The Fresh Prince of Bel Air (Essay Sample)
This assignment based on a family television show called "Fresh Prince of Bel Air" which Will is the main character.
The assignment will break in to 2 parts (half and half of the details)
Develop four well-developed paragraphs about the TV show you watched, keeping a clear focus on the portrayal of gender in the show.
In the first paragraph, give a brief summary of the episodes you watched.
In the second and third paragraphs, discuss how gender roles play out in the episodes you watched. You may discuss the roles of one male and one female character, or the different roles of two female characters, or you may focus both paragraphs on one male or female character.
In the fourth paragraph, discuss how gender roles either conform to or challenge the gender stereotypes discussed in at least ONE of the readings (the readings were assigned in Assignment 6 Viewing a Television Show).
Provide clear and specific examples from the episodes.
Provide quotes/paraphrases from the selected reading(s) to support your ideas.
Remember to provide in-text citations in MLA format for both the TV show episodes you watched and the reading(s) you selected. Also remember to add a Works Cited at the end of your analysis. (Don't forget to cite each episode you watched, as well as the articles.)
Second half :First, you will create an outline analysis essay on the theme of gender in the family TV show you watched(Fresh Prince of Bel Air). Then, you will then use this outline to develop the analysis essay due at the end of this week.
Your essay will include a clear thesis and well-developed key ideas with topic sentences and supporting examples. The essay will also follow the conventional organization of the following three elements:
Introduction: introduces the subject/s being analyzed and, in a thesis statement, states the reason for the analysis and the main ideas/claims that support that reason. Your thesis should be the last sentence in the introduction paragraph. Please underline your thesis.
Body: contains at least THREE body paragraphs that begin with topic sentences (supporting arguments) that prove your thesis. Each topic sentence should be a reason why your thesis is true.
Conclusion: summarizes the analysis and explains new understanding.
Suggestions to develop the body of the essay:
Analyze the characters' representations of gender (summary does not belong in an analysis!)
The thesis and topic sentences should be the strongest, most analytical sentences in your essay.
Support each point with specific examples and details from the episodes you watched
Relate each point of analysis back to the thesis
Follow a clear organizational pattern
Include transitional words and phrases to make your observations clear
Sample thesis statement (Gilmore Girls)
Lorelai in Gilmore Girls fulfills the stereotypical gender role of the mother; however, she also goes against societal expectations by fulfilling the unconventional roles of father and peer.
Family TV show analysis essay: The Fresh Prince of Bel Air
In The Fresh Prince of Bel Air, season 2 episode 2 The Mother of All Battles, Ashley the young child of the Banks family gets bullied and both Will and Carlton offer to help her get over this (Borowitz & Stevenson). Typically people perceive the negative depictions of African Americans as the reality (Punyanunt-Carter 251). To Will fighting is the best solution, but Carlton disagrees and seems to suggest that bribing the girl is better. The girl’s family visits the family and it turns that Paula clashed with Ashley because she assumed that she purposely bumped into her as she danced. The last season 6 the first episode Burning’ Down the House a judge is visiting the family home and Will needs to be nicer and well behaved (Borowitz & Stevenson).
The characterization of Will contrasts with that of Carlton who has been brought up in a middle-class set up. Will is more aggressive a trait common among male characters and this shows masculinity. The male characterization of young African American males in the sit com is constructed to represent their environment. Even though, Will is ready to use violence to get what he wants it is only in certain circumstances, when need arises. It reflected this belief that to stand up for oneself one needs to be assertive by showing some form of aggression. The sitcom suggests that the mishaps that Will goes through shapes his character as an assertive individual navigating the rules and codes of an upper class neighborhood.
In Burning Down the House, Hillary the older daughter in the family dresses more provocatively. Hillary’s characterization is one who is more willing to embrace the outside world, unlike her younger sister who follows rules strictly being under the care of her parents. As such, Hillary is one who is open minded while Ashley is more respectable (Borowitz & Stevenson). Hilary is an adventurous young female willing to do as she pleases, buts she also seeks advice from her family. It is a contrasting image showing that Hilary’s supposed open-mindedness is not entirely beneficial as she depends on the family to inform her decisions.
The characterization of Will is deeper compared to that of Hilary Banks. Will Smith, but they still conform to some gender stereotypes. On one hand, Will Smith is assertive and to some extent imposing as he seeks to engage Carlton with his blackness. On the other, his antics mask his immaturity as one who can take more responsibility despite showing the desire to lead. The Banks children are spoilt, and Hilary seeks the approval of everyone despite being the oldest of the three siblings. Hilary’s behavior to seek to involve the others in making decisions represents a female character whose actions must be legitimized to be acceptable. It is as though, women must worry about society expectations to judge whether they have been successful.
The Fresh Prince of Bel Air is a sitcom that relies on comedic relief to depict the challenges that Will faces in an unfamiliar place away for from the hood where they as brought up. As such, the conflicts between Will and his relatives emanate from differences in perceptions of blackness, since the characters come from different socioeconomic backgrounds. The depiction of characters for the males mainly revolves around Carlton, Will and Phillip Banks, while that of female characters revolve around the characters Ashley, Hilary and Vivian Banks. In the sitcom, gender roles are flexible and less traditional, but the stereotypical gender roles still appear in some scenes albeit briefly.
To highlight the changing gender roles in the sit com, the Banks family is more democratic since the dec...
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