Teenage Dream: Consuming Subtext

byAndrea F. Kulas

Consumer Culture is all around us and it is necessary for students to have the skill to interpret it. The curriculum for Advanced Placement English Literature and Composition asks students to read texts responsibly by focus on the three literary genres of poetry, fiction, and drama. The intent of this unit is not only to have students translate the critical techniques they have learned through the year, but to also take highly technical language and test them against a visual text drawn from consumer/popular culture.

Dreams and aspirations constantly compete with nightmarish fears and anxieties in popular culture as in canonical literature. A media subtext often promotes an emotional war between the negative and positive aspects of culture and our interaction with it. Using the music video as a medium, students will study the visual texts and produce an argument that applies their growing knowledge of rhetorical appeals, rhetorical situations, narrative structures, visual frameworks, by answering a retired Advanced Placement English Literature and Composition question.

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