We have done narrative summary: “Just the facts” (characters, setting, plot challenges, etc.)
We have done aesthetic analysis: How is the text designed (look, sound) to produce an emotional effect on viewers?
Ideological analysis: What intellectual perspective does the text encourage viewers to adopt towards the subject?
As you begin your ideological analysis, consider the following questions:
- Who are the heroes in the text? Who are the villains? Are there any principal characters that are a complex mix of hero and villain?
Note: A hero does not have to be an individual. It may, for example, be an industry (“Hollywood”), a technology (nuclear power), or a cultural institution (college football).
- What qualities make the heroes heroic and the villains villainous?
Note: When you begin to identify these qualities, you will begin to get a sense of the text’s values.
- What behaviors or attitudes does the text depict as:
- Troubling? Problematic?
- Does the text encourage viewers to take a firm view on the subject matter or does it raise questions that it does not entirely answer?
- Does the text provide a full and fair presentation of the subject matter? What does it leave out? What might someone who disagrees with the text’s viewpoint say about it?
- How does the text encourage viewers to endorse its viewpoint on the subject matter?
Consider: ethos (trustworthy testimonials); pathos (compelling emotional footage); logos (powerful statistics; persuasive logic and evidence)
Verbs that will help you with your ideological analysis
- Explores / investigates / takes a closer look at
- Raises questions about … / encourages viewers to …
- Depicts / presents a picture of . . . / offers a new perspective on . . .
- Celebrates / endorses / champions / praises
- Criticizes / condemns / denounces / attacks / casts a harsh light on / challenges the view that . . . /
Sample Outline (include an original title!)
- Introduction—offer a brief description of the text and what sparked your interest in it
- Narrative summary (just enough about the characters and setting so that readers can make sense of what follows)—no more than 33% of the total word count
- Aesthetic analysis
- Ideological analysis
- Conclusion—in the conclusion you may characterize your own view on the text, its ideology, and its aesthetic (Word count in parentheses at the end)