Being There and the Power of Media


RESEARCH PAPER TOPIC   -The novel Being There by Jerzy Kosinski is a satire about politics and television and the power of the media.  The Wikipedia article about the film version notes: “Each character sees Chance as they want to see themselves: successful and all-knowing. Chance’s calm and seemingly highly intelligent demeanor is essentially a blank canvas on which each of the film’s characters paint their wants and needs, making Chance out to be much more than he really is.” -There have been many political leaders who are not what they have claimed or seemed to be.  For instance, many people believe that Ronald Reagan was almost completely responsible for the fall of the Soviet Union.  Others argue that he had little to do with it.  Many believe that he was a great President, while others argue that his administration was riddled by corruption and incompetence.    Former President Bush was initially thought of as a great leader after the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001.  Now, however, those perceptions have radically changed.  Were people projecting their needs and wants onto the candidates just as they did with Chance in the novel and film?  And of course the most extreme example was how the masses in Nazi Germany perceived Adolph Hitler as a savior when in fact he was little more than a criminal sociopath. -This is a combination research paper and literary analysis; you must relate your research to the themes and events in the book.  Your thesis statement should include what you believe to be the mistaken impression of a leader is and how it relates to the novel.  You must also note how the media contributed to the misimpressions of both the leader and Chance. Research Paper Outline **Section 1 (Paragraph 1)** – Briefly describe novel and movie, BEING THERE and how Chance is perceived to be great man in part because of the media. – Mention how your subject was also perceived as a great man/woman because of the media when the opposite was true. – Thesis is something like: This paper will examine how the media created heroes out of Chance and __________ and will also compare the two. **Section 2 (Two or three Paragraphs)** – A brief synopsis of the novel of BEING THERE (not the movie) properly cited. **Section 3 (One or two paragraphs)** – Key differences between the movie and book properly cited. **Section 4 (Multiple paragraphs)** – History and background of your subject properly cited. **Section 5 (Multiple paragraphs)** – How the media created the false perception of greatness of your subject properly cited. **Section 6 (Multiple paragraphs)** – The real truth about your subject properly cited. – Note: You can combine sections 5 and 6, but this should be at least five pages if not more. These two are the most important sections of your paper. **Section 7 (Multiple paragraphs)** – Compare your subject to Chance in the context of the media influence properly cited. **Section 8 (Concluding paragraph)** – Recap of the key points of your essay. **Section 9 (Works Cited page)** Note, virtually every paragraph including the synopsis needs to be cited either with a signal phrase or an in-text citation or both. Failure to do that or have a correct Works Cited page will result in a failing grade. Failure to cite properly is plagiarism.

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