone of Rhetoric with the philosophy of Logos, Ethos, and Pathos.
This was followed by the characteristics that a Rhetoric piece would entail the context of the argument, the authors’ attitude, and the tone of the overall work. Through my analysis you have found that she met the Ancient Greeks standards with gusto. Work Cited Bennem, Christopher. Argument!. Second. New York: McGraw-Hill, 2013. Print. Fowkes, Katherine A. “Fantasy Films. ” In Schirmer Encyclopedia of Film, Vol. 2, edited by Barry Keith Grant. 187-193. Detroit, MI: Thompson-Gale, 2007 “The Fantasy Film-Katherine A Fowkes-Google Books. ” Google. N. p. , n. d. Web. 21 Mar 2013. .