Blog Entry- The Face of America

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I thought this article was very interesting despite how confusing it was. The author made a lot of good points about several different issues of representation that we have discussed in class, such as race, class and gender problems, and how they are represented both publicly and privately in America. He made interesting points about citizenship and how there has been a transformation in America from a public form into a space of intimate privacy. He talked about the important role that "character" plays in politics, using examples of politicians such as Mitt Romney who are struggling to perfect an image of themselves that the American public will be satisfied with.
I thought Berlant's use of both examples in media and in politics were effective in getting his point across and I especially enjoyed his analyzation of the character 'Jenny's' role in Forest Gump. However, although his use of the movie to bring about arguments of the public and private issues of representation are interesting, I found them to be very confusing. For example, in his discussion of Jenny from Forest Gump, Berlant talks about her public and private traumas and incorporates the political conditions of the 60's to strengthen his argument, stating "To add insult to history, the film seems to locate the bad seed of the '60s in the sexual abuse of Jenny by her alcoholic father. It is as though, for the family to be redeemed as a site of quasi-apolitical nation formation, the pervasiveness of abuse has to be projected out onto the metropolitan public." I'm not quite sure where he is going with that and what he means? He goes on to clarify that Jenny's private trauma becomes public and that it is redeemed when she has sex with Forrest but doesn't really explain in why and why it matters?

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This page contains a single entry by Ally Unger published on October 30, 2012 6:49 PM.

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